What’s the harm in putting off replacing your engine air filter?
That’s a fair question, a lot of us are in the habit of putting off little problems until they turn into a big problem. In order to understand the harm of putting off replacing your engine air filter lets first look at how your filter works and what exactly its purpose in your vehicle is.
Engine air filters, prevent dust, dirt, pollen, spores and other small particles from reaching your engine. In areas with more dust and dirt like Humboldt County your filter will end up clogged a lot sooner.
Your engine is intaking about 12,000 gallons of air for every gallon of fuel used, so your air filter is processing a lot of dirt. Even when your filter gets full and eventually clogged air still needs to get to your engine, so dirt begins getting forced through the filter and ends up in your engine.
The air travels past the mass air flow sensor (MAF) sensor on its way to the engine. The MAF sensor measures the volume, temperature and density of the air flowing into your engine. With that information the sensor tells the engine control computer how much air is coming into the engine so the computer can send the proper amount of fuel into the engine to maintain the correct air-to-fuel ratio.
When the filter is clogged and dirty air is flowing passed the MAF sensors particles in the dirty air can cause the MAF to misread and send incorrect information to the engine. The computer sends the wrong amount of fuel to the engine. This can cause your engine to run without enough power. But the real damage done to your car is from the unburned fuel passing out through the exhaust system and getting caught in the catalytic converter.
One of the main causes of catalytic converter failure is improper engine management, often caused by a dirty MAF sensor.
For the cost of replacing a catalytic converter, you could buy a whole case of engine air filters. So instead of putting off replacing your filter, take care of it and save your car from more costly repairs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment give one of our friendly service advisors a call today.
Safe driving from us here at Old Town Auto Service!
Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant