Just like the air filters in your home, your vehicle’s air filter can get clogged with all sorts of debris. Since you’re driving out on the open road, this debris can include dust, dirt, pollen, bugs and trace chemicals, all of which can block air flow to the engine. To avoid problems with vehicle performance, call your mechanic in Madison, TN if you observe any of following six signs that you’re driving with a dirty air filter:
- Decreased horsepower: Inadequate airflow can cause the accelerator to not respond like it should. Basically, instead of accelerating to the speed you want to be going, you’ll chug along at a lower speed. Signs your engine is not getting enough air include a lack of power or jerking movements when you press the gas pedal.
- Strange engine sounds: Your parked car should start up with no sounds or motion other than the gentle hum of the engine, and you definitely should not experience rough idling. A hiccupping sound, vibrating and slipping are indications of an inefficient engine possibly caused by a clogged air filter. Get a clean air filter in there before things get worse.
- Premature “check engine” light: Dirty air filters are also responsible for early warnings to check your engine. This happens when gas deposits and trapped debris build up on the engine instead of being caught in the filter, which typically leads to the “check engine” light coming on well before it should. If your service light keeps popping on too soon, ask your mechanic in Madison, TN to look at the air filter.
- Misfiring engine: Unless there’s a sufficient amount of available air supply through the filter, unburned fuel cannot leave the engine properly and the spark plug can’t produce the charge needed to reach the engine. A dirty air filter means a sooty residue is expelled, and you may have trouble turning the engine, thus resulting in misfiring.
- Black smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe: Similar to a misfiring engine, a lack of air results in residual fuel not burning, so black smoke will exit out the exhaust pipe instead of the usual unseen emissions. Also a possibility is that you might hear a cracking or popping sound, or even see flames escaping the exhaust pipe. This occurs because the engine heat has ignited the exhaust.
- Air filter looks dirty: Whether your car has a disposable or reusable air filter, you will want to check it periodically to see if it needs to be replaced or cleaned. Remove it and hold it up to the light. A filter clogged with dirt, dust and pollen will look dark, while a clean one will be a whitish color. It’s likely your mechanic will check this during your regular maintenance inspection, but mention it anyway.
Should the same problems happen over and over again, there might be a greater issue with your vehicle that has little to do with a dirty air filter. Need a mechanic in Madison, TN to inspect your air filter? Contact the team at Madison Muffler & Auto Repair today.