Car air filter with text that says how to tell if you have a dirty air filter

How to Tell If You Have a Dirty Vehicle Air Filter

Your engine air filter plays a big role in keeping your engine running efficiently by acting as a barrier between the air intake system and the vehicle’s engine, radiator, fuel lines and more. The air filter blocks dirt, bugs, leaves, dust and other contaminants from damaging the engine, so it can become very dirty over time. Let’s go through a few ways to tell if your vehicle has a dirty air filter.

If you keep your vehicle’s air filter clean and service your car regularly, it should run efficiently. If the filter is dirty or needs to be changed, your car might not run as well. So, here’s how you can tell if you have a dirty air filter:

  • The mpg drops
  • The acceleration power and torque may decrease
  • The engine idles roughly
  • The check engine light comes on
  • You smell fuel
  • Your engine makes unusual sounds
  • The engine misfires
  • Dark smoke comes from the exhaust

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If you notice your car is experiencing any of these symptoms, if Dirty air filermight be time to check the air filter. Mechanics recommend the air filter gets checked every 6,000 miles and is replaced annually or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. If you drive your vehicle in more dusty conditions or live in a city where you find yourself in more stop-and-go traffic, you may need to check and change your engine air filter more frequently.

Read more: Why does your car have poor fuel economy and how can you improve it?

So, how do you check the air filter? If you don’t want to take the car to the shop, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open the hood
  2. Locate the air filter, which is in a plastic box that has a hose running out of the side
  3. Unclasp the metal clips on the side of the box and open it
  4. Remove the air filter and check what condition it is in. If there is debris falling out and the filter is discolored, it’s time for a new one
  5. Replace the cover when you’re done

Visit us at the Fontana Mazda service center so our experienced service team can provide fast and high-quality maintenance on your vehicle! Thanks for reading!