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mechanic working with an air filter under the hood of a vehicle

Clear the Air: The Lowdown on Vehicle Air Filters

Published on May 8, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

Did you know that just like us, cars need to breathe too? That's right! And they rely on air filters to ensure they're taking in clean air. Let's dive into the significance of air filters and why you should pay attention to them.


Why are air filters essential?

Think of your vehicle's air filters as its lungs. There are two main types: engine air filters and cabin air filters. Engine air filters protect your engine from harmful debris, while cabin air filters keep the air inside your car clean and fresh. Both are crucial for your vehicle's performance and your comfort.


Engine Air Filters

These filters play a vital role in keeping your engine running smoothly. When your car's engine "breathes" in air, it's mixed with fuel and burned to create power. If that air is filled with dirt, dust, or other particles, it can cause damage to your engine, leading to reduced performance and costly repairs down the line.


Cabin Air Filters

Cabin air filters ensure that the air inside your car is clean and free from pollutants like dust, pollen, and smog. If you've ever had a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or sneezing fits while driving, a clogged cabin air filter might be the culprit. Changing this filter regularly can make your drives much more enjoyable.


When should you change your air filters?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on factors like the type of vehicle, the environment you drive in, and how much you drive. However, a good rule of thumb is to replace your engine air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, and your cabin air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.


If you live in a dusty or polluted area, or if you frequently drive on dirt roads, you might need to change your filters more often. Always consult your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations.


How to change your air filters

Changing air filters is a relatively simple task that you can do yourself, but if you're not comfortable doing it, your professional technicians at Kunes Auto Group are always here to help. For those who prefer the DIY route, here's a quick overview:


  • Locate the air filter housing under your car's hood (check your owner's manual if you're not sure where it is).
  • Remove the clips or screws holding the housing in place.
  • Take out the old filter and clean the housing with a damp cloth.
  • Replace the filter with a new one, making sure it's seated correctly.
  • Reattach the housing and secure it in place.
  • Changing your cabin air filter is a similar process, but you'll usually find it behind your glovebox or under the dashboard. Again, consult your owner's manual for specific instructions.


Final Thoughts

Air filters may not be the flashiest part of your car, but they play a crucial role in keeping your engine running smoothly and your cabin air clean. Regular maintenance of these filters can save you money in the long run and make your drives more enjoyable. So next time you're getting an oil change or checking your tire pressure, don't forget to give your air filters some love too!


For more information about air filters, contact your local Kunes Service Center today!

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