How often should you replace a car’s air filters?

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle in Chantilly, Virginia, one vital aspect to consider is the engine air filter. This filter is responsible for trapping dirt, dust, and other debris before it enters the engine, which helps to keep the engine running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. But how often should you replace the engine air filter in your vehicle?

The answer to this question can vary depending on several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, the conditions in which you drive, and your driving habits. Casey’s Team in Chantilly, VA, is here to tell you about the types of air filters you will find in your car or truck and how often those filters should be replaced.

Engine Air Filter

Under the hood is a cold air collector box where the air filter resides, usually near the front of the engine. The air collector box is precisely what it sounds like; it pulls air into the engine. The air filter is a crucial component of the engine’s health as it prevents the engine from becoming damaged by particulates like bugs, dirt, and dust. Over travel and time, the filter will be clogged, making it much less effective at removing the grit. Certain driving conditions will impact your car’s engine air filter. The filter will clog even faster if you do a decent amount of stop-and-go highway driving in the Chantilly, VA, area. That means you will need to replace it more often. If the air filter becomes overly clogged, it can cause several issues with your engine.

Symptoms of a Clogged Engine Air Filter

Given it is a crucial element, ensuring it doesn’t become over-clogged is one way to keep your engine healthy. However, it can be easy to forget to check it, so let’s cover the symptoms of a clogged engine filter.

  • The engine misfires
  • Emissions increase
  • Idle is rough
  • The gas economy is reduced
  • Slow to accelerate
  • Check engine light engages
  • A hissing sound comes from the engine

Most manufacturers recommend the air filter be replaced at least once a year or every 12,000 miles, but that depends on the manufacturer and the area your vehicle frequents.

Cabin Air Filter

We’ve all been through those painfully hot days and bitterly cold mornings in Northern Virginia. When the temperatures are in full swing, you rely on your AC or heat to keep you comfortable. Within that system is a cabin filter that removes contaminants, such as pollen, bacteria, dust, and fumes, before they enter the cabin and get to you. Typically, the cabin air filter is located behind the glove compartment. Sometimes, the cabin filter is under the hood. Just like the engine air filter, it will become clogged. Given that it is connected to the air circulating system, it can also become saturated by moisture and develop mildew or mold.

Symptoms of a Clogged Cabin Air Filter

Cabin air filters help keep YOUR system free of nasty things, so knowing if it is clogged is beneficial. Here are some symptoms to keep an eye and ear on.

  • An unusual scent inside the cabin
  • Fan sounds have increased
  • Restricted airflow from vents
  • Foggy windows
  • Heating and cooling issues

Automotive Filter Replacements in Chantilly, Virginia

As always, referring to your vehicle’s manual is the best way to ensure your ride is managed properly. If you notice any of the symptoms we listed above, contact us for a filter inspection. When you bring your vehicle into Casey’s Automotive, it is subjected to a complimentary inspection. Our digital inspection report covers over forty areas in your vehicle and is texted directly to your phone. The report even includes photos of your cabin and air filters! That way, you can decide if you’re ready for a replacement.


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