What things can damage my air filter?
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.