Why Air Filters Are Important

You probably heard of this saying: Out of sight, out of mind. For some car owners, especially for those who have little knowledge of cars, if they don’t see the parts of the car, they may either don’t think about it or don’t know when maintenance is due. Negligence of general maintenance of your car will result in the break down of its functions which will cost you a lot of money to repair down the road. As a Honda technician, I find one of the causes of engine problems is the car owner forgetting to change the air filter on a regular basis. On two occasions, the cause of engine problem was rather interesting. Here’s what I found:

Car One – A car was brought because the engine kept stalling. When I inspected the air filter, I found a nest probably made by a mouse below the air filter. The nest was the cause of the engine problem because it blocked the air flowing to the engine.

Car Two – A car was brought in because the engine idle was high. When I inspected the air filter, I found it was chewed up by a mouse. As I was removing the air filter, I found a dead mouse stuck in the throttle body.

So what is the role of air filters and why it is important to change them? If you don’t know, please read on…

Air filters are an important part of any car because they help keep the engine running cleanly. Engines must draw in air through an intake, but impurities in the air can dirty the inner workings of your engine and slowly degrade it. Air filters remove these impurities so that only clean air is accepted into the engine and therefore helps to maintain it.

Since air filters capture the pollution present in air, they can quickly become clogged with residue. If the clogging becomes too severe, the engine will not properly be able to draw in sufficient air and may fail to work. Because of this, it is important to change your air filters fairly regularly—the recommended period in between changes is 12 months or 12,000 miles; whichever comes first. Depending on the pollution levels where you live, you may want to change the filters even more regularly for maximum engine performance.

An air filter replacement can be performed by a technician and usually costs around $20, but you can also change the filter yourself if you know how to do it. Replacement parts usually cost between $10 and $15, though high-performance versions can cost more.

Air filters help keep your engine performing at the level it should by only allowing it to run on filtered air. Changing your air filters regularly can prevent loss of performance, including decreased gas mileage and shortened engine life. Make sure your engine is running properly: keep your filters reasonably clean by changing them when recommended.