What happens if you never change your car air filter?

Most likely, the engine check light will come on. While this rarely causes permanent damage, neglecting the air filter long enough can cause the engine to stop working completely. Outdoor debris can build up over time and wreak havoc on the combustion chamber. One that will definitely happen is that the engine will have a hard time getting air in.

Since the engine needs air to mix with fuel to burn, the gas will not ignite as well or burn as hard, causing a drop in engine power. This could also cause the engine to start running abruptly and cause an overall drop in fuel economy, as more gasoline needs to be used to reach the same speed. The location of the air filter varies by vehicle, so consult your owner's manual to find out exactly where the filter is located. The News Wheel is a digital automotive magazine that gives readers a new perspective on the latest car news.

This affects the cabin air temperature, which depends on a constant flow of air passing through the heater core, the evaporator, or both components. Your car has some simple preventive maintenance items that just about anyone with a few basic tools can perform. Eventually, over time, the amount of harmful contaminants passing through the hopelessly clogged filter will cause your car to stop working completely, possibly causing permanent damage (although apparently that's unlikely). Sooner or later, the engine may start working so hard to draw air through the filter that it could begin to draw debris, which could begin to damage the internal components of the engine.

While the engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine, the cabin air filter prevents pollution such as dirt, dust, smoke, smog, pollen, mold spores and exhaust gases from entering a vehicle's cabin through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Keep in mind that if you are driving in a sandy or dusty area, you may need to change the filter more often than the recommended time for your vehicle. The cabin air filter helps maintain the air conditioning system and provides clean air inside the passenger compartment. While the cabin air filter is easy to access, be careful not to break any of the clips or pins that hold it.

If you've recently noticed that you need to refill your gas tank more often than usual, it's probably time to check your air filter. The air filter resembles a bunch of stiff cloth folded into an accordion, and acts just like the one in your house, trapping incoming dirt so it doesn't get into the rest of the system. However, if you're worried that your driver information system will tell you to change your air filter and skip homework for a few weeks, you can stop panicking. Just because a cabin air filter doesn't directly affect your vehicle moving from point A to point B doesn't mean you should delay buying a new one or not replacing it at all.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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