What Happens if You Don't Change Your Car's Air Filter?

Without the air filter, all of the dirt, dust, smoke, smog, pollen, mold spores and exhaust gases that are in the air would enter the combustion chamber of your engine. This can cause a number of problems, such as a drop in power, a decrease in fuel efficiency and difficulty starting the vehicle. When your car is idling or stopped, you should feel and hear the gentle vibrations of an efficient engine. If you notice unusual noises, in particular a coughing, clicking or spitting noise, this suggests that the engine is not receiving enough airflow, which means that the air filter needs to be replaced. What is a cabin air filter? A cabin air filter should not be confused with the engine air filter, although they perform similar functions.

While the engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine, the cabin air filter prevents pollutants from entering a vehicle's cabin through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It also prevents other debris from entering, such as insects, rodent droppings and leaves. What happens if the cabin air filter is dirty? Hazards abound if you don't change your cabin air filter regularly. Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable. Some manufacturers of newer car models have changed the engine design to make more efficient use of space, and sometimes that means placing air filters in more difficult to reach places, which can slow down the process.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter will not filter out those contaminants, causing problems for people suffering from allergies or having difficulty breathing. A clean air filter will help your engine perform better; in newer cars, it can increase acceleration by up to 11%, and in older cars it can improve mileage by up to 14%. Changing the cabin air filter at regular intervals will ensure that passengers don't have to roll down windows in the middle of winter to get fresh air. You're going to have a lot of stop-and-start driving, which places more demands on your car and will also make your air filter dirty faster. When you take your car to the mechanic, they will be able to do a quick scan to see what is causing the problem and they will tell you if it's a problem with the air filter. Air filter replacement can be part of a general tuning service that will help you get better mileage and performance out of your vehicle.

You can visually check the engine air filter to see if it looks dirty or if it is full of debris. The location of the air filter varies by vehicle, so consult your owner's manual to find out exactly where it is located. If the light comes on, check the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced before performing other diagnostics. While the cabin air filter is easy to access, be careful not to break any of the clips or pins that hold it. In addition, a dirty cabin air filter can cause condensation to form on your windshield.

Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause your car's air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan. If you haven't changed your engine's air filter since you bought your car or don't know when it was last replaced by its previous owner, it's important to do so as soon as possible. A clean air filter will help your engine perform better; increase acceleration; improve fuel efficiency; reduce condensation on your windshield; and prevent pollutants from entering your car's cabin.

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