Can You Drive with a Dirty Air Filter?

Driving with a dirty or clogged air filter can cause serious damage to your vehicle, leading to expensive repair bills. Fortunately, it's easy to identify the symptoms of a dirty air filter and take steps to prevent it. Most automotive companies recommend changing your air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, or every 12 months. However, if you drive in rural or dusty areas, or in busy cities with lots of traffic, you may need to replace it more frequently.

A dirty engine air filter can reduce a vehicle's gasoline consumption by up to 10%, and replacing it can improve acceleration or power by up to 11%. However, for computer-controlled gasoline and diesel engines manufactured after the introduction of closed-loop oxygen sensor feedback systems, a dirty air filter does not affect fuel economy or emissions. Neglecting your air filter can cause harmful emissions, fuel waste, damaged spark plugs and engine build-up. If the air filter becomes clogged or dirty, less oxygen will enter the combustion chamber and unburned fuel will escape the engine in the form of soot residue.

This can cause the air filter to come off the gaskets and even disintegrate, leading to disaster for the engine. The best way to avoid these problems is to regularly check and clean your car's air filters. Our certified mobile mechanics can perform more than 600 services, including diagnostics, brakes, oil changes and scheduled mileage maintenance. They will provide you with all the necessary parts and tools.

Gina Vuoso
Gina Vuoso

Award-winning music fan. Amateur twitter scholar. Hipster-friendly foodaholic. Hipster-friendly music advocate. Total twitter fan.