All About OEM Ford Air Filters

The Ford Escape is built for endurance and versatility. The years of use that you get out of it depend on the quality of parts you use in its maintenance and repair. Learn what role the Escape's air filter plays in its engine and how to recognize the signs that it needs to be replaced.

What is an Air Filter?

The air filter in your Escape is designed to keep dirt, dust, and debris like insects, pollen, and leaves out of the engine. It is made from a lightweight material like cotton, paper, or foam. It is also very low in cost and can be purchased new for as low as $7.

The typical air filter in a compact SUV like the Ford Escape can last for as long as a year or up to 12,000 driving miles. Replacing an old and dirty air filter at the one-year or 12,000-mile mark can protect your engine and also improve the acceleration in your vehicle by up to 11 percent.

If you have yet to reach that time length or driving point with your air filter, you should learn what factors can cause it to deteriorate. You should also discover what signs to look for to determine if your Escape's air filter needs to be replaced.

How Does an Air Filter Wear Out?

An air filter in any vehicle can wear out after so many months of use. After all, this part is not designed for prolonged use after a year and thus can wear out simply because it has reached the point of its intended usefulness.

However, other factors as well can damage an air filter. As noted, this part is designed to filter out debris like dirt, dust, leaves, and pollen before it reaches your engine. With that, if the filter becomes clogged with these materials, it can wear out quickly and need to be replaced.

Further, this part can wear out sooner than a year after you install it in your engine if you drive your Escape frequently. The more you drive your vehicle, the more the filter comes into contact with debris. Frequent driving can cause this part to suffer damage and require prompt replacing.

Finally, if you live and drive in an area that experiences poor air quality or pollution, you could put the air filter in your vehicle at risk of damage. As the polluted air makes its way into your car's engine, the filter works overtime trying to keep out all of the contaminants. This extra work can lead to the filter wearing out sooner than a year after being installed or driving with it for 12,000 miles.

Even so, your Escape will give you numerous signals to tell you that it is time for a new air filter. You can act quickly by learning what these signs are and what they mean for your car's performance.

Signs Your Air Filter Needs Replaced

How can you know for sure that you need a new air filter for your Escape's engine? You should notice several prominent behaviors, all of which should be remedied immediately with a new replacement.

The first sign that you need a new filter is engine misfiring. When this part wears out or becomes clogged with debris, it can cause the engine in your Escape to misfire its pistons. This action should indicate to you that you need to have a new filter put in your vehicle right away.

You also may notice that you cannot accelerate and that your vehicle drives sluggishly when you are trying to pick up speed on the highway. Sluggish engine performance can be taken care of by putting a new air filter in your Escape. As mentioned, a new filter increase acceleration by as much as 11 percent.

Along with poor acceleration, your Escape may not get the fuel economy it once did when the air filter needs to be replaced. A clogged and worn out air filter can cause your vehicle to burn more gas when you drive.

In fact, when you start your Escape, you may notice the smell of gasoline. Poor fuel economy combined with smelling gas when you start the vehicle indicates that a new air filter is needed immediately.

Finally, the last two signs that you should look for to tell if you need to put a new filter in your Escape's engine involves the check engine light coming on as well as visible signs of dirtiness. The check engine light can signal to you that the air filter has reached the end of its usefulness. Likewise, if you take the filter out and see that it is dirty, you should buy and put in a new one promptly.

Making Your Air Filter Last Longer

How can you make the air filter in your Ford Escape last longer? Despite the fact that this part is designed for a relatively short term of use, you can still take several simple preventative measures if you want it to last for as long as possible.

The first measure involves keeping track of how far you have driven your vehicle. Most air filters on the market today are designed to last for up to 12,000 miles. Keep an eye on your mileage and be ready to put a new one in by the time you have driven that far if not sooner.

Likewise, cut back on how often you drive your Escape if you want to make the air filter last for as long as possible. When you drive your vehicle more, you increase the debris that your filter is exposed to, causing it to wear out faster. Driving your vehicle for shorter stints or only as necessary can help make the part last longer.

The air filter is critical to the health of your Ford Escape's engine. By learning what factors can damage it and how you can protect this part, you can likewise safeguard the engine in your vehicle and avoid expensive repair bills.