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Valvoline Express Care

The ins and outs of vehicle air filter replacement

There are four benefits to changing your air filter on a regular basis; better gas mileage, reduced emissions, improved acceleration/increased engine life and overall improved drivability. For each gallon of fuel burned, the engine uses up to 10,000 gallons of air; thus why it is easy to understand how vital a clean air filter is to the proper operation of a car.
1. Increased fuel efficiency
Some studies indicate that replacing a dirty air filter increases fuel mileage on older, carbureted cars by as much as 14 percent if the filter is so dirty it affects drivability. In addition, changing a clogged air filter can potentially increase acceleration by 6 to 11 percent on modern fuel-injected cars. 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 drivability issues. Spark plugs can become fouled which often times result in an engine miss or rough idle, while also greatly affecting fuel mileage. It can also increase engine deposits caused by having too rich of a fuel mixture and may cause the “Service Engine Soon” light to illuminate. Increased air flow to the engine allows it to operate properly reducing fuel consumption and reducing emissions.
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 such as the cylinders and pistons. Engine damage can occur from particles as small as a grain of salt and result in costly repairs.
4. Easy to track
Air filters should be changed every 12,000 to 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.
Cabin Filters:
When it comes to keeping up with vehicle maintenance, replacing the cabin air filter probably isn’t at the top of your list. Cabin air filters often live in the shadows of their more popular cousins-the engine air filter and oil filter-and some drivers don’t even know they exist. But most auto technicians agree they play an important role in filtering pollutants from entering the vehicle’s cabin
What is a cabin air filter?
The primary purpose of cabin air filters, located on most vehicles since 2000, is keeping the air inside your vehicle’s cabin clean. It’s typically located behind the glove compartment or under the hood or dashboard on most modern vehicles. Its job is to filter all of the air that comes through the car’s HVAC system to prevent pollutants, such as dust pollen, smog and mold spores from entering. The filters can also catch rodent droppings, leaves and other unwanted debris. Besides improving air quality, replacing the cabin air filter may prevent an expensive repair.“When the air is dirty, the A/C will work harder and the motor will burn up,” says Steve Bufford, Owner of Valvoline Express Care.
Bufford says replace the cabin air filter every 15,000 to 25,000 miles, or once a year. Most manufacturers recommend replacement every 30,000 miles, but drivers should check their owners manuals first.
At Valvoline Express Care we offer a full line of Air and Cabin filters. Come in today and let us help you keep your car performing at its best and you on the road!