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10 Signs Your Car's Air Filter Needs to be Changed

Do you make it a habit to check your car’s air filter regularly? It's easy to forget this unassuming filter but your car's engine will suffer if you don't keep an eye on it. The air filter's job is to prevent dust, dirt, bugs, pollen, leaves, and other debris from entering the engine while allowing clean air through. Over time, your air filter can get clogged with debris that restricts that essential flow of clean air. If your car's air filter is visibly dirty, it definitely needs to be changed! However, there are numerous other signs your car’s air filter needs to be changed.

mechanic changing car air filter

Common Signs of a Dirty Air Filter

If your vehicle is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should have your air filter inspected and changed as soon as possible.

  1. The check engine light comes on.
  2. You smell gas when the engine starts.
  3. Your vehicle is hard to start.
  4. There is a slow response to the accelerator or a lack of acceleration.
  5. Your car is idling roughly, and possibly making coughing, hiccupping, or spitting sounds.
  6. The engine misses or misfires.
  7. The spark plugs are fouled.
  8. You are experiencing reduced horsepower.
  9. The engine is burning more fuel so you're getting lower gas mileage.
  10. There is black smoke or flames coming from the exhaust pipe.

Let Us Handle the Dirty Work

Fortunately, air filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to change. However, a dirty air filter is a sign that it may be time to take care of other routine maintenance tasks. If you're unsure of what those are, or just don't want to tackle them yourself, bring your vehicle to Custom Complete Automotive! When you bring your vehicle in for an oil change, lube, and filter service at one of our six locations in Missouri, we'll perform a comprehensive list of preventative maintenance tasks. That includes checking your vehicle's air filter as well as its belts and hoses. We'll even top off all of those essential fluids under the hood! To learn more about our oil, lube, and filter services, or to schedule an appointment at one of our auto repair shops, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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