Engine Air Filter A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by

A car engine air filter is very important to ensure the safety and proper working of an engine. Without it, the engine will not last long. You may face engine wear, reduced power, and difficulty in accelerating if you have a bad engine air filter. 

Image of Car Engine Air Filter
Car Engine Air Filter

What is an engine air filter

A car engine air filter is part of a car that is responsible for delivering clean air to the engine. These filters are usually made from multi-layer paper and cotton blends. 

A car’s internal combustion engine needs air to burn fuel and produce power. However, any dust and debris in the incoming air will contaminate the air-fuel mixture. This can damage the engine’s internal components. 

So an air filter in good working condition is very important for the proper working of a car engine.

What does an air filter do in a car

A car engine air filter works to remove dust and debris from incoming air. Air that is coming from outside and into the engine needs to be cleaned from all kinds of dust and debris. 

These car air filters have small holes in them. When air passes through the filter, it only allows air particles to pass and enter the engine. All dust particles are stopped and stuck over the filter surface.

Without this filter, the engine will not last long. Dust particles in the engine will produce wear and tear on cylinder walls, piston walls, and piston rings and can also affect spark plugs. 


What does the air filter do in a car ? It removes dust from the air going into the car engine.

Types of engine air filter

There are two main types of car engine air filters. 

  • Disposable engine air filters 
  • Reusable engine air filters

Unlike the cabin air filter, the material does not play any key role in filter performance. This is because any smell going into the engine is not a thing of concern. 

What is a Disposable car engine air filter?

A disposable or single-use filter cannot be washed and reused after a recommended interval of time.

This means a disposable filter has to be changed with a new one once its useful life has passed. These filters are usually less expensive and somewhat more efficient.

What is a Reusable car engine air filter?

A reusable or washable filter can be washed and reused after a fixed interval mentioned by the manufacturer.

These filters usually have 3 to 4 times the life of a disposable filter but also cost 4 to 5 times the cost of a single-use filter.

Engine air filter cost

A disposable air filter costs between $15 to $20 and a reusable filter costs about $60 to $80. It all depends on the brand, make, and model of the engine air filter. 

Before buying the filter, it’s important to know what size of the filter is best for your car and needs. There might be rules and regulations made by a state that may affect filter selection.

Engine air filter replacement cost

Engine air filter replacement cost can be anything between $50 to $100 depending on your location. You can very easily avoid labor cost through DIY as it only take 5 minutes.

You only need to locate the filter, remove its cover. Then remove and replace the filter and your are all done. Doing this will only cost you filter cost.

Where is the car engine air filter location

The car engine air filter location is under the hood, on your right side at the start of the engine intake.

It truly depends on the car make and model but most filters can easily be located based on the above location. 

How often to replace the air filter in car

A disposable car engine air filter should be replaced after every 12,000 miles and a reusable filter should be replaced after every 75,000 miles. 

How often to replace an engine air filter truly depends on the make and model of the filter and the environmental conditions you mostly drive in. 

If you drive in relatively clean surroundings then the filter can last long but if you drive in a highly polluted area then you need to replace the filter much quicker. 

Closing Remarks

What does an air filter do in a car ? It cleans the air coming into the engine. So you should replace the engine air filter after every 12,000 miles or 75,000 miles if it’s reusable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *