You should check your car's air filter at least once a year. Many people choose to replace the filter right away, but some mechanics suggest that it can last anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 miles. It all depends on how much you drive and the type of vehicle you have. Maintenance schedules for different car brands vary in terms of how often the air filter needs to be changed.
For example, Chevrolet recommends changing the filter every 45,000 miles, while Ford suggests every 30,000 miles for many of its engines. Hyundai also suggests changing it every 30,000 miles, but shortens it to 15,000 for “severe driving conditions” such as heavy traffic in hot climates and frequent driving on unpaved roads or dusty conditions. If you are driving in such conditions, it is important to replace the air filter as soon as possible. Some mechanics also recommend changing the cabin air filter during regular maintenance visits.
If you notice black areas in the section where outside air enters, it may be time to change it. It is a good idea to regularly check your engine's air filter to make sure it is clean. If the filter is blocked or clogged, it will not allow air to pass through easily and can cause a strange high-pitched groan behind the dashboard or make the air conditioning system sound louder. A dirty filter can also let polluting and allergenic particles, dust, sand and other debris enter the engine and car.
In addition, if the air filter is too clogged, the HVAC system will have to work harder than necessary, putting extra strain on the engines and ventilation system. If you have changed an air filter in your air conditioning unit or air exchange unit or even in your vacuum cleaner, you can probably change the air filter in your car's cabin. Changing the air filter in your car or truck regularly is an economical way to ensure that your driving experience is more pleasant and that your vehicle lasts longer and performs better. The purpose of having a cabin air filter is to protect car occupants from particles and odors outside the car before they start to seep into the vehicle; once this happens, the filter has lost its effectiveness.
According to Prokopenko, the air filter is “one of the most overlooked maintenance items in a car”. Replacing your engine air filter is an often overlooked maintenance item, but a dirty air filter can have a negative effect on your car's performance. The engine air filter keeps the air your engine “breathes” clean and free of dirt, dust, and other particulates which can affect how efficiently your car works. If you notice that your engine is receiving too much or too little air and oxygen, it may be time to check the air filter.