Signs My Car’s Air Filter Is Clogged

Your automobile’s air filter has a very important job. It purifies the air that is then sent to the combustion chamber to produce engine combustion. The air filter needs to be changed every 12,000 miles. Advanced Automotive warns that if your air filter is clogged, you will notice one or more of the following signs.

Black Engine Exhaust

A clogged air filter will reduce the amount of air that makes its way into the combustion chamber. To compensate for the loss of air, the engine control module will send more fuel to the combustion chamber. The engine will burn off the excess fuel and you’ll end up with black exhaust flowing out of your tailpipe.

Check Engine Warning

The imbalance in the air and fuel mixture can also cause the check engine light to come on. It will come on not only because of this imbalance but also because of the other signs listed in this blog post.

Engine Performance Issues

A clogged air filter can cause engine performance issues including being unable to start your automobile, stuttering and stalling, acceleration lag, and a reduction in horsepower as much as 11 percent. Until you replace the air filter, you will continue to experience problems with your engine’s performance.

Gasoline Smells

Oftentimes, because there’s too much gas in the combustion chamber, you may smell gasoline when you start your car or while you’re driving. Smelling gasoline while you are driving is dangerous, so pull over right away and call for a tow truck to our shop.

Misfiring Engine

A clogged air filter can also cause your spark plugs to misfire because soot builds up on them. When the combustion chamber is inundated with fuel, any unburned fuel that exits the engine creates a soot residue that coats the spark plugs. This will cause the spark plugs and, thereby, your engine to misfire.

Poor Gas Mileage

When there isn’t enough air in the combustion chamber, the engine burns more fuel to meet your power demands. Consequently, a clogged air filter will reduce your vehicle’s gas mileage significantly. The reduction in fuel economy may be subtle at first but as the air filter becomes more clogged, your engine will burn more fuel.

Strange Noises

Popping or coughing sounds coming from your engine can also indicate that the air filter is clogged. The sound is actually coming from the spark plugs and, as discussed above, the excess soot that is coating them.

Call Advanced Automotive in Stanwood, WA, if you believe your air filter is clogged. We can inspect the filter and replace it and also make sure your engine has not been damaged in any other capacity.

Photo by Mihajlo Maricic from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

Accessibility Toolbar