Engine Air Filters vs. Cabin Air Filters


Your vehicle has two kinds of air filters: the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. While both filters have similar functions, they serve different parts of your vehicle. Both filters are important, and both need to be changed on a regular basis to help maintain your car.

Engine Air Filters

Your engine needs air to help with combustion. The engine’s air filter helps to protect your engine from dust, dirt, bugs, and other debris. By keeping debris filtered out, the air filter lets clean air into your engine and helps to increase fuel economy and engine performance. A clogged filter can lead to decreased engine performance, higher fuel consumption, and damage to your engine.

Cabin Air Filters

Cabin air filters work similarly, but they filter air for your car’s passenger cabin rather than the engine. A cabin air filter will keep dust, allergens, leaves, bugs, and other contaminates from entering your car’s cabin so you and your passengers can breathe easily while you drive.

When do you need to change your filters?

Most manufacturers recommend changing your engine air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. How often you should change it will depend on the types of driving you do. If you spend a lot of time in hot weather, heavy traffic, driving on gravel or dirt roads, or off-roading, you’ll need to change your engine air filter more regularly. For specifics on your vehicle, you can check your owner’s manual.

You should change your cabin air filter at least one to two times a year. The same general rule of thumb applies to your cabin air filter as your engine air filter: If you drive through dust or heavy traffic often, you should change your cabin air filter more often.

Signs Your Filters Need Replacing

The first and most obvious sign that you need to replace either filter is that the filter is visibly dirty. Dirt and debris build up over time, clogging your filters and making them less effective.

Signs that you need to change your engine air filter include:

  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Reduced acceleration
  • Engine misfires
  • A lit check engine light
  • A hissing noise while your car is idling

Signs that you need to change your cabin air filter include:

  • Decreased cabin air quality
  • A rotting smell coming from your air vents
  • Less air blowing out of your air vents

Called Restored Auto, LLC for all your maintenance needs.

Does your engine or cabin air filter need to be replaced? Call Restored Auto, LLC for help. We can inspect your air filters and change them to keep your car running smoothly and safely. Call us today to schedule your vehicle’s maintenance.

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