Can a Dirty Engine Air Filter Affect Engine Performance?

Engine air filters are actually more critical to your car's performance than you think. Failure to keep them in good condition can cause major impediments to your car's reliability. Here is some more information to help you understand air filters and how they can affect your vehicle's performance.


The primary purpose of a car's engine air filter is to ensure that large contaminating items like leaves, bugs, dust, debris, and other foreign objects don't get into the engine's sensitive points. The air filter also prevents allergens like pollen from getting into the systems during the spring season. 


How Can a Dirty/Clogged Air Filter Affect Performance?

As with any other vehicle part, an engine air filter needs to change over time. As the filter tends to collect a large amount of dust, debris, and other blockages, the filter will get clogged over time. Once the air filter becomes clogged, the airflow is blocked from the vehicle's engine, causing it to run less efficiently. In most cases, a dirty air filter might not affect mpg as much as, say, an underinflated tire, but it can take up more engine power than needed.

If you continue to drive with a clogged engine air filter, it can wreak havoc on other engine parts and affect your car's drivability. In severe (rare) cases, your engine can experience choking and overheat due to an incorrect air/fuel mixture.


How Often Does the Engine Air Filter Need to Be Replaced?

Vehicle specialists typically suggest that you swap out your air filter every 3k miles or every oil change. However, you can't pinpoint an exact moment or date when changing your air filter. The performance of your air filter can depend on various factors, including:

  • Smog and pollution levels in your environment
  • Driving habits
  • The make and model of the car you are operating

The best way to ensure that your air filter is fresh and clean is to schedule maintenance checkups at regular intervals. Our expert team at Oceanworks Berekely can determine whether your engine air filter needs changing or not. Please give us a call or visit today!

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