There are at least 5 benefits of changing your air filter regularly; better gas mileage, reduced emissions, improved acceleration, increased engine life and overall improved driveability.
1. Increased fuel efficiency:
Changing a clogged air filter can potentially increase acceleration by 6 to 11 percent on modern fuel-injected cars. Other studies claim a 10 percent increase in gas mileage and up to 15¢ per gallon fuel savings. Regardless of the exact figures, it is obvious that a clean air filter improves air flow to the engine and increases engine performance and gas mileage.
2. Reduced emissions:
Clogged air filters can reduce air flow to the engine, literally choking it, and as a result affect the emission control systems of the car causing an incorrect air-fuel mixture and spark plug ignition problems which can lead to serious driveability issues.
3. Prolongs engine life:
Changing the air filter regularly helps prolong engine life because the air filter is designed to trap damaging dirt and debris that can damage internal engine parts. Engine damage can occur from particles as small as a grain of salt and result in costly repairs.
4. Inexpensive and quick fix:
An air filter is one of the least expensive maintenance components to replace and can be done by doing it yourself. It is important to make certain the replacement air filter is designed for your exact make and model of car. On newer, fuel-injected cars, the air filter is usually located near the top front or side of the engine by the throttle body.
5. Easy to track
Air filters should be changed every 15,000 miles or so, more often in dusty driving conditions. The owner's manual maintenance schedule will indicate how often the air filter should be replaced. A dirty air filter might appear clean but should still be replaced at the recommended intervals.
A new air filter will increase gas mileage, reduce emissions, allow optimal air flow and improve engine performance. In addition, changing your air filter regularly will protect the engine and vital internal engine parts from excess wear and damage that result in driveability issues and potentially expensive engine repairs.