Why Spring Is the Best Time to Change Your Air Filter

Springtime Chevy Truck

When you think of the term “spring cleaning,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably your home. But did you know that it can (and should) apply to your car, too? Since you drive your car year-round, it's easy to assume that if nothing seems amiss, everything is okay. But there are actually some smaller maintenance tasks you can perform on your car to keep it in top shape. One is cleaning the air filter. By doing so, you'll see a number of benefits ranging from improved fuel economy to reduced emissions and even a longer engine lifespan.

Although particulates can enter your vehicle's air filter system any time of year, it is more likely to happen in the spring. That's because there are more particles in the air this time of year than just about any other season, with perhaps the exception of fall. Pollen and dirt can make their way from the outside air into your vehicle's air filter, which eventually causes it to become clogged. This causes the air filter to work harder, and eventually, it wears the part down.

When to Get an Air Filter Changed

Experts say that an air filter should be changed somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 miles (or as indicated in your owner's manual). However, it should be at least checked, if not changed, sometime during spring too. Along with mileage, you can watch for signs that indicate the air filter might need attention. If the air conditioning system seems to be working harder than usual, if the cabin air smells musty or the interior seems stuffy, or if your car's gas mileage appears to be dropping for no apparent reason, bring your vehicle in to get an inspection. A certified mechanic can take a look at the air filter to see if a clog is an issue.

What Happens if You Don't Clear an Air Filter?

Spring Camping Made Easy

It's important to clear a clogged air filter as soon as possible to prevent further damage down the road. Letting an air filter run dirty can compromise larger components like the air conditioning system and engine. If clean air cannot reach the engine, it essentially puts the engine in a chokehold. The car's emissions control sensors may also start to malfunction if they become dirty. As a result, the engine will have an improper ratio of fuel and air in its system. This can reduce performance and cause damage to the engine.

When the warmer weather arrives, you are probably tempted to jump in the car and go. But before you do, you'll need to make sure it is in good working order. Checking the air filter and changing it as needed goes a long way in ensuring that your car is around for a long, happy, and healthy time.

By keeping the air filter in prime condition, you'll avoid potentially more complex and expensive car repairs down the road. You'll also get better gas mileage, and the air in the cabin will be cleaner. So when you're starting to think about getting your home in top shape for the spring, contact us to learn more about changing your car's air filter and find out if it's something you need to do.

Categories: Service, Tips & Tricks