Is it Time to Replace or Clean Your Car's Air Filter? - An Expert's Guide

Are you wondering if it's time to replace or clean your car's air filter? It's an important component of the air intake system, and it plays a vital role in the operation of your vehicle. A clean air filter should be off-white in color and will not have dirt or debris trapped in its folds. Over time, however, the air filter can become dirty and clogged, and a lack of air can affect the car's overall performance. The easiest way to tell if your car's air filter needs to be replaced or cleaned is to take a look at it. Newer cars with fuel injection engines use on-board computers to calculate the amount of air entering the engine and adjust the fuel flow accordingly.

Most vehicles also have a cabin air filter that is used to clean the air that enters the interior of the car, but it has a different maintenance schedule than the engine air filter. If your air filter looks dirty, it's a good indication that it needs to be changed. When you have a clogged air filter, the engine compensates for the lack of air by burning more fuel to produce its power. This can cause carbon deposits (the by-product of combustion) to build up in the engine and the engine control light to come on. You may also notice that when you press the accelerator, your car doesn't respond properly. However, very often, the inner layers of the filter paper inside the air filter can have dust and debris that are not visible even in bright light.

An inadequate air supply can cause some of the fuel to not burn completely during the combustion cycle. You won't know what the problem is until it is diagnosed, so taking it to a service center will tell you if the air filter needs to be replaced. Do yourself (and your car) a favor and make sure you replace this key component of the air intake system regularly. It's always a good idea to visually inspect your current air filter, especially if you're experiencing some of these worrisome signs.

Marian Burrier
Marian Burrier

Infuriatingly humble social media maven. Subtly charming tv specialist. Devoted food expert. Extreme social media nerd. Hardcore music scholar. Infuriatingly humble pop culture fanatic.

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