Car Maintenance Tips: Understanding and Inspecting the Air Filter

Car Maintenance Tyler TXOwning and operating a car can be difficult at times. When it comes to car maintenance, you may find that you are physically, emotionally and financially overwhelmed. Oil changes, tire rotations and even interior detailing are important to keep your car functional and appealing. However, focusing on the air filter is also important. Using this guide, you will have a full understanding of the air filter and when and why it is time for a replacement.

The 411 on Air Filters

In order for your car to run, internal combustion must occur. During this process, gas combines with air, then burns and creates the force that powers the engine.

If the air that combines with the gas is dirty, dirt, dust and other debris will get into the engine causing severe problems, such as worn cylinders, bearings and piston rings. This can result in a complete engine failure.

To protect your engine, an air filter traps and filters out dirt and dust before it can enter the engine. Over time, the filter will become clogged with dirt, dust and other debris, so periodic inspections and replacements are imperative.


Each vehicle manufacturer recommends a specific mileage interval or time to replace the air filter. You can find this information in your owner’s manual, or ask a mechanic who works on your specific make and model of vehicle. This simple task is a key part of vehicle maintenance.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing air filters every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, but if your filter is visibly dirty, you should invest in a replacement sooner.

In most cars, the air filter is located in a rectangular-shaped box near the front of the vehicle when you open the hood. If you are unable to locate the filter, consult your owner’s manual.

Pop off the top of the box, known as the cold air collector box, and set the cover aside. Gently reach your hands into the box and pull out the filter.

If the filter appears visibly discolored with dirt and dust, replace it immediately. If the filter is only slightly discolored, hold it up towards the sun to shine light through. If you are unable to see light coming through the filter, it is time for a replacement.

Replacing your air filter may seem unimportant, but it is an imperative part of protecting your car’s function and value. To learn more about car maintenance in the Tyler, TX, area, contact Hughes Automotive today at (903) 730-6788.

Hughes Automotive | Car Maintenance Tyler TX | (903) 730-6788

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