How To Check if Your Air Filter Is Working Efficiently
Have you ever wondered, “Do cars have air filters?” If so, the answer is yes. And those air filters do a lot for your vehicle’s performance. An air filter is part of your vehicle’s air intake system. When it’s clean, an air filter can improve the efficiency and performance of the vehicle. When it’s dirty, an air filter can allow debris and dirty air to enter the combustion chamber (which can cause problems with engine performance and longevity).
Your vehicle has two different types of air filters. One filters the engine air while the other filters the cabin air. You may need cabin air filter replacement if you notice an odd smell coming from your air vents when you turn on your air conditioner or your heater. You may also notice a lot of dust inside the cab of your vehicle if you have a dirty cabin air filter.
As a car owner, it’s a good idea to know how to check your air filter so you know when it requires replacement. You can check your owner’s manual to see recommended air filter changing intervals, but you should also know how to recognize common signs that your air filter isn’t working properly.
Check Gas Mileage
One way to check for proper air filter function is to pay attention to your gas mileage. A dirty engine air filter passes less air to the engine. This can impact your engine performance and impact your gas mileage by as much as 10%!
The only way you can tell if you’re getting decreased gas mileage is by paying attention to how many miles your vehicle normally gets on a tank of gas when it’s recently had a tune up. Pay close attention to that number and if it starts to go down, take action. If there is nothing else obviously wrong with your vehicle and your tires have enough air, there’s a good chance you have a clogged air filter that’s impacting your gas mileage.
In addition to making you fill your tank up more frequently and spend more money that way, a clogged air filter also taxes your engine and can cause you to need costly engine repairs down the line. Simply changing your air filters regularly can prevent these unwanted scenarios.
Listen for Strange Noises
When you need an air filter change, you may notice strange noises coming from your engine when your car is idling. These noises may sound like spluttering or popping sounds and can indicate your engine isn’t getting enough air to function properly. Some vehicles with clogged air filters also make a strange whooshing sound when you’re driving at higher speeds. You may also notice your “check engine” light come on when you have a clogged air filter.
All of these signs point to the need for air filter replacement. Take your car to the shop right away and have them replace your air filters. Alternatively, you can do it yourself if you’d like. Just make sure you order the right filter for your vehicle and follow the correct filter replacement steps.