Symptoms of a failing Air Filter
Lack of power
Come on, car! When you notice that your vehicle isn't as powerful as it used to be, it may be time to check and replace that air filter. When the filter gets severely clogged and dirty, they restrict air flow to the engine, stopping it from taking full, deep breaths. Why does that matter? Well, you try going for a run without taking any full, deep breaths. Not so fast anymore, are you?
Poor fuel economy
Time to fill up…again? Yup, that may be a bad air filter. When your engine is starved of air, it doesn’t work as efficiently. Again, think of taking a run without any full, deep breaths. Are you going to be able to run as far? No, you’re not. And your car isn’t, either. Being unable to operate efficiently means you need to expend more energy to do less. In the case of your car, that means using more fuel. Which means getting worse mileage. Which means spending more money at the gas tank. With that in mind, it might save you a lot of money to replace your filter. It’s worth noting that a car’s computer can compensate for a lot when it comes to engine performance and fuel efficiency, so modern engines aren’t as susceptible to this filter problem as older engines are. But you’ll definitely notice a dip in fuel efficiency if you have an older car.
Visibly clogged filter
If your filter is looking filthy, it’s time to get a replacement. That seems simple enough, right? Now look: I know you’re probably not checking in on your filter every day, so no judgement here if you haven’t noticed it. But a technician sure will, so if you’re having your car serviced or your oil changed, a professional will easily spot a filter that you need to replace.
Scheduled filter maintenance
Ahh, so close. You thought you could get through this whole article without the dreaded “scheduled maintenance” tip, and you almost did. But here we are. After certain intervals of distance and/or time, your manufacturer recommends investing in an air filter replacement. So, when you reach those milestones, replace that filter. Seriously.