What Does the Air Filter in My Car Do?

It depends on which air filter you are talking about. York Tire & Auto Service explains that your vehicle actually has two air filters. There is one air filter in the engine and one that filters the air blowing into the passenger cabin. Let’s talk about your automobile’s air filters when they need to be changed, and the purposes they serve in ensuring you and your car, truck, or utility vehicle are a-okay.

Cabin Air Filter

Let’s start with the cabin air filter because it does not need to be changed that often. This filter is located in the air ducts that send air flowing in from the outside to your vehicle’s air conditioning system. On average, a cabin air filter should be changed every 30,000 miles. This filter’s primary job is to ensure contaminants, dust, exhaust, and pollen stay out of your vehicle’s cabin.

Engine Air Filter

The engine’s air filter is located toward the front of the engine and this is a filter that you can check yourself. Look at your owner’s manual to see where the air filter is located, unscrew the top cover, lift it off, and check to make sure there isn’t too much dirt or grime in the filter. If there is, the air filter must be changed. On average, this filter is replaced every 12,000 miles.

Clean Air Filter Advantages

Because of what it does, there are many advantages to ensuring your automobile’s engine always has a clean air filter. Air is drawn through the grille and then routed through the filter to purify it before it flows into the combustion chamber. Once in the combustion chamber, the air is combined with gasoline in the engine cylinders. The spark plugs detonate the air and gas in each cylinder and, voilà, your engine starts and runs.

In order to run efficiently, your engine needs a fresh supply of clean air in the combustion chamber. This increases your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, reduces the emissions flowing out of the tailpipe, and gives you more life out of your vehicle’s engine. A clogged air filter can actually prevent combustion, which means you won’t be able to start your automobile or, if you do get it started, you’ll end up with engine performance issues and stalling problems.

York Tire & Auto Service in Red Lion, PA, would be happy to check both your engine air filter and your cabin air filter to see if they need to be changed. If they do, we can swap out the old ones for new ones and get you back on the road quickly.


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