Auto Air Filters 101

Inspecting your automotive air filter

Maybe you’ve heard about automotive air filters, or a service expert has advised you to get them changed and your said sure. But what are they? And why are they vital to your cars performance? We aim to answer exactly those questions. We also cover the difference between a cabin air filter and an engine air filter and how often you should change them. If you still have questions after covering all of this, please feel free to reach out to our service department via phone or email.

Who Breathes What?

When it comes to air filters, both you and your car are breathing filtered air whether you realize it or not. There is no question you need clean air but did you know your car does too? Your engine needs 3 things to function: fuel, spark, and air. By reducing even one of those things your car can’t perform at its peak. In North Carolina, we are fortunate to live in a climate with mild winters and warm summers. The drawback from all of this beautiful, humid weather is that it produces a lot of airborne pollutants. It is the air filter’s job to remove these pollutants, permitting you and your car to breathe easy.

Cabin Air Filter vs Engine Air Filter

The air you breathe inside your cabin is filtered through a Cabin Air Filter. Very similar in function to the furnace filter in your home, cabin air filters trap a wide range of irritating and harmful pollutant particulates. Ultimately providing you and your passengers with fresher air. A dirty cabin air filter will contain such environmental pollutants as pollen, mold spores, bacteria, smoke, road dust, exhaust chemicals, dust mites, and more.

The air that your car’s engine breathes is also filtered but through the Engine Air Filter. Also similar to the furnace filter in your home, engine air filters trap the same pollutant particulates and provide fresher air for your vehicle to operate. Again, air is 1 of the 3 things your engine needs to function. That is why a clean engine air filter will help your car run at peak efficiency, dependability, and performance.

When Should You Change the Cabin Air Filter?

Cabin Air Filters should be changed about every 30,000 miles. Not only will a new cabin air filter improve the quality of the air inside your vehicle, but it will also significantly improve the airflow from your vehicle’s heating and air conditioning system. A new cabin air filter can also eliminate that stale, musty odor you may smell from the air vents.

When Should You Change the Engine Air Filter?

Engine Air Filters should also be changed every 30,000 miles. A new engine air filter may increase gas mileage, reduce emissions, allow optimal air-flow, and improve engine performance. Having your engine air filter changed regularly will protect the engine and vital internal engine components from excess wear and damage. Ultimately, resulting in potentially expensive engine repairs.