Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does an Air Filter Last?

air filter

Every internal combustion engine needs air in order to work. Without it, fuel does not burn and provide the force needed to deliver power to the engine. Additionally, the air has to be clean. Otherwise, dust and debris will foul the engine, reducing performance, wearing down metal components, and shortening the life of your car. When the engine fails to get enough air, more strain is placed upon it.

This is where your car’s air filter comes in. From the time you start your car until the moment you turn it off, your air filter is always working. It delivers the correct amount of air to the engine, and traps the dirt that can harm the engine. However, even the finest air filter is only going to do its job for so long. So, how do you know when you should change the air filter?

It depends a great deal on your driving conditions. If you do a lot of “stop and go” city driving, or if you spend a lot of time exploring dirt roads, you will probably have to replace the air filter more frequently than someone who drives infrequently, and usually on pavement.

Your air filter should be changed about every 6,000 to 10,000 miles, and ideally at the same time you change your oil. At the very least, you should have it inspected. Simply stated, it doesn’t cost anything to take a look, and you could avoid expensive repairs later on.

Regardless of these guidelines, given that air filters can wear out at different rates, you should be aware of symptoms that indicate the air filter is coming to the end of its life. Signs that your air filter needs to be replaced include:

  • A significant decrease in gas mileage
  • Ignition problems, slow starting or failure to start
  • Engine misfiring
  • Engine idles rough
  • Service Engine Light is on

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should look to have your air filter replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: How do I replace the cabin filter?

To improve the quality and efficacy of your air conditioning system, you should replace the filter with some regularity. This can be done from inside your vehicle, with just a few steps: Open the glove box. Remove the damper...

Q: Need transmission replaced.

Sounds like you may have some transmission problems, I would take it to a transmission specialist to determine what the problem is.

Q: How do you use the Maintenance Minder™ with the multi-information display?

Your car’s multi-information display gives you access to a lot of information about your vehicle, including the various services and when they’re due. Here’s how you use the Maintenance Minder™ on your car: Turn the key to the on...