What Do My Car’s Air Filters Do?

A few blog posts back, we talked about what your vehicle’s fuel filter did. Now, let’s talk about the air filters. Most automobiles are equipped with two air filters, one in the engine and one for the vehicle’s cabin, i.e. the interior. Changing these filters regularly not only helps improve your engine’s efficiency and performance but also keeps you healthier in the case of the cabin air filter. Kauai Auto Repair can check all of your vehicle’s filters, including the air filters, and replace them when necessary. Let’s talk about the air filters, what they do, and when they should be changed.

Engine Air Filter

Your engine’s air filter has the crucial job of ensuring that all air drawn into the engine is as clean as possible. Your engine relies on air to start, run, and accelerate. A combination of air and fuel is burned while your engine is running to create the combustion it needs to produce power. Without the filter, contaminants such as dirt and debris would seriously damage engine parts.

Although it appears to be dirty, there are inside portions of your engine that must be clean at all times, which is part of what the motor oil does as it flows through it – cleans the engine. Replacing the filter every 12,000 miles prevents it from getting clogged and introducing grime into your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine. This boosts engine performance and increases your fuel economy.

Cabin Filter

The cabin filter is responsible for cleaning the air that flows into your vehicle’s interior through the vents. It’s important that this filter is kept clean because part of its job is to filter out engine exhaust. Problems with the cabin air filter, or problems with your exhaust system, push exhaust into your vehicle’s interior. You don’t need us to tell you how dangerous this can be.

Carbon monoxide flowing into the cabin can cause illness and death, which is why it’s important to have the cabin air filter changed and your exhaust system maintained. A good rule of thumb is to change the cabin air filter every 30,000 miles. You may need to do so sooner, however, if you find yourself with a headache, feeling drowsy, feeling nauseous, or otherwise sick every time you drive your car.

Head over to Kauai Auto Repair, LLC, in Lihue, HI, if you think you’re overdue for air filter changes. We’d be happy to inspect your filters and replace them if they are dirty.

Photo by MarekUsz from Getty Images via Canva Pro