Engine Air Filters: 12,000 Reasons They Pay For Themselves

You might have found yourself in a similar situation at some point: You go to get an oil change on your car and the person helping you at the service center recommends a new air filter for your engine. You say yes, hoping you did the right thing, but because you didn't know exactly what the air filters exact purpose is you leave wondering.

First of all, you did the right thing by getting a new engine air filter. Also, at Loren's Auto Repair, we never want you to be too embarrassed to ask your Service Advisor for more information if you need more information or help understanding what is needed.  It's your vehicle and your money and you have a right to understand what you're paying for.

Let's take a moment to review what an air filter does and why they are so vitally important:

The air is the focus of this particular discussion. Here is a question to think about... what is the air like outside in Kalispell throughout the year? Can you see any smoke or haze from forest fires or chimneys burning? Is the air full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in MT with hay fever can tell you that there's plenty in the air that you can't see. Well, it's the engine air filter's job to clean that air before it goes into your engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, for every gallon of gas you burn, your engine needs 12,000 gallons of air. That little filter does a very big job. It's no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn't clean as well. It can't move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way - the engine can't get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and wasted gas.

That's why your vehicle's manufacturer has recommended that you change your filter at regular service intervals. Of course the many conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty and how long it will do its job.  If you drive where it's very dusty or where there's lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your automotive service technician can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement, or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you'll need to replace it at your next service interval - like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty air filter hurts your fuel economy, many people find that a new air filter pays for itself in gas savings before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

Remember... the better your car breathes, the better your car runs - kind of like people. And don't worry - if you have a question or don't understand a recommendation just ask.

Loren's Auto Repair
1309 US Hwy 2 West
Kalispell, MT 59901