Air Filter and Issues


What is an air filter and why is it important?

The engine of a car requires two elements to run and those are fuel and air. Fuel produces energy but only when burnt properly, for which, air is required. For this to happen, air is allowed to let inside the engine bay through vents, slats and other such openings. Once the air is inside the engine bay, the intake system sucks the air in, according to the needs put on the engine by the user. A this point, the air inside the engine bay contains quite a bit of impurities and it is, nevertheless, sucked in the by the intake system. However, to ensure the fuel burning process stays clean, a filter is put in place inside the airbox to ensure the air that passes through it goes clean inside the engine. This is the long and short of the purpose of air filter and its importance.

As far as what the air filter is, it is essentially a device made of fibrous material (foam, pleated paper, cotton, etc.) to let air in while trapping all the impurities in the fibres of the material. The reason why filtering the air is needed is because if contaminants get inside the engine, they cause wear and tear of moving parts of the engine as well as contaminate engine oil which is meant to lubricate engine running parts.

Since it is a filter at the end of the day, like any other filter, it is bound to get clogged over time, resulting in it becoming less effective at its job. If the air filter gets clogged up, the engine is unable to draw enough air to burn the fuel that is being supplied to it, resulting in the engine running richer. When engine starts running richer, it burns more fuel than needed to produce the same power as it would have ha air filter been working properly, leading to low fuel economy. It can also lead to ignition issues as not enough air would be present to help burn the fuel necessary to start the engine, leading to engine misfires and other such troubles. Also, less air means more fuel which means that there will be more combustion deposits inside the engine, leading to higher emissions.

What are the major symptoms of a defective air filter?

While it is difficult to pinpoint one particular fault to malfunctioning of air filters, you should be on the lookout of certain symptoms to ensure you are aware of faults within the air intake system. Once you are able to identify the issues, you will be able to go for appropriate fixes for the issues. Following are the symptoms you should look out for:

  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Ignition issues
  • Engine misfire, rough idling

Look out for these too

Air filter is one of those components that is cleaned on every regular service of your car and if needed, it is changed too. If it is being changed, you should always be informed by service centre folks. It is often cleaned but there is limit to which that action can be performed on the same. It is a pretty cheap component and if you feel the need, get it changed without a second thought.


It is important that your car’s air intake system is functioning properly and the air filter is the most obvious way to know whether the system is working optimally or not. So, be careful about the condition of this cheap but necessary part of car’s air intake system. Here at, we would be happy to help you get your car’s air filter cleaned or replaced too, if needed.