Not replacing your air filter at the recommended intervals may provide noticeable indicators of needing replacement. Changing the engine air filter is usually recommended every 10,000-15,000 miles or 12 months. You may need to have your oil changed more frequently if you live in a dusty or rural region like Scottsdale, or San Antonio. Driving in congested locations, such as Los Angeles or Washington, D.C., necessitates more regular air filter replacement. A cabin air filter cleans the air entering the car, but it requires different maintenance than an engine air filter.
All About Performance Air Filters
Signs You Need a New Air Filter
- Poor Fuel Economy Your engine compensates for decreased oxygen levels by consuming more fuel. So, if you observe a decrease in gas mileage, it may be time to replace the air filter. This only applies to carbureted autos built before 1980. Carburetors blend air and fuel in the proper proportions for an engine. Modern fuel-injected cars employ onboard computers to calculate air intake and alter fuel flow accordingly. So, in current cars, the air filter’s cleanliness shouldn’t affect fuel economy.
- Engine Misfire. Unburned fuel exits the engine as soot due to a clogged air filter. Soot builds upon the spark plug, preventing it from igniting the air-fuel mixture. As a result, the engine struggles to start, misfires, or jerks.
- Odd Engine Sounds In typical circumstances, when your automobile is stopped and the engine is running, you should feel the engine’s smooth-spinning as minor vibrations. A blocked air filter can dirty or damage a spark plug, causing excessive vibrations, coughing, and popping.
- Check Engine Light. For every gallon of fuel burnt, many modern engines suck approximately 10,000 gallons of air. The insufficient air supply can cause carbon deposits to build up in the engine, triggering the Check Engine Light. Ask your mechanic to inspect the air filter, among other things. The Check Engine light might come on for many reasons. A mechanic must check the onboard computer for the stored trouble code that prompted the Check Engine Light.
- Dirty Air Filter A clean air filter is white or off-white in color, but as dust and debris gather, it turns darker. However, even in bright light, the interior layers of filter paper inside the air filter may have dust and particles. This means that when you take your automobile in for service, your mechanic must inspect the air filter. Follow the manufacturer’s replacement instructions.
- Less Horsepower If your automobile is slow to respond or jerks when you accelerate, it may be because your engine isn’t getting enough air. Replacing your air filter can increase acceleration or horsepower by up to 11%.
- Exhaust smoke or flames. The insufficient air supply can cause partial combustion of fuel. Unburned fuel departs the car via the exhaust pipe. If your exhaust pipe emits black smoke, have your mechanic change or clean the air filter. This is triggered by heat from the exhaust system igniting unburnt fuel near the tailpipe. This is a dangerous illness that requires immediate diagnosis.
- Gasoline smell when starting a car. If the carburetor or gasoline ejection mechanism doesn’t get enough oxygen, the unburned fuel departs the automobile through the exhaust pipe. Instead of smoke or flames, you’ll smell gasoline. This means it’s time to change the air filter.
- Replacing your air filter extends the life of your engine. Engine air filters avoid dangerous debris from damaging vital components. They help maintain the proper air-to-fuel ratio, preventing excessive gasoline use. Dirty air filters prevent the system from getting enough air or fuel, making the engine work harder. A properly working engine air filter is essential for safe driving.
Replacing your air filter extends the life of your engine. Engine air filters avoid dangerous debris from damaging vital components. They help maintain the proper air-to-fuel ratio, preventing excessive gasoline use. Dirty air filters prevent the system from getting enough air or fuel, making the engine work harder. A properly working engine air filter is essential for safe driving.