A dirty (cabin or air intake) filter robs your engine of power.
Cabin filter: The cabin air filter is typically made of pleated paper, and is designed to clean the air flowing into the car before the driver or passengers breathe it in.
This filter is essential to maintaining a healthy environment inside the passenger cab. When the cabin air filter becomes dirty, however, the air conditioner and heater’s performance will suffer. The airflow into the car is reduced, and allergens may remain in the air supply.
Engine Air intake filter: The engine air intake filter removes allergens and pollutants as well, but is much more concerned with debris and waste buildup. If it weren’t for this filter, water, insects, dirt and grime could find their way into your engine.
Fuel-injected filters typically use a pleated paper filter, while older cars tend to use a cylindrical air filter. Either way, this element is crucial to keeping debris out of the motor. When waste enters the engine, sticky substances adhere to the moving parts, carbon deposits bake onto the components and the intake valves clog.
To keep your engine in top shape, aside from regular oil change, ensure you replace your air filter every 6,000 miles.