Replacing an air filter in a car can be a tricky task, as the cost of the replacement depends on the type of car you drive and the auto repair shop you visit. The national average for all vehicles is a good starting point, but it doesn't take into account taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Mobile mechanics are a great option, as they don't have the overhead costs of repair shops. The air filter is an important component of your vehicle's performance.
When it's dirty, the cylinders and oil are exposed to contamination from dirt particles in the air. An engine air filter filters the air that enters the engine and traps dust particles, sand, dirt, and other debris that could damage engine parts. Studies have shown that a clogged filter can slow down acceleration from 20 mph to 80 mph by 6%, 7%, or 12%, depending on the make and model of the car. Repair shops will likely charge you for both the filter and installation.
If you use a reusable air filter (K&N), specify it in the appointment notes, as it may only need cleaning rather than replacement. You can also replace the cabin air filter yourself, as it's an easy and quick procedure. Cabin air filters are important for both you and your vehicle, and they're very affordable if you know where to look. The filter is usually located in a rectangular housing at the front of the engine.
The cost of replacing a cabin air filter may vary depending on whether your car is foreign or not, or if the mechanic is raising the price of a minor repair. Air filters come in different sizes and shapes specific to certain vehicles, so make sure you get one that fits your car. To start this DIY project yourself, all you have to do is buy a spare part from one of the stores and change the old one.