Is your car slow to start? Guzzling gas? Emitting black smoke?
These are concerning issues for any car owner, but what you might not realize is that they can all be caused by one thing— a dirty air filter.
Air filters are essential to the running of any engine, and if they are dirty, you may be left with a hefty mechanic bill.
Read on to learn the most common signs of a dirty air filter, plus how you can deal with them.
1. Problems With Your Ignition
Is your ignition not starting on the first try, or seems to be much slower than it should in starting? If so, a dirty filter could be the culprit.
If your filter isn’t clean, it’s hard for air to get through the filter into the engine, via your spark plugs, which is what starts your car. You may also notice the engine misfiring as well, which can also be caused by the bad air filter.
Any suspected ignition problems should be investigated right away.
2. A Dirty Air Filter Causes Lower Mileage
If you drive regularly, you’re aware of how much mileage your car gets per tank of gas. There are many ways to improve gas mileage, but one way is to always have a clean filter.
If you start to notice that you’re filling up more often than normal, this could be caused because the engine isn’t receiving enough airflow, and therefore is working harder than it should be. This uses more gas, which means your fuel efficiency rate is no good.
Keeping your air filter clean is an easy way to save money at the pumps.
3. Black Exhaust Smoke
Black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe is never a good sign. If you notice this coming from your car, or even worse, flames, stop driving immediately and take your car to a mechanic.
Dark smoke can be a sign that fuel isn’t properly going through the combustion cycle, which can be caused by a dirty air filter.
A car with this problem can be very dangerous to drive and should be examined as soon as possible.
4. Air Filter Looks Dark
An easy way to check the condition of your air filter is with a visual inspection. The normal color of your air filter should be either white or off-white, so if you notice it looks grey, darker than it should, or full of small particles, it is probably a sign that it needs either changed or cleaned.
If you’re unsure of how to find your air filter, consult your car’s manual to find the exact location. It should be checked regularly by either yourself or a qualified mechanic.
An air filter cleaner can be an effective way to keep your car running smoothly.
Check Your Engine Today
Now that you’re aware of the serious and potentially expensive problems that can be caused by a dirty air filter, check your car and its engine today to make sure your air filter is clean.
With cars, prevention is the best medicine, and regular maintenance will go a long way to prevent vehicle problems in the future.
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