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This is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your car burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block!  The engine air filter is just another example of a very inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well.  But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems.

Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing your air filter.  But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often.  Your technician can check your filter for you.  In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter.  Your car needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones.  A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes.  They also come in different grades.  There are high performance air filters available for most cars.  These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So have your air filter checked.  If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.