7 tell-tale signs to change engine air filter

Air and fuel when combined in the combustion chamber of a car’s engine generates power. This air enter the engine through air filter which keeps the dirt, debris, dust and other contaminants out thereby preventing the engine from possible damage.

Air filter, at the same time need allowing enough air to reach the engine so as to ensure effective and optimum performance. With time, air filter becomes dirty, corroded and blocked thus affecting overall performance of the vehicle due to lack of air.

Infiniti service in Dubai and car manufacturers around the world recommend changing air filter once the vehicle covers approximately 15,000 miles. In case you’re accustomed to drive on dusty tracks and rural areas; mostly off-roads, perhaps now is the time taking the car for detailed inspection especially air filter.

On the contrary, if you drive in crowded and high-trafficked areas that require frequent braking, chances are high that air filter’s in need of immediate replacement.

Symptoms of air filter replacement

  1. Engine backfires

Since dirty air filter restricts proper inflow of the air, it eventually results in unburned fuel which exits the engine in the form of a sooty residue. This grime when accumulates on the spark plug prevents ignition of the air-fuel mixture and you’ll eventually notice problems during engine start up; it may misfire or give a rough jerk.

  1. Fuel give smell when starting the vehicle

Lack of incoming air to the fuel injection system lets excess unburned fuel exiting the vehicle through the exhaust pipe. This is when you’ll smell the fuel and a clear-cut indication that it’s about time you’ve replaced that air filter.

  1. Charred soot, smoke or flames escaping the exhaust

Insufficient supply of the air limits fuel from burning completely in the combustion cycle which eventually escapes the car via exhaust pipe thus resulting in flames or pop sounds at the edge of the exhaust. This is likely to happen when exhaust system’s heat ignites the unburned fuel right near the tailpipe.

  1. Reduced horsepower

Movement of the vehicle with jerks when accelerator has been pressed usually means the engine is deprived of essential air flow which downgrades the car’s performance.

  1. Unusual sounds from the engine

Dirty or damaged spark plug due to clogged air filter results in excess car vibration or releases unwanted cough or popping sound.

  1. Abridged fuel economy

Low amount of essential air in the engine comparably heightens fuel consumption for power production which is heavier on both, your pocketbook as well as car’s performance in the long-run. Maintain a clear air filter which eventually saves fuel cost without compromising engine performance.

  1. Engine light’s ON

Engines in the modern vehicles consume more or less 10,000 gallons of air for every single gallon of fuel burned during the combustion cycle. Inappropriate air supply leave behind carbon deposits on the engine which trigger the engine light automatically. Carefully check and perform necessary servicing.


Note that a new air filter is white or pale-white! If yours is any other shade especially darker tone, it’s a common indication or servicing and replacement.

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