What Happens When Your Car's Air Filter is Clogged?

A blocked air filter can have a major effect on your car's performance. It reduces the amount of air supplied to the engine, leading to an increase in unburned fuel that is converted to soot residue. This soot can accumulate at the tips of the spark plugs, preventing them from emitting an adequate spark. As a result, your car may jerk sharply, idle, and in some cases, the engine may fail.

If your vehicle seems to respond slowly when you press the accelerator, it could be a sign that the engine isn't getting enough clean air. A dirty air filter reduces the amount of clean air reaching the engine, reducing power and performance. Replacing the engine's dirty air filter with a new, clean one can improve engine acceleration and decrease fuel consumption. A dirty or shabby air filter restricts air flow and reduces oxygen in the mixture. The engine compensates by consuming more fuel to produce enough power to move at the same distance or speed it could travel with a clean filter.

Engines need air to enter the air-fuel mixture, which erupts in the combustion chamber to generate power. If your engine is not getting enough air, you may experience various problems such as strange noises in the engine or decreased fuel consumption. Changing the air filter before it clogs can help you avoid having to change the spark plugs as well. Driving with a dirty air filter can negatively affect your health and that of your vehicle. The engine air filter serves to protect the engine and maximize performance by allowing clean air to enter the engine and preventing airborne contaminants such as dirt, dust and leaves from entering the engine compartment. Vehicles have an air intake system to suck in air and purify it before use in this air-fuel mixture.

This makes it essential that your mechanic check the air filter when you take the car for maintenance. Inadequate air supply can cause some of the fuel to not burn completely in the combustion cycle. However, very often, the inner layers of the filter paper inside the air filter can have dust and debris that are not visible even in bright light. Ask your mechanic to scan the vehicle to locate the source of the problem, as this could be as simple as replacing the air filter. If a warning light comes on, check the air filter to see if it needs to be changed before carrying out other diagnostics.

An insufficient air supply means that the engine will run on a fuel-rich mixture, which will not burn completely before entering the exhaust pipe and leaving your vehicle as a black soot-like residue. Cleaning or replacing your car's air filter regularly can help ensure that your engine is running efficiently and that you are getting optimal performance from your vehicle. It is important to note that cleaning an air filter in newer cars should not significantly affect fuel economy.

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