What Happens When You Don't Change Your Engine Air Filter?

When the air filter becomes too dirty, it will clog and the engine will not be able to draw enough air into the combustion chamber. This can lead to a number of problems, such as a drop in power, a decrease in fuel efficiency and difficulty starting the vehicle. In addition, without an air filter, all of the dirt, debris, and other harmful contaminants will enter the combustion chamber of your engine, potentially causing permanent damage and even engine failure. You can visually check the engine air filter to see if it looks dirty or if it is full of debris.

The location of the air filter varies by vehicle, so consult your owner's manual to find out exactly where the filter is located. Air filter replacement can be part of a general tuning service that will help you get better mileage and performance out of your vehicle. If you are coughing and sputtering, or if you vibrate excessively when you turn the engine, you are most likely ordering a new air filter. Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable.

You're going to have a lot of stop-and-start driving, which places more demands on your car and will also make your air filter dirty faster. A clean air filter will help your engine perform better; in newer cars, it can increase acceleration by up to 11%, and in older cars it can improve mileage by up to 14%. I have attended seminars explaining that 75% of engine damage occurs in the first 25% of the life of air filters. Worn or dirty air filters will cause your engine to malfunction; among the things you'll notice is that you'll have less power and weaker acceleration.

Expensive large diesel engines have air filter restriction indicators that show when to repair the air filter. The owner's manual should give you a more accurate estimate of exactly when your vehicle needs a new air filter. When the engine air filter is dirty, air cannot pass through the filter to the engine, affecting the car's entire emission control system. 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.

It is important to monitor your air filter and replace it when you start to notice signs that it is clogged. Doing so will help keep your car in perfect condition for as long as possible and prevent any costly repairs down the line.

Dianne Katzenberger
Dianne Katzenberger

Hardcore pop culture specialist. Extreme entrepreneur. Typical zombie specialist. Passionate twitter geek. Award-winning coffee maven.

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