Driving without an air filter is a bad idea. Without an air filter, the engine can suck in dirt and debris, which can damage internal engine parts like valves, pistons, and cylinder walls. This can lead to excessive oil consumption, poor engine performance, and ultimately engine failure. It's important to keep the air inside your vehicle clean and filtered.
A study found that the average American spends 225 hours a year traveling. This means you and your family are exposed to potential respiratory problems if the air filter isn't doing its job of preventing pollen and dust particles from entering your car through the air conditioner. To avoid this, it's best to check the filters as part of regular vehicle maintenance. The air inside the car also carries dust and spores that can be irritating in large quantities.
If the filter is too old, clogged, or damaged, it won't be able to filter the air properly and the problem will only get worse. The air filter is responsible for trapping contaminants like dirt, sand, worn tire particles, dust, and pollen so that only clean air passes through to the engine. Without enough clean air entering the system, the engine won't be able to generate power. A clogged or dirty air filter can also cause other problems like strange engine noises or decreased fuel consumption.
If you notice any of these symptoms before the recommended time for changing the filter, you should replace it immediately. Additionally, a clogged filter can start emitting bad odors. To keep breathing fresh air, check and clean your filters regularly. Most people know about oil changes or tire rotation but may overlook their air filter.
It usually needs to be changed every 10,000 to 20,000 miles but if you drive a lot or on surfaces with a lot of dirt or sand, you may need to replace it more often - for example each time you change your oil. To learn more about air filters and how to keep them in good condition, talk to an expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.