A Car-ful Passion

3 Reasons Why You Should Change Your Car's Air Filter At Your Next Oil Change

Are you scheduled to get an oil change soon? If your mechanic provides good service, he or she will likely check other areas of your car, including your lights, your fluids, and your air filter. It's not uncommon for a mechanic to actually bring out an air filter to show the customer just how dirty it is. It might be tempting to decline a new air filter, as you may not want to pay the extra expense. However, given how important your air filter, which might be made by a company like Williams Oil Filter Service Co., is to your car's functionality, you may be wise to have it changed. Here are a few reasons why it could be a good idea to change your air filter at your next oil change:

A clean air filter improves engine performance. Your engine needs a combination of both fuel and oxygen to reach its highest level of performance. Air passes through the filter on the way to the engine. As its name suggests, the filter's job is to filter out all the elements of the air that are not oxygen. That includes dirt, grime, and other pollutants.

However, if your filter is dirty, it can't be effective at filtering those elements out. Less total air flow will get through the clogged filter and the air that does get through will have a higher level of contaminants. That means your engine may not get the oxygen it needs to operate effectively.

It improves fuel efficiency. If your engine isn't getting enough oxygen to operate at its most efficient levels, it has only one recourse. It must burn more fuel to make up for the lack of oxygen. As you might suspect, that makes your car less fuel efficient and means you'll have to fill up the tank more often.

However, if you keep a clean filter, your engine will get the right combination of oxygen and fuel. That means it will have to use less fuel while it's running, which should save you money at the pump.

You may need fewer oil changes. If dirt and other pollutants get through the air filter and into the engine, they eventually make their way into the engine oil. Dirt and grime can cause oil to break down and lose some of its important lubricating ability. The whole point of an oil change is to replace the dirty oil so that your engine stays lubricated.

If you always know that you have a clean air filter, though, then you can be confident that dirt and grime aren't making their way into your oil. If that's the case, then you may be able to go longer in between oil changes, saving you a bit on maintenance expenses.

For more information, talk to your mechanic. He or she can check out your filter and advise on whether you should change it.