A clean running vehicle can help drivers reduce their overall operation costs. While most owners don’t have a comprehensive understanding on vehicle maintenance, there are small areas that can make a large difference in terms of performance. This article will focus on air filters within vehicles as we review the three signs that your air filter needs replacement in order to ensure efficient operation.
1) Ignition problems
Problems with starting a vehicle can be a clear sign that the car’s air filter requires replacement. Over time, as the air filter degrades in terms of performance, it will allow dirtier air into the engine leading to spark plug damage. When spark plugs are affected by dirt and other contaminants, they are unable to play their role in engine ignition. Drivers with dirty spark plugs from poorly performing air filters will often find that it takes several tries to start the engine.
2) A Reduction in Fuel Economy
Those that drive large distances for work or on weekend trips must pay close attention to the amount of times they fill up for gas. The need to fill-up a vehicle more regularly over time is often related to the performance of the air filter. Contaminants within an air filter can cause blockages, which restrict the flow of air into the intake, preventing vehicles from achieving the optimal air-to-fuel ratio. While vehicles with fuel-injected engines will be less prone to this problem, drivers who notice a significant reduction in fuel economy should consider the air filter as the chief culprit.
3) The Filter’s Appearance Changes
The filter’s appearance is one of the clearest indicators of a problem. Most new air filters are either white or an off-white colour. But when a filter becomes damaged over time, it will often turn darker, due to the grime and debris with which it has come into contact. Vehicle owners should examine their air filters in daylight to see if there is any significant change to its exterior colour. The additional light will help owners see inside the filter to check for additional dust or other issues.
It’s recommended that drivers replace their air filters every 12-15,000 miles to ensure vehicle operating efficiency. By maintaining their air filters according to the expert guidelines and maintaining awareness for signs of filtration issues, owners can significantly improve the performance of their car over several years. Speak with a specialist in your area today if you’ve experienced any of the vehicle issues highlighted in this article. By simply having a professional change your air filter, you can reduce the chances of significantly more expensive damage further down the road.