Air filters in your car control the air-inflow to the engine, and they protect the engine from dust and other abrasives. However, with prolonged use, dirt, dust, and leaves start to build up on air filters. Consequently, the clogged filters miss their mark in terms of filter efficiency. Moreover, the mass of air flowing into the engine also reduces. Therefore, if you don’t replace or clean filters when the need arises, it can lead to critical component failure. Nonetheless, your car does try to alert you about dirty air filters from time to time through these early telltale signs.

Poor Acceleration:
When you press down on your accelerator and your car doesn’t pick up the pace as it used to, this indicates a lack of fresh air in the engine. Hence, such deficiency can lead to incomplete fuel combustion, followed by lower power delivery. This all adds up to give you a slower acceleration response.

Strange Engine Noises:
It wouldn’t take you much time to familiarize yourself with the car’s engine noises. Consequently, it will be hard for you to miss when the engine starts to produce strange noises. Especially, the coughing and popping sound from the engine can be a symptom of choked spark plugs.

A Decrease in Engine’s Efficiency:
Soot residue from incomplete fuel burning can gather on the spark plug’s nozzle, causing it to misfire sometimes. Similarly, foul spark plugs can lead to other problems, such as hard starting and rough idling.

Smell Of Fuel:
The smell of fuel while revving up the engine or starting the car also points at dirty air filters.

The Check Engine Light:
Through this light, your car is trying to alert you about something wrong with the engine. Now, there can be multiple reasons for this light, but one thing is for sure: you should immediately visit a mechanic. The engine’s misfiring due to soot accumulation can be a plausible reason. Therefore, in such a scenario, changing or cleaning your filter will set things up.

Extra Smokey Exhaust:
The air flowing out of the engine carries the extra soot formed due to incomplete combustion. Thus, the additional baggage adds to the dark color of the exhaust. Additionally, soot is not the only byproduct of partial combustion, as it also produces more dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. Hence, the car black smoke exhaust can be hazardous, and for that reason, it requires your immediate attention.

You can barely miss the signs discussed above. Interestingly, most problems discussed arise due to faulty engine operation caused by dirty filters. Therefore, dirty air filters are detrimental to the engine’s performance and life. Thus, the telltale signs of dirty air filters mean it’s time for you to do something about air filters.

There are two types of air filter used in the car:

  • Disposable: You should only use them once and replace them when dirty.
  • Washable: Filters that you can reuse after a thorough wash.

Therefore, for the washable filters, you can visit Cadillac Car Wash and ask experts for help.

Skip to content