5 car maintenance moves consumers put off

You don't change the air filter
You don't change the air filter © Joe Belanger/

Changing the air filter is another one of those routine car maintenance chores you might forget about if you're not following the owner's manual schedule.

Just like you, your car's engine must breathe. The air filter is the engine's airflow gateway. When a person's airflow is restricted, less oxygen gets into the bloodstream for delivery to muscles, including the heart. Less air translates into reduced performance in people and cars. But it's not just an issue of reduced performance.

"Your engine needs clean air," Hafer says. "If the filter is dirty, the airflow is restricted. This can cause your engine to overheat, which is going to cost a lot more than an air filter." Having a shop replace your air filter will run about $35.

Asking your car to perform with a dirty air filter is like trying to run the 100-yard dash with one lung.


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