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Must-Know Signs Your Intake Air Filter Needs To be Changed

Must-Know Signs Your Intake Air Filter Needs To be Changed | inMOTION Auto Care

Your car's engine is like the heart of your vehicle, and just like your heart needs clean air to function optimally, so does your engine. The intake air filter plays a crucial role in ensuring that your engine receives clean and fresh air for combustion. Over time, however, this vital component can become clogged and dirty, hampering engine performance and fuel efficiency. 

Decreased Acceleration and Power

One of the first signs of a clogged intake air filter is a noticeable decrease in acceleration and power. If your car feels sluggish or struggles to pick up speed, it could be due to restricted airflow caused by a dirty filter. As the filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust, and debris, it impedes the flow of air into the engine, resulting in reduced performance.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

A dirty intake air filter can also lead to decreased fuel efficiency. When the engine receives less air than it needs for combustion, it compensates by burning more fuel to maintain power output. This can result in higher fuel consumption and reduced mileage, costing you more at the pump in the long run.

Engine Misfires or Rough Idling

If your engine is misfiring or idling roughly, it could be a sign of a clogged intake air filter. A dirty filter can disrupt the air-fuel mixture ratio, leading to incomplete combustion and engine misfires. 

Additionally, restricted airflow can cause the engine to run unevenly at idle, resulting in rough idling or stalling.

Unusual Engine Sounds

Listen closely to your engine – unusual noises such as wheezing, whistling, or sucking sounds could indicate a problem with the intake air filter. As the filter becomes clogged, it may produce unusual sounds as air struggles to pass through the obstruction. 

Dirty or Black Exhaust Smoke

Inspect your vehicle's exhaust pipe for signs of dirty or black smoke. A clogged intake air filter can cause the engine to run rich, meaning it's burning more fuel than necessary. This excess fuel can result in the production of dark-colored exhaust smoke, indicating a potential problem with the air-fuel mixture.

Check Engine Light Illuminated

An illuminated check engine light can indicate a variety of issues, including a clogged intake air filter. Modern vehicles are equipped with sensors that monitor engine performance, and if the engine is not receiving sufficient air, it may trigger the check engine light to alert you to a potential problem.

Strong Smell of Gasoline

If you detect a strong smell of gasoline inside or around your vehicle, it could be a sign of a clogged intake air filter. When the engine runs rich due to restricted airflow, unburned fuel may escape into the exhaust system, resulting in a noticeable odor of gasoline.

Visible Dirt and Debris on the Filter

Finally, a visual inspection of the intake air filter can reveal whether it's time for a replacement. If the filter appears dirty, clogged, or covered in debris, it indicates that it needs to be changed. A clean air filter should allow light to pass through easily, so if you can't see light through the filter, it's time for a new one.

Notice any of the signs? Come by inMOTION Auto Care, and we will take care of the filter change! We also offer other services you can take advantage of!

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