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In cars with a secondary air injection system for smog control (emissions system), it’s important that the air being injected is clean and free of debris and contaminants. Because the air is being recirculated with exhaust gases to be burned again, any debris will eventually make its way into the combustion chamber, just as it would if the primary air filter wasn’t in place. To prevent this from happening, an air pump filter is used.
An air pump filter works on the same principle as your regular air filter. The filter is made from a mesh material or sometimes cardboard. The filter fibers trap contaminants and debris, preventing them from entering the system. Also just like your air filter, there is only so much the material can hold. Eventually, it becomes clogged and must be replaced.
If dirt and debris are allowed to enter the combustion chamber, serious damage can occur. This is why there is an air filter on your manifold intake, as well as another on your air pump. Any source of fresh, outside air is also a possible source of contamination and damage. If your air pump filter is clogged or dirty, have it replaced by one of our expert mechanics.
While you’ll still be able to operate your vehicle with a dirty air pump filter, you’ll suffer from reduced performance, and poor fuel economy. You also won’t pass your emissions tests. If your car is equipped with a secondary air injection system, have the air pump filter replaced immediately.