First, it was a pandemic, one with tiny airborne particles, then it was the fires and days on end of smoke and hazardous air. We hate to ask what else 2020 could bring—so we won’t—but given all that we have been through, we will ask, when was the last time you changed your air filters?
If you’re not sure of the answer, you can check your vehicle maintenance records. You can also check your vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended replacement frequency. Under normal circumstances, this would be fine. However, as we all know, 2020 has been far from normal. So as a prudent measure, we are suggesting that now may be the best time to replace your engine and cabin filters, especially if it has been more than a few months. Here is why.
When working properly, the engine filter prevents dust, dirt, and other environmental contaminants from getting into the engine, while providing the air it needs to run. Keeping your engine filter clean has a number of benefits:
- Prolongs Engine Life – Engine damage can occur from the tiniest particles and result in costly repairs. Changing the air filter regularly helps prolong engine life because the air filter is designed to trap dirt and debris that can damage internal engine parts.
- Increase Fuel Efficiency – A clean air filter helps optimize performance and efficiency. A clogged filter causes your engine to work harder, saps acceleration, and lowers fuel economy.
- Improve Emissions – Restricted airflow from clogged filters will affect your vehicle’s emission control systems and can lead to an incorrect air-fuel mix and spark plug ignition problems. A clean air filter will help prevent spark plugs from getting gunked up and minimize engine deposits from too rich of a fuel mixture.
Much like the engine filter keeps contaminants from reaching your engine, the cabin filter helps ensure the air you are breathing inside your vehicle is clean. A clean cabin filter does more than just protect you from pollution and allergens, it has benefits for vehicle performance as well:
- AC / Heater Efficiency – When the cabin filter is dirty or clogged, it has to work harder to pull cool air through the filter. A clean filter, on the other hand, will allow for optimum airflow and that means less time is needed to reach the desired cabin temperature.
- Reduced Allergens – Pollen and other allergens will build up over time in the cabin air filter. If the filter is not changed, the build-up can lead to more allergens actually getting into your cabin.
- Cleaner Air – Just as pollen can build up in a filter, so too can pollution like smog, vehicle exhaust, dust, and smoke. Changing the cabin filter before it gets clogged will help ensure the air you breathe is clean.
- Engine Performance – When your air conditioner or heater has to work harder due to a clogged or dirty filter, your engine has to work harder to power these systems. Keeping your cabin filter clean will put less strain on the engine and can help overall engine performance.
We always check air filters with every oil change. Whether you are due for an oil change or not, your filters may need to be replaced. If you live in an area impacted by the recent fires, chances are your vehicle’s engine filter has been working overtime with all of the smoke and ash.
Schedule an appointment today and let us check your filters for you. We’ll let you know if your engine or cabin filter needs replacing. If they do, it’s a quick fix and you will breathe easier because of it!