Have you recently noticed a musty smell in your car? Or if your car’s heat/air conditioner are not working as usual?
This all maybe because of a clogged air filter that impacts the flow of air on which the HVAC system of your car depends. Dirty filters adversely affect air quality and reduce the power output from the engine.
So, what is an Air Filter, and how does it work?
A car’s combustion process depends on oxygen, just as humans need oxygen to breathe. As a vehicle’s engine is its heart, its air intake is its lungs. Our bodies receive life-giving oxygen when we breathe in air. We all need oxygen to live, so do our cars- but what happens when a dirty air filter prevents the necessary oxygen from reaching the engine?
The air filter prevents insects and airborne particles such as dust, particles, sand, and debris from entering the engine, ensuring air and fuel are mixed properly and perform well. The combustion engine relies on air to operate, and a faulty air filter can suffocate it. As a result, it could end up having extensive problems. Knowing which symptoms to look for when your air filter is dirty will make it easier for you to identify.
What are the signs that your air filter needs to be changed?
If air filters become clogged with harmful contaminants, they will no longer serve their purpose. Here are some signs that air filters need to be replaced:
- Dirty air filter
The appearance of the filter is one of the easiest symptoms to identify. The new filters are nearly white. As contaminants in the air accumulate, your filter will become dirty and turn brown or black.
- Gas mileage declines
Usually, a decrease in gas mileage indicates that something is wrong. Air filters contribute to fuel efficiency, but a dirty filter can reduce the oxygen flow. Therefore, the vehicle will burn more fuel in order to compensate.
- Engine Misses or Misfires
Are you having a hard time starting your car? Does it take multiple attempts or revving the engine to get it going?
If your car has trouble starting, it could have a low air-to-fuel ratio. If the fuel ratio is too rich, it can cause engine flooding and spark plug pollution. This can lead to misfires and difficulty starting. When you have a rough idle or a reluctant start, the air filter is the first thing you should check.
- Unusual engine noises
What does your car sound like when it is in a park? Purring should be smooth and even on an engine with an adequate oxygen supply. A bad air filter could cause your vehicle idle to rattle or vibrate.
Polluted spark plugs caused by air intake problems are a common cause of this problem. When changing your air filter, you should also check the spark plugs to see if they have suffered any damage. Getting these two components replaced will smooth out how your engine idles.
- Check Engine Light Comes On
The check engine light can illuminate for many reasons, including deposits in the engine. Over time, impurities can accumulate inside the engine, triggering the service light once they begin to affect the engine’s performance. Each gallon of gasoline a car consumes must be processed efficiently with the intake of thousands of gallons of air. Without air, combustion engines would not run correctly.
If your check engine light comes on, you should have to identify the culprit right away. With Ürolube, you can read your service code and determine whether it is related to an air intake problem.
- Black Smoke from the exhaust pipe
Fuel may not be burned off at an adequate rate of oxygen struggles to reach the engine. Some fuel will leak through the system and out of your exhaust pipe as a result.
Also, you may hear popping sounds when superheated fuel is expelled through your exhaust system. Having a problem like this wastes fuel and can harm the environment and your vehicle. Be aware of any unusual exhaust emissions.
What are the advantages of replacing a clogged air filter?
The replacement of an air filter completely eliminates many problems and provides you with a great deal of benefits. A few of these are:
- Longevity of engine
A regular air filter change prolongs engine life since the air filter traps dirt and debris that can damage internal engine components such as cylinders and pistons. Damage to an engine can occur from air particles as small as a grain of salt, resulting in costly repairs.
- Improved fuel efficiency
Maintaining a clean air filter results in improved fuel efficiency, which is one of the major reasons to change it regularly. If a dirty air filter negatively affects the drivability of the car, its replacement can increase fuel mileage by as much as 14 percent. By replacing your car’s dirty cabin air filter, you will improve the efficiency of your fuel and boost acceleration. In spite of the exact figures, it is evident that a clean air filter increases airflow to the engine and increases performance and fuel efficiency.
- Reduced emissions
Having clogged air filters can choke the engine by reducing airflow. As a result, they affect the car’s emissions control systems, causing an incorrect mixture of air and fuel and ignition problems, resulting in severe drivability issues.
When spark plugs become fouled, they can cause an engine miss or rough idle and greatly affect fuel mileage. This can also cause engine deposits due to a rich fuel mixture and illuminate the “Service Engine Soon” light. When the engine has more airflow, it operates more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
What is the recommended interval for changing air filters?
There is a recommendation from each vehicle manufacturer as to when to change the air filter, and these recommendations can usually be found in the owner’s manual of each vehicle. Generally, air filters should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or more often under dusty conditions.
If you are still unsure, you can bring your vehicle to Ürolubeand we can assess the status of your air filter.