What Happens When Your Car Air Filter is Dirty?

A dirty air filter reduces the amount of air supplied to the engine, leading to an increase in unburned fuel that turns into soot residue. This soot can build up on spark plug tips, making them unable to produce a proper spark. As a result, the car may move abruptly, idle, and in some cases, the engine may fail. Engine misfires, rough idling, and hard starts can all be attributed to a clogged engine air filter.

The dirty air filter restricts air supply to the engine, causing unburned fuel to form a soot residue that accumulates in the spark plug. This fouls the spark plug (s) and decreases its ability to produce the spark needed for the combustion process. Changing the affected air filter and spark plugs will restore your engine's performance. A dirty filter also reduces the air supply to your car's engine, causing no fuel to burn.

This fuel causes the formation of soot residues that accumulate at the tip of the spark plug. Poor fuel economy is a clear sign of a faulty or dirty air filter. A bad or dirty air filter restricts airflow and reduces oxygen in the mixture. Your engine compensates for this by consuming more fuel to produce enough power to move the same distance or speed as it could with a clean filter.

Inadequate air supply can cause some of the fuel not to burn completely in the combustion cycle. If your car is not responding properly or if you notice sudden movements when you step on the accelerator, this could indicate that your engine is not getting all the air it needs to run. Since the engine is pouring gasoline incessantly, constrained to the same proportion, without the car knowing, the volume of air in the mixture is actually turned off. But if your air filter is old and seems to be heavily clogged, you may want to consider replacing it, as it could make driving much more difficult and cumbersome for modern vehicles. Running your car without an air filter allows dirt, leaves, debris, insects and a multitude of air pollutants to enter.

Have your mechanic scan your vehicle to locate the source of the problem, as it could be as simple as replacing the air filter. If you smell gasoline when you start the car, it's because not enough air enters the fuel injection system and excess unburned fuel comes out of the car through the exhaust pipe (hence the smell).As dirt and debris from outside accumulate on the surface of the filter, its color will begin to progressively darken. As long as you keep your filter clean and maintained, you will avoid some of these easily avoidable problems and extend the life of your vehicle. Without a proper air intake, the fuel mixture will be too rich in fuel, so it will not burn properly and the engine will be deprived of oxygen it needs. As a car owner, you need to be aware of symptoms of dirty air cleaner to ensure your engine stays free of debris.

However, you can clean reusable and foam filters with specific applications but must dry them before replacing them. The location of an air cleaner can vary between several models but is usually easily accessible from near front of engine block connected to intake pipe where you can simply remove it for inspection or replacement. Dirty air filters prevent system from receiving right amount of air or fuel and make it difficult for engine to perform its function. For every gallon of gasoline consumed by car it must be able to ingest thousands gallons of air to process that fuel efficiently.

A clogged air filter on an older model vehicle will essentially cause engine to work well since system has no mechanism quantify amount of air flowing resulting in cascade events starting from rich condition that reduces mileage causes failures ignition and even causes possible damage some components.