Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Things Can damage My Air Filter?

asked by on

What things can damage my air filter?

A: The purpose of an air filter is to filter o...

The purpose of an air filter is to filter out dirt and contaminants from the air before it gets inside the engine, where the air mixes with fuel and gets burned. As a normal consequence of its operation, the air filter collects dirt, grass, pollen, and other particulate matter from the air. Air filters are meant to get dirty.

An all too common cause of air filter failure is lack of maintenance. They become so clogged with dirt, oil, bugs, grass, and other particulate matter, the air filter cannot flow air. If you place a flashlight on the clean side of the air filter and you look at the dirty side, you can’t even see the light through the filter. This can be harmful to the engine, but it definitely ruins your fuel economy.

Not so common, however, are things like snow, water, rat’s nests, and mouse droppings that collect in the air filter. These types of things can wreak havoc with engine operation. When air filters get clogged with snow pack or become water-logged, it’s usually the result of design discrepancies or aftermarket modifications. As for rat’s nests and the like collecting in your air filter, these little guys are just looking for a warm place to call home, unfortunately for your vehicle.

If you are experiencing a loss of power from your vehicle, and think your air filter is to blame, a certified mechanic can replace your air-filter for you at your own convenience.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Oil drain plug and pan missing after oil change

Hello there, this is a rare accident that can occur when oil changes are performed. In this type of situation, an oil sample is taken and sent off to a facility that can perform an oil analysis. This is done...

Q: Camaro iroc z sat for 17 years... Won't start

The fuel in the tank is bad from sitting so long. The entire fuel system may need to be flushed and the carburetor rebuilt. This means that the fuel tank should be removed and cleaned. The fuel pump should also...

Q: I have a 95 Honda Accord I recently drove through a flooded area the car will start but it won't go over 20 miles per hour without

When something like this occurs you'll need to open and clean out the air cleaner housing and replace the filter. Also, check the inlet tube for any restrictions. You may have managed to damage the mass airflow sensor. If you...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.