Five Signs Your Air Filter Is Clogged

Most people don’t think about their air filters until they get clogged. If you stick your automobile’s preventative maintenance schedule, your air filter will be changed when it needs it. If you don’t, you might notice one or more of the following five signs that indicate the air filter is clogged.

Reduced Fuel Economy

Your vehicle needs fuel and air to run. If it isn’t getting enough air, it will burn more fuel to make up the difference. A clogged air filter cannot push enough air through the engine and you’ll feel the pinch in your pocketbook because you’ll need to fill your tank more often. If your vehicle’s fuel economy has suddenly tanked, check the air filter to see if it’s dirty and needs to be replaced.

Service Engine Warning Light

Many vehicles are equipped with a Service Engine light that comes on when something in the engine needs servicing. This includes the air filter. If you don’t have a Service Engine light, your Check Engine light might come on. No matter which light illuminates, it’s best to get a diagnostic check right away to ensure whatever turned on the light isn’t damaging your vehicle’s engine or causing danger.

Reduced Engine Performance

A clogged air filter can also affect your engine’s performance. You may notice a lag in your vehicle’s acceleration, which indicates your engine doesn’t have the horsepower it usually does. You may also feel your engine sputter or surge, you may even have black smoke coming out of your vehicle’s tailpipe because the engine is using too much fuel and burning what it doesn’t need.


This sign is super scary but if the fuel isn’t completely burned before it exits your car, truck, or SUV, you might end up with flames coming out of your exhaust pipes. This might look cool on TV and in the movies, but this is a serious situation that needs to be fixed right away. You don’t want black smoke or flames coming out of your exhaust pipe nor do you want your vehicle to backfire.

Gas Smell

Finally, because your carburetor and fuel injection system aren’t getting enough from the clogged air filter, you might smell gas. This is the fuel that hasn’t burned and is leaving your engine through the exhaust pipe. If you smell gas coming through your air vents. Stop driving your automobile immediately and have it towed to us. This is a deadly problem because there is carbon monoxide in gas fumes.

If you suspect that you have a clogged air filter, call Advanced Automotive today. We work on domestic, Asian, and European cars, trucks, and SUVs. We can change your air filter for you, so stop by our shop today.

Image by Ronald Plett from Pixabay

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