Skip to content

4 Reasons to Replace Your Vehicle’s Air Filters

(Including your Health!)

As we enter the cold seasons here in Fauquier County, VA we’ll all soon be commuting and traveling with the windows up and the heat on… and suddenly our air filters are more important than ever. Though it may not be something in the front of our minds, ideally vehicle air filters should be replaced every 12,000-15,000 miles, or once a year. Let’s take a look at 4 significant reasons why replacing your vehicle’s air filters is in your (and the community’s) best interest. 

Don't let your filters get this bad!

1. Vehicle Performance

According to a 2009 study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they found replacing air filters on modern, computer controlled, fuel-injected engines, the average acceleration times increased by 6-11%! They also found in carbureted engines (those out of production since the early 1980’s) replacing engine air filters gained 2-6% increase in fuel economy. 

With gas prices reaching for the clouds at the pump, we’re all doing what we can to save when filling up. A common misconception regarding air filters is that they will increase gas mileage, but in modern vehicles replacing your engine’s air filter won’t have a direct effect. However, if your fuel filter is serviceable and you want to save at the pump, be sure to replace it. You can refer to your vehicle’s manual and check out our 12 Tips to Improve Gas Mileage.

2. Engine Health

This is a big one, with today’s inflated vehicle prices, we all should be doing everything we can to make sure our current vehicles last as long as possible! Clean air filters allow for unrestricted flow of filtered air to enter your engine, allowing it to operate at optimal performance. Clean air ignites faster inside the cylinder, which in turn provides a smoother, more efficient engine operation. 

When the filters are full of dust, dirt and debris, they restrict the passage of airflow which can cause a slow acceleration, reduced power output and misfiring. Prolonged use of a dirty air filter can lead to severe consequences for your vehicle’s engine. As the filters become dirtier, your engine works harder to provide the necessary air flow, increasing the strain on your engine. Increased engine strain can lead to reducing the life span of various engine components, an increase in risk for mechanical failure and premature wear of your engine itself. Additionally, dirty and worn filters allow contaminants through to your engine. These bits of debris can cause moderate to severe damage to components such as cylinders, pistons, and valves among others, leading to costly repairs and time at the shop.

All in all, replacing your engine air filters is a low-cost way to protect your engine and help your vehicle perform the way it was built to perform. 

3. Decreased Emissions

We’ve only got one world; we should do all we can to protect it for future generations. A simple way to help decrease your vehicle’s emissions is to replace your filters. When your vehicle’s air filter is clogged, restricted airflow can lead to an improper combustion process, this in turn creates an imbalance fuel-to-air ratio which can result in incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion causes higher hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, which contribute to the air pollution in our very communities. Replace your air filters to preserve our beautiful area of Virginia!

4. Your Health

For those of us with allergies, you may notice they kick up in your vehicle even after allergy season has ended. Your vehicle’s cabin air filter stops all sorts of particles, allergens and pollutants from entering the cabin and ultimately, your lungs. But if your cabin’s air filter is full of pollen, dust and even mold spores… you’ll be breathing that in every time you start  your vehicle! 

Regular replacement of your vehicle’s cabin air filter helps capture these harmful and frankly, gross particles, and prevents you and your passengers from breathing them in time and time again. Make sure your vehicle’s environment is healthy and clean with a quick cabin air filter change at least once a year. 

Do Electric Vehicles need their filters changed?

Electric Vehicles do not have engine air filters, but they do have battery air filters and cabin air filters. The recommendations for replacing the EV air filter ranges from 1-3 years. The future EV’s are expected to have a HEPA air filter that not only cleans the air for the passengers but also cleans the air outside the vehicle. Technology!

All in all, replacing your vehicle engine and cabin air filters is a quick and easy way to help your vehicle run at its fullest potential, ensure you and your passengers breathe healthy and clean air all while contributing to bettering the air quality of our small community of Fauquier. Here at Global Automotive, we check the quality of your air filters during your oil change service. Call to schedule your vehicle service and/or annual state inspection today! 


From all of us at Global Automotive, stay safe and breathe healthy this winter, Fauquier!

Call Now