How Long Should an Air Filter Last?

All internal combustion engines require air to function. The fuel cannot burn on its own to generate energy, oxygen supports combustion, and it is not easy for air to access the cylinders unless injected. The engine is very delicate, and any percentage of impurity can damage it. The air getting into the engine has to be clean. If not, all the debris and dirt accompanying the air will come into contact with the engine resulting in reduced engine performance and an increased rate at which your engine will wear out. How long should an air filter last before needing to be replaced? Here is a guide to that and how to go about it.

The engine strains a lot when it does not receive adequate air, the fuel in the combustion chamber will not burn effectively, and the cooling system will not be able to function effectively. The air filter ensures the engine’s air is free from dirt and other impurities. When you start your engine, the air filter works until you turn it off. It will deliver the required quantity of air into the engine, preventing trapping impurities carried by the air from reaching the engine. However, even the best air filter will not serve you forever. At some point, it has to be clogged and become faulty.

How Long Should an Air Filter Last?

The frequency of replacing the air filters solely depends on the nature of the places you regularly drive your truck. When you drive primarily on rough and dusty roads, making many stops, and going on city driving, you must replace your filters more often. 

Consider changing your air filter after covering 10,000miles. It is ideal for changing the filters whenever you do an oil change. You must regularly check the condition of your filter. Doing this is the only way to ensure they are in good working condition or need a replacement. Doing regular check-ups will save you from performing expensive repairs.

Regardless of the above guidelines, the rate at which your air filter will wear out may vary. You must be conversant with the symptoms associated with faulty air filters. The following signs indicate that your air filter is defective, and you should consider replacing it.

  • The rate at which your truck consumes fuel starts to be higher than usual. You will note the rate at which the fuel gauge drops even after covering a shorter distance will increase. 
  • You may experience problems with the ignition of your truck. It may take time or fail to start. The ignition problem usually results from the combustion chamber not getting adequate oxygen to initiate combustion. 
  • You will experience a rough engine idling.
  • The engine check-light will appear on your dashboard.

These are signs you will experience when your truck needs a new air filter.


The engine is the most delicate part of a truck. As much as it is fragile, it will need air to function properly. Air carries many impurities that should not get into contact with the engine. The engine filter traps dirt and other contaminants and delivers pure air to the engine. The role the air filter plays makes it clog and with time could become faulty. This guide has elaborated on when to replace and how to know the air filters need a replacement. 

Steps For Cleaning A Truck Air Filter

The engine requires air and fuel for it to generate energy. It gets air from the surrounding, which goes into the combustion chamber through the intake valves. Air entering the engine might carry harmful substances, such as dirt, and the air filter traps all the toxic substances that might damage your engine. As the air filter performs its functions, dirt piles up on it, which later makes it difficult for the air filter to function effectively. Here we will cover the steps for cleaning a truck air filter easily.

Whenever your truck shows signs of a bad air filter, consider checking if you will need to buy a new one or clean the one you have. Most truck manufacturers and professional mechanics recommend that you should replace your air filters after covering 15,000 miles. To enhance the performance of your truck, consider checking the air filter system. A bad air filter will interfere with your truck’s performance and fuel efficiency. To restore your air filter, you need to clean it. 

Steps For Cleaning A Truck Air Filter

The air filter is made of cotton, paper, or both. Before cleaning the air filter, look at your manufacturer’s guide or filter guidebook. These two sources will give adequate information on what to use and how to clean the air filters. If your air filter is coated with oil, never use soap to clean it. Instead, consider using other cleaning agents. 

To clean your air filters, have the following. A bucket, Microfiber cloths, Screwdriver, Vacuum, liquid soap, warm water

Cleaning a truck’s Air Filter Step-by-Step

Step 1. Remove the Air filter

Check under your hood to locate the air filter. The air filter housing is located in a box at the top of your engine.

Use a screwdriver to unfasten your air filter and remove it. After successfully removing it, use a microfiber to wipe it. Doing this removes all the debris on the air filter.

Step2. Vacuum Your Air Filter

After wiping it using a cotton cloth, gently tap it to remove all the visible debris. Use a duster or a soft brush and press it firmly to trap the dirt. Never apply much force, as this might warp your filter.

Step 3. Wash Your Filter

Pour little liquid soap on the trough, fill it with water, and swish the air filter. After washing it, rinse it using running water. When rinsing it, consider using tap water in your kitchen since the one in the garden may come with much pressure. Tap your air filter to remove the excess water on it.

Step 4. Fix Back Your Air Filter

After washing your air filter, consider exposing it to the sun so it might dry. You should leave it for 24 hours so that it might dry completely. Consider installing it in the filter housing when it is dry, and tighten the clamps, stress nut, and wing nuts.


Cleaning the air filter is one of the ways of maintaining and increasing the life span of your air filters. Before deciding to clean your air filter, inspect it to see if cleaning might give it a longer lifespan or if it is damaged, consider replacing it.

How to Replace Your Truck Air Filter

Fuel and air are essential for your truck and are the primary raw materials necessary for internal combustion. The engine is a very delicate part of your truck. If any foreign object comes into contact with it, it can be costly to repair. The air which gets into the engine passes through the air filter. Here is how to replace your truck air filter.

How to Replace Your Truck Air Filter

The air filter traps all the dirt and other impurities, letting pure and clean air pass through. As the air filter performs its roles, it traps more dirt and becomes clogged with time. During regular maintenance, the air filter is some of the components which are checked and replaced. This guide will elaborate on how to fix a new air filter.

Source the Correct Air Filter

There are various air filters on the market. Spend time researching and purchase that which fits your truck. You can visit multiple auto shops and do some online research as well. Try to buy an air filter similar to that which came with your truck to boost its life span. 

Secure Your Truck

Park your truck on plain ground and apply the parking brake. If it is a manual truck, shift into the first gear or park for automatic transmission, then turn off the engine.

Locate the Air Box

Before locating the air box, you need to open your hood so that you can easily access the air box. The airbox housing is located near the engine. The airbox is protected with a round, bulky plastic cover for carburetor trucks. The new trucks have air box protected by a square or rectangular housing. 

Remove the Air Filter Cover

The air conduit is sealed with hoses. Consider loosening the hoses. Loosen the screws which hold the air filter cover firmly in its place. After removing all the screws, keep them safely until you need them. Pull the cover from the air conduit while lifting it so it might come with the lower casing. If you are unsure how to raise the cover, consider mechanical support.

Remove the Air Filter

Removing the air filter cover will leave the air filter exposed. You will see a round or rectangular filter made from cotton, paper, or gauze. The rubber rim seals the interior parts of our air filter. Consider lifting the filter from the casing.

Clean the Housing of Your Air Filter

You can clean the air filter housing using a vacuum cleaner to suck the accumulated dirt. When doing this, seal all the conduits using adhesive tape to prevent dirt from getting in.

Install the New Air Filter

Fix the new air filter in the housing. When doing this, ensure the rubber rim faces up and seals all the edges.

Fix Back the Cover

Fix the cover back into the air conduit carefully and press it down. Tighten all the screws and clamps, then ensure everything is in place. 


The role played by the air filter makes it become clogged. When this happens, consider replacing it. This guide has highlighted some steps to replace your air filter. If you are unsure of any actions, consider help from a professional mechanic.