Air filter is clogged

When an air filter becomes dirty, it can have a dramatic effect on performance and the engine may run rough. When the air filter becomes clogged, these problems can become even worse and your vehicle may stop running altogether. When an engine does not get enough clean air it may run “rich,” which means that the engine is receiving too much fuel and not enough air. Engines that run rich struggle to maintain power, which can be very noticeable when driving.

How this system works:

Your vehicle’s air filter keeps dirt and other contaminants from entering the engine and potentially damaging critical components. Air filters need to be replaced every 10,000 kms, though vehicles in areas of high congestion may need to have their air filters changed more frequently. Most modern vehicles have rectangular filters fitted inside a plastic case in the engine compartment. Older, carbureted engines typically have a circular filter placed above the carburetor. Automotive air filters are made from either paper, foam, or cotton, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages relative to the cost and filtering ability.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Air filters are dirty: Air filters will get dirty and become less effective over time. As more dust and other particles are collected, the filter will struggle to maintain good airflow to the engine. In areas where smog is prevalent, or where there is a lot of traffic congestion, air filters may get dirtier more quickly.

If a dirty air filter is not replaced, it can become clogged. A clogged air filter severely limits the amount of air making it to the engine. A clogged air filter may fail, allowing dirt and other contaminants into the engine. This will result in extremely poor performance, and may cause permanent damage to the engine.

How important is this service?

A poorly running engine, or a vehicle that seems to be down on power may be suffering from a clogged air filter. A clogged air filter will only get worse over time and may cause further damage to the vehicle if it is not replaced. It is important to have your vehicle’s air filter replaced every 10,000 kms, or more often depending on if you live in an area with higher congestion.