How Often to Change the Air Filter? – the Ultimate Guide

How Often to Change the Air Filter - the Ultimate Guide

An unclean filter allows allergens, polluting particles, dust, sand, and other debris into the engine and vehicle. They may eventually cause motor damage and health issues. So, how often to change the air filter?

It should be inspected once a year or every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, but this can change depending on the vehicle and driving conditions. You might need to change it more often if you frequently drive through dusty areas or on unpaved roads. For details about your particular vehicle, refer to the owner’s manual. 

Please read on for more detailed information.

How Long Does An Air Filter Last?

The purpose of an engine air filter is to keep the engine clean by capturing contaminants before they can enter. They are created from pleated material, frequently a combination of natural and synthetic fibers, and they are occasionally reinforced. The substance’s goal is to trap microscopic particles—sometimes as small as 5 or 10 microns—so they don’t enter the engine and harm its components. Additionally, they must be sufficiently free-flowing to prevent air from being obstructed from entering the engine.

The engine air filter loses efficiency and gets clogged up over time. The air filter in your car needs to be changed frequently for this reason. Depending on your driving habits, you should change your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. You’ll need to change it more frequently if you drive in an area that is dusty or polluted a lot. You can even complete the task on your own to save some money. Simply make sure to purchase the appropriate filter for your vehicle and replace it according to the directions.

Cabin air filters should be changed at roughly the same intervals. They are susceptible to clogging from environmental debris such as leaves, pollen, bugs, and dirt, just like the engine’s air filter. They may also become wet and grow mold or mildew, which will rot away your car’s interior and make it smell bad. It’s always a good idea to change it once a year.

When Should You Change An Air Filter?

There may be additional causes to change your air filters in addition to the suggested time and mileage. Here are some signs that can let you know something is wrong and needs your attention.

Symptoms of a Dirty Engine Air Filter

Along with how frequently to change air filters, a dirty air filter can result in a number of issues that will reduce the dependability of your car and your confidence while driving. They can include:

  • Reduced fuel economy.
  • Engine misfires.
  • Increased emissions.
  • At idle, the engine makes a hissing sound.
  • If ignored, it could result in engine damage.
  • Check Engine indicator is on.
  • It’s difficult to start your car.
  • Slow acceleration.

You can make sure that your air filter is always clean and that your engine is always running smoothly by keeping an eye out for these symptoms.

Signs Your Cabin Air Filter is Dirty

The ventilation system in your car’s cabin includes cabin filters, which work to keep the air inside the cabin clean and free of allergens like pollen and dust. However, over time, cabin filters may accumulate dirt and debris, decreasing their efficiency and possibly leading to a decline in the quality of the cabin air. It might be time to change your cabin air filter if you notice that the quality of the air inside your vehicle has declined, the vents are emitting a foul or rotten smell, or the airflow from your dash vents has decreased.

How Often to Change the Air Filter - the Ultimate Guide
How Often to Change the Air Filter? – the Ultimate Guide

How to Replace An Air Filter?

Changing an engine air filter or a cabin air filter is not a difficult task. To remove a duct or cover, you typically don’t need any tools, or at most, a screwdriver.

Replacing An Engine Air Filter

Replacing your engine air filter is a simple task that you can do at home with just a few tools. The engine bay of the majority of cars will house the filter, which is usually housed in a box shape. Open the box and take out the old filter after you’ve located the new one. You should recycle the majority of filters, so make sure to dispose of them properly. Simple insertion into the box with the lid closed completes the replacement of the filter. You can maintain a smooth-running engine and increase fuel efficiency by changing your filter on a regular basis.

How to Replace a Cabin Air Filter

The precise steps may differ depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but replacing a cabin air filter is typically a simple procedure. The cabin air filter is typically found behind the glove box or under the hood and is reachable by prying open the panel and taking out the old filter. Simply replace the new filter in its place after removing the old one and close the panel. Your car will have a clean, refreshed cabin free of any unwelcome contaminants with a new cabin air filter installed.

Buy your air filter replacement at an AutoZone near you today and help you and your engine breathe better. Not sure which filter will work for your car or how frequently to change the air filters in your car? Ask a salesperson for advice or shop with the information about your vehicle for an exact fit.


Several variables affect how frequently you should change (or wash) your car’s air filters.

Your filters’ longevity depends on a variety of factors, including the distance you drive, your car’s specifications, and the weather where you drive. Along with mileage, we’ll provide some advice on how to tell when the filter needs to be changed.

This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean.


What Does the Engine Air Filter Do?

For proper combustion, your engine needs a lot of air. The filter aids in preventing dust, insects, and other debris from entering your car’s intake system by keeping that air clean. The engine warning light might turn on as a result of a clogged filter and cause sluggish acceleration. (Do you dislike it when that light turns on?)

Are There Different Types of Engine Air Filters?

The most popular type of filter is paper, and they are made to be thrown away. Gauze filters can be washed and reused, which eventually results in lower costs. Ask a Jiffy Lube technician for assistance or consult your owner’s manual when selecting an engine air filter replacement.

How Do You Know When Your Car Air Filter Needs Changing?

How to check your cabin filter

  1. The cooling or heating in the car begins to make a lot of noise.
  2. The air intake ducts for the cabin can be heard whistling.
  3. Even with the heat or air conditioner on high, the airflow is poor.
  4. Your car’s interior air is starting to smell musty.

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