A filter that is clogged with dirt is an obvious sign of a dirty air filter. Performing a visual inspection is an easy way to know if your air filter needs to be changed. A brand new air filter is white or off-white in color, while a dirty air filter will appear darker with the dirt and debris visible.
What will happen if the air filter clogged up?
If your air filter gets too dirty or clogged, your engine won't be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers. The engine will then run rich (i.e., too much gas and not enough air). When this happens, your car will lose power and run roughly. Your Check Engine light also may come on.
What will a dirty air filter cause?
A contaminated air filter can restrict engine airflow, resulting in a rich air/fuel mixture. This results in incomplete combustion and an engine misfire. A rich fuel mixture can also foul the spark plugs, causing a misfire. An engine misfire can greatly increase vehicle emissions.
How often should you clean your car air filter?
It's generally recommended that a car air filter is changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or 12 months, but check the owner's manual to see what's recommended for your own vehicle. It will also depend on driving conditions and how much dirt is being sucked into the filter.
Related Question How do I know if my air filter is clogged?
What does a bad air filter sound like?
If a car is idling, the engine should give a typical hum. A clogged air filter limits air supplied to the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber, in turn, can sputter, pop, or give cough-like sounds. Odd sounds may also be accompanied by vibrating or shaking.
What happens if you don't use a filter in your furnace?
Without a furnace filter, dirt, dander, and debris won't be cleaned out of the air, which can be bad for you and your family's health. Also, if you fail to replace a clogged filter, it can wear down your heating system.
How do I test my air intake?
How do you visually inspect an air filter?
Basically, you open the air box, remove the air filter and look at it. There is no real testing procedure, just a purely visual inspection. A new air filter may be white, off-white, yellow or another color, but you should expect to see at least mild discoloration of a used air filter.
How do you know when to change your air filter?
What happens when your car air filter is dirty?
The dirty air filter restricts the air supply to the engine causing unburned fuel to form a soot residue that accumulates on the spark plug. This fouls the spark plug(s) and decreases their ability to deliver the spark needed for the combustion process.
How much does an air filter cost?
Car dealerships can charge up to $50 or more for one unit. The average cost for a cabin air filter is between $15 and $25. CARFAX and Angie's List report that the labor cost to have the filter swapped out is $36-$46, although you could end up paying more if it's harder to reach.
Can a clogged air filter cause shifting problems?
3. A delay when shifting gears. If you notice a hesitation in the transmission, or the transmission lingering in a gear longer than normal, the cause could in fact be a clogged up air filter (and not low transmission fluid or some other fault with the transmission.)
Can a dirty air filter cause slow acceleration?
A telltale sign of a dirty air filter is poor acceleration. If it feels like your car seems slower and a bit sluggish, checking the condition of your air filter should be your first step (always check for the cheapest and easiest possible cause when diagnosing ANY automotive issue).
Does air filter make car faster?
When your air filter is clogged then your vehicle suffocates, in a sense. And if your engine is getting more air, then it can perform better. In fact, a high flow air filter can actually increase your horsepower by about 3 to 5 HP and increase your torque as well.
Why is my air filter so loud?
If your air filter gets too clogged, you may notice a whistling noise as air tries to squeeze through the filter and into your return duct. To fix this, turn your furnace off and check your air filter. Replace it if dirty.