What are the Signs of a Bad Air Filter?

Learn how to identify signs that you need to replace your car's air filter including visual inspection and reduction in MPG. Find out how often you should replace your car's air filter for optimal performance.

What are the Signs of a Bad Air Filter?

A dirty air filter is an easy sign to spot when it comes to determining if your air filter needs to be changed. A new air filter is usually white or off-white in color, while a dirty one will appear darker with dirt and debris visible. In the case of a reusable K&N filter, it will be more plum-colored. A clogged air filter can reduce the amount of air supplied to the engine, leading to an increase in unburned fuel that is converted to soot waste.

This soot can build up on the tips of the spark plugs, making them unable to emit a proper spark. As a result, the car may move sharply at idle and, in some cases, the engine may fail. An internal combustion engine needs to mix approximately 10,000 litres of air with each litre of fuel to operate. Without adequate air intake, the fuel mixture will be too rich in fuel and won't burn properly, leading to a lack of oxygen for the engine.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing your air filter every 12,000 miles (approximately 19,000 km) or every 12 months, whichever comes first. If you live in an agricultural area or any area with a lot of dust or impurities in the air, you should consider replacing your air filter more often.An inadequate supply of air can cause carbon deposits to build up in the engine, which will eventually activate the engine control light. If this light comes on, check the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced before performing other diagnostics. One of the easiest symptoms to recognize is the appearance of the filter itself.

A new air filter looks white, off-white, or in some cases different colors such as yellow and red. Over time, air contaminants will soil the filter and turn it brown or black. Always inspect the air filter under a light and if it is covered with dust, dirt and debris, you must replace it.A clean and properly installed air filter improves fuel economy, increases engine life, reduces emissions and increases acceleration. With regular and scheduled maintenance, most manufacturers recommend changing the engine air filter every 10,000 to 20,000 miles as a preventive measure.Running your car without an air filter allows dirt, leaves, debris, insects and a multitude of air pollutants to enter.

To prevent this from happening, automotive experts recommend replacing filters every 12,000 miles or 12 months but always remember to consult your owner's manual for details on your vehicle's air filter replacement programs.Once an air filter is too clogged and stops working, it can decrease car performance and even damage the engine. If you live in a particularly dusty area consider using a washable foam pre-filter if applicable to capture most of the dust and you won't have to replace the air filter as often.Keep in mind that even if there is no visible debris or dust on the inner layers of filter paper inside the air filter it is generally recommended to replace it every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or every 12 months.

Leave Message

All fileds with * are required