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Signs That Your Car Has an Air Filter Problem

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A vehicle’s air filter is an integral part of how it functions. You need to be on the lookout for these air filter-related issues to protect your vehicle.

No matter what kind of car you drive, it needs clean air to function properly. Unfiltered or dirty air can cause a whole host of issues for your engine if you let it go for too long. Your air filter is an unassuming component of your vehicle, but its job is irreplaceable. There are a few clear signs that your car has an air filter problem to keep in mind.

Misfiring Engine Noises

If you notice that your engine is regularly misfiring or you can’t start it after multiple key turns, the issue could be in your air filter. A clogged air filter makes it difficult for the engine to get the right amount of air during startup, which can cause even more damage in the long run. Misfires tend to be loud and noticeable, so don’t let them go unchecked for too long.

Unexplained Vibrations

Dirty or faulty air filters can also cause unpleasant vibrations in your driving experience. This happens due to the uneven flow of oxygen into the engine, which causes erratic fuel consumption and a bumpier ride overall. Vibrations can lead to damage in other components as well.

Colored Exhaust Smoke

Your exhaust system is never really meant to exude a ton of densely colored smoke. Black smoke coming out of your tailpipe is cause for alarm. This issue could mean that your air filter hasn’t let enough oxygen into the engine, leading to it burning off excess fuel in a way that it never should. It’s terrible for your engine, the environment, and your fuel costs in the long run.

Noticeable Gasoline Smell

Along with that ugly smoke, you might start to smell burning gasoline inside of your vehicle if your air filter isn’t working properly. This is actively harmful to your physical health and needs a solution as soon as possible. A noticeable smell in the cabin of your vehicle is a major issue, and it could mean your air filter needs either a replacement or cleaning.

Check Engine Light

One of the clearest signs that you have an air filter issue in your car is if the check engine light comes on. While the check engine light can come on for a variety of reasons, a common trigger is the air filter becoming too clogged and dirty to function.

Luckily, dealing with a problematic air filter doesn’t take too much time or effort, meaning it isn’t something you should put off when something goes wrong. As important as it is, it’s better to take care of these issues sooner rather than later.


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