What are the Symptoms of a Dirty Car Air Filter?

When it comes to car maintenance, one of the most important components to keep in mind is the air filter. Most automotive companies recommend changing the air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or every 12 months. However, if you normally drive in dusty or rural areas such as Scottsdale, Arizona or San Antonio, Texas, it's a good idea to have your mechanic check and change it more often, for example, every 6,000 miles. Driving in busy areas where there is a lot of traffic, including Los Angeles and Washington D.

C., which causes you to stop and start more often also requires you to replace the air filter more often. Most vehicles also have a cabin air filter that is used to clean the air entering the interior of the car, but it has a different maintenance program than an engine air filter. It's important to be aware of the symptoms of a dirty car air filter so that you can take action before any serious damage is done. The most common symptom of a dirty air filter is flame or black smoke from the exhaust pipe. You should also feel and hear the gentle vibrations of an efficient engine when your car is idling or stopped.

If you notice unusual noises, in particular a coughing, clicking or spitting noise, this suggests that the engine is not receiving enough airflow, which means that the air filter needs to be replaced. A visual inspection of your air filter in bright light will show a lot of dirt, but not all tiny particles can be easily seen. But how it can affect the operation of a car when it is clogged can differ greatly between a modern and an old vehicle. Older model cars that do not include an airflow sensor of any kind have difficulty dealing with air volumes, as they can easily alter their fuel ratios, making them very vulnerable to the effects of a clogged air filter. If you see black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, ask the mechanic to replace or clean the air filter.

If you smell gasoline when you start the car, it's because not enough air enters the fuel injection system and excess unburned fuel comes out of the car through the exhaust pipe (hence the smell).Although manufacturers suggest different intervals for replacing the air filter, it's time for them to check it every time you detect any of the above indicators of a dirty or defective air filter. Inspecting a dirty air filter and replacing one is arguably the easiest maintenance task one can do for your car. For this reason, most car manufacturers recommend changing the air filter every 12,000 miles (approximately 19,000 km) or every 12 months, whichever comes first, regardless of how dirty the air filter appears to be. A clean air filter has a white or off-white color, but as it accumulates dust and dirt, it will look darker. Therefore, cleaning the air filter in newer cars should not significantly affect fuel economy.

Dirty air filters prevent the system from receiving the right amount of air or fuel and make it difficult for the engine to perform its function. At the same time, the air cleaner must allow enough air to reach the engine so that it can operate effectively. Once you take your vehicle to a technician, they will perform a brief scan to determine what is causing the problem and they will inform you if it is a problem with the dirty air filter. Inadequate air supply can cause carbon deposits to build up on the engine, which will eventually activate the engine check light.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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