Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Pump Filter

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Air Pump Filter

air pump filter

An air pump is an emission component that is one of the most important pieces on a vehicle’s secondary air injection system. Certain vehicles will come equipped with a filter for their emission system air pump. The air pump filter is simply meant to filter the air that is pumped into the vehicle’s exhaust stream through the air injection system. Same as with an engine or cabin air filter, the air pump filter will pick up dirt and dust, and will eventually need to be replaced once it can no longer filter air efficiently.

The air pump filter serves a similar purpose as the engine air filter, however in most cases, it is not as easily accessible for quick inspection and service, as is the engine air filter. The air pump filter serves an additionally important purpose because it is an emissions component, meaning any problems with it can cause the vehicle to have problems with an emissions system, as well as with engine operation. Usually, when the air pump filter is in need of attention, the vehicle will display a few symptoms that can alert the driver that there may be a problem that should be serviced.

1. Engine is running sluggishly

One of the first symptoms that a bad air pump filter may produce is a decrease in engine power and acceleration. A dirty filter will restrict airflow into the air pump which can negatively affect the rest of the system. A dirty or clogged air filter may restrict airflow to the point where the vehicle may become noticeably slower during takeoff and acceleration.

2. Rough and shaky idle

Another symptom of a dirty or clogged air pump filter is a rough idle. An excessively dirty filter will restrict airflow, which may cause an unstable idle that surges. In more severe cases, a clogged air filter may disturb the idle mixture enough to cause stalling when operating the vehicle.

3. Decrease in fuel efficiency

A dirty air pump filter can also have an impact on fuel efficiency. The restriction in airflow from a dirty filter will upset the vehicle’s air-fuel ratio tune, and cause the engine to use more fuel to move the same distance and speed as would be required with a clean, free-flowing filter.

Because the air pump filter can dramatically affect a vehicle’s emissions and performance, it is important to replace this filter at regular service intervals. If you suspect that your filter may be due for a change, or you find that you need one replaced, have a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the car and replace the air pump filter for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Fuel economy getting worse on a 2000 Opel Astra G

You generally get bad fuel mileage for either the air filter that is clogged or the MAF sensor that measures how much fuel goes in to see if either is dirty or needs to be replaced. Fuel injectors could be...

Q: Whining noise before starting-key in the ON position but not turning over the engine. 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Hello - your truck has a secondary air injection pump, which is powered by an electric motor. It is located under the hood, and is power up in the "Run" ignition switch position. I suspect what you are hearing is...

Q: Rattles and shakes on startup

To have a technician verify the condition you could leave your car overnight with the dealer or contact YourMechanic and schedule an early appointment so either technician would be there to start the vehicle first thing in the morning. ...