Do You Really Need That Air Filter They Always Want to…December 6, 2012 | in Defensive Driving Tips
You have probably encountered sales people trying to get you to add-on items at restaurants and department stores, but when you get your car serviced they only recommend items you really need, right? Unfortunately, no. In fact, many service advisors work on commission, so they will try to get you to purchase anything for your car that they can. One of the easiest add-ons for them to get you on is an air filter. After all, your car needs clean air to operate efficiently, and they usually don’t cost too much. However, you may be spending unnecessary money.
So how often do I need to replace my air filter?
That all depends. First, you need to consult that handy little manual that came with your car. It will have recommendations for you to follow for your type of vehicle. However, this is not set in stone. You also need to consider the environment in which you drive your car. If you live somewhere with notoriously dusty or dirty air, you will probably need to change the air filter more often. That being said, Edmunds.com advises that most vehicles only require the air filter to be changed every 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you are like most people, you probably get your oil changed every 3 months. That means that you only need to replace the air filter every three oil changes.
So why do they offer it to me at every oil change?
If you worked on commission, wouldn’t you try to offer it to every person that walked through the door? They count on you not knowing any better, so prove them wrong.
How do I really know when to change it?
Even if you refer to your owner’s manual and follow its recommendations, the best way to truly know when you need to change your air filter is to pull it out and look at it. If it is dirty, it needs to be replaced. If not, you are good to go for another six months or so, and then you need to check it again.
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