The air filter within your car, as its name indicates, is the part of your car's engine that actually filters out dust, grime, and other debris so that it does not enter the engine and cause damage to its internal workings. While a small part of your vehicle, it is one of the most important, as a clogged air filter can cause all sorts of complications for the operation of your engine. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with a clogged air filter can help you identify when you need to head to a mechanic to have it replaced.
Rough Ignition and Idle
One of the first signs that you may notice associated with a clogged air filter is the rough operation of your engine. This is because a clogged air filter will not allow enough air to enter the engine to help the efficient burning of fuel, instead forcing the engine to run poorly. This means that you may notice that the engine starting up will be rough and take a while to catch and may also jump or skip while idling at a stoplight or stop sign.
Another clear indication that your air filter may be clogged that is very hard to miss is if you notice the smell of fuel within the interior of your vehicle. An improper mixture of oxygen and fuel within your engine can leave some fuel unburnt even after it has passed through your engine, which means that fuel will be draining out of the exhaust pipe of your vehicle. This is a serious issue since it means that your engine is wasting fuel and operating inefficiently, which can lead to further mechanical damage if left unchecked.
Finally, in line with the above two points, the inefficient burning of fuel within your engine can cause the overall mileage of your vehicle to drastically decrease. You should keep track of how often you fill up your tank in terms of distance driven: if you find that you're filling up more often and after shorter distances traveled, your air filter may be to blame, even if the above two symptoms have not yet manifested. Having a mechanic take a look at your air filter and replace it if necessary becomes a financially sound decision at this point, because waiting will drive up the operating costs of your vehicle in excess of the cost of the repair itself.
For more information, contact an auto repair business.