BMW air filter replacement, made easy

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Our expert insights into air filter replacement

What does an air filter do?

Your car’s air filter is responsible for filtering the air that enters your engine and ensuring that airborne contaminants such as leaves, bugs, dust, and other matter don't get into the engine's delicate systems.

What are the symptoms of a bad or blocked air filter?

Below are the top three symptoms that could indicate you need to replace your car's air filter:

  • You’re experiencing decreased fuel mileage

  • Your engine keeps misfiring

  • Flames or black smoke coming from the exhaust

What happens when we do an air filter replacement on your car?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect your engine air filter and any related engine components

  • If necessary, they will clean or replace your air filter

  • After the new air filter is installed the mechanic will test your car to ensure everything is working properly

  • They will advise if any other related parts need to be replaced

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how often should I change my car's air filter?

You should change your air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. This varies from car to car, and if you're driving mostly on city streets or dusty roads, it's a good idea to change the air filter more regularly.

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Want to learn more about BMW air filter replacement?

What does an air filter do?

Just as humans need oxygen to breath, your car’s engine also needs oxygen to perform the combustion process. The air filter is your vehicle's first line of defence and is designed to only allow clean air into the engine. It filters the air drawn into the engine thus preventing airborne contaminants such as dirt, dust and leaves from getting pulled into the engine compartment.

This relatively inexpensive part protects the more valuable parts of your engine from getting blocked and damaged by dirt in the air. Your engine needs air in order to operate properly, so failing to replace your air filter regularly could result in it becoming blocked. If this happens your engine could be starved of oxygen, and you may need to fork out for more expensive repairs.

BMW

BMW AG is a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer that was established over 100 years ago in March 1916. They also own Mini and Rolls Royce, after taking over the two British marques in 2000 and 1998 respectively.

BMW makes luxury vehicles and is possibly most famous for its sports saloon models. In 2018, BMW had 1.9m vehicles on the roads in the UK, a number that has been steadily increasing each year for the past decade.

As one of the ‘big 3’ German marques, along with Audi and Mercedes, BMW carries a strong reputation for making high-quality stylish vehicles, and have captured a large section of the UK market.

Luxury family and business models for every driver

Probably most popular for the 3 Series and 5 Series saloon models, BMW has got every possible angle covered for the more discerning drivers.

The full range includes everything from the 1 Series city car to the full-size saloons and sports coupes of the 7 and 8 Series models.

To provide everything you’d ever need for family motoring there’s a seven-seat MPV, their range of X model SUVs, and since 2014, the introduction of their plug-in electric i models. Top it all off with their M model high-performance supercars, the Z4 convertible and the i8 Roadster—and you’ve got the full package.

BMW: High performance on and off the track

BMW has a successful history in a range of motorsports.

They have been significant performers in touring car racing and rally driving, enjoyed success in Formula One with the BMW Sauber team, and BMW cars have been regular competitors and winners at Le Mans since the race’s early years.

BMW’s reliability and reputation

BMW ranked 16th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. BMW hasn’t always had the best reputation for reliability but to rank alongside marques such as Honda, Volkswagen and Fiat they’re holding their own alongside plenty of the other big names.

How often should an air filter need replacing?

You should change your air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. This varies from car to car, and if you're driving mostly on polluted city streets or dusty roads, it's a good idea to change the air filter more regularly.

Your engine needs air in order to operate properly, so failing to replace your air filter regularly could result in it becoming blocked. A dirty filter can impact the engine power and engine performance as well as your gas mileage and fuel emissions. Look out for the symptoms of a clogged air filter mentioned above so that you can have a replacement air filter fitted as soon as you notice problems.

What happens during a car air filter replacement?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect your engine air filter and any related engine components

  • If necessary, they will clean or replace your air filter

  • After the new air filter is installed the mechanic will test your car to ensure everything is working properly

  • They will advise if any other related parts need to be replaced

When should an air filter be replaced?

You should change your air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. This varies from car to car, and if you're driving mostly on polluted city streets or dusty roads, it's a good idea to change the air filter more regularly.

Your engine needs air in order to operate properly, so failing to replace your air filter regularly could result in it becoming blocked. A dirty filter can impact the engine power and engine performance as well as your gas mileage and fuel emissions. Look out for the symptoms of a clogged air filter mentioned above so that you can have a replacement air filter fitted as soon as you notice problems.

What are the symptoms of a dirty car air filter?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • The air filter appears dirty

  • You’re experiencing decreased fuel mileage

  • Your engine keeps misfiring

  • Reduction in engine power

  • Strange engine noises

  • Strong fuel smell

  • Flames or black smoke coming from the exhaust

  • Engine warning light illuminates

How often should you replace your car's air filter?

We recommend replacing your engine air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles - this will vary depending on your car and driving conditions.

What happens during a car air filter replacement?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect your engine air filter and any related engine components

  • If necessary, they will clean or replace your air filter

  • After the new air filter is installed the mechanic will test your car to ensure everything is working properly

  • They will advise if any other related parts need to be replaced

What is the average life of an air filter?

Air filters should last between 15,000 to 30,000 miles, however if you frequently drive on polluted city roads or in dusty environments, you may want to replace your air filter sooner.

Can you drive with a blocked air filter?

You should avoid driving if your air filter is clogged or very dirty as it can wreak havoc on other engine aspects as your car begins to struggle over time. A dirty air filter will reduce the flow of oxygen through your engine, reducing your engine performance and fuel efficiency. Therefore it could end up costing you more money in the long run, so it’s worth changing the air filter regularly.

Do air filters deteriorate with age?

Over time your air filter will become clogged up with dirt, debris and bugs from the air sucked into your engine compartment. They therefore need to be well maintained, cleaned and replaced when necessary. Usually air filters will need to be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles to keep your engine happy and healthy.

The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT

Although there are no specific laws or regulations surrounding the condition of your engine air filter, a blocked air filter can affect your engine’s performance and emissions. Your car’s emissions are checked as part of its annual MOT test so it’s important to keep your air filter in good working order.

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