The air filter is an essential part of your car's engine, as it prevents dirt, contaminants and road bugs from entering the combustion chamber. When the air filter is blocked, it restricts the air supply to the engine, causing unburned fuel to form a soot residue that accumulates in the spark plug. This dirties the spark plugs and reduces their ability to generate the spark needed for the combustion process. As a result, you may experience a decrease in engine performance, harmful emissions, fuel waste, damaged spark plugs and engine build-up.
In the worst case scenario, a blocked air filter can cause the air filter to collapse and even disintegrate, allowing unfiltered air to enter the engine. This accelerates wear and dirties injectors and sensors, leading to poor compression, oil leakage, oil combustion, cylinder ignition failures or problems in fuel adjustment. A blocked air filter can also cause your car to consume more fuel in order to produce enough power to move at the same distance or speed as with a clean filter. This is one of the telltale signs that your air filter needs to be replaced. Other signs include black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe and unusual noises when coughing, bursting or spitting.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to replace or clean your air filter as soon as possible. To avoid these issues, most car manufacturers recommend changing the air filter every 12,000 miles (approximately 19,000 km) or every 12 months, whichever comes first. It's also important to never use compressed air to clean a dirty air filter. If you're off the road or with microphones off the road, you can remove excess dust. In conclusion, it's essential to keep an eye on parts that suffer a lot of wear such as your car's air filter. If you don't replace it at suggested intervals, you may experience a decrease in engine performance and other issues that can adversely affect your health and that of your vehicle.