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Delivering A Fatal Blow: Can A Dirty Air Filter Damage Your Car’s Engine?

The engine for a car is as vital as the heart is for your body. Without it, your car wouldn’t be able to function. Hence, this gives you a sound reason to be vigilant of what goes into the car’s engine, be it air, oil, or fuel. In this article, we will discuss how a dirty air filter damages the car’s engine.

How Can Dirty Air Inflow Deliver A Killing Blow To Your Car’s Engine?:

The air filter is located chiefly near the engine, enclosed under a black hood. Additionally, it controls the air volume that flows into the engine and also filters out dirt, dust, and other suspended particles. Inevitably, when the filter gets clogged due to prolonged usage and no maintenance, the filtering capacity and the mass of air inflow reduces. Undoubtedly, this impacts the engine’s life and gives rise to the following series of complications:

Reduced Engine Efficiency and Increased Fuel Consumption:
The air entering the fuel chamber plays a vital role in the fuel combustion process. Furthermore,the chamber is intricately calibrated to work on a certain air to fuel ratio, which means that the fuel burning is optimum at this particular air inflow. However, a choked filter reduces the mass of air that flows in. Unfortunately, this can lead to a variety of problems, such as:

  • Fuel leftover, so the car “drinks” more fuel.
  • Low inflow means low outflow. Therefore, the air cannot carry out all combustion byproducts.
  • Incomplete combustion means the engine produces more soot and toxins.

Jammed Spark Plug:

The spark plug is located above the chamber and works in close quarters with fuel and air. Consequently, the soot from the partial burning of fuel can settle on the segment of the spark plug, protruding into the chamber. As a result of soot or dust accumulation, the spark plug can sometimes misfire. Eventually, excessive accumulation can totally obstruct the spark plug, leading to critical component failure. In such a scenario, you would have to replace your spark plug.

Increased Wear And Tear:

We have discussed how the dirty air filter damages the engine in terms of lower air mass inflow. However, the complications don’t stop here, as the dirt and abrasives suspended in dirty air input also have a role to play.

Fine dust particles and abrasives contaminate the oil films used to reduce friction among the engine’s moving parts, such as the pistons. Basically, the dust now nullifies the effect of the oil film. Consequently, the friction, along with the abrasive particles, wears down these parts faster.

Oil Leakage:

An immediate consequence of erosion is an engine oil leakage. When components start to break down, small cracks can appear from where the oil leaks.


All the above problems are often irreversible and would need repair or replacement. However, they do allow you enough time to replace your air filter and save you and your car from such vital issues. Talk to a car expert in your locality to determine how often you should change your car’s filter. Now that you know how a dirty air filter damages your car’s engine, replace them in a timely manner. Don’t worry though, Clean Liquid Systems is here to guide you. We are committed to your safety and provide an extensive catalog to choose from because “if it filters, we probably have it.” Call us at 713-253-0100 for more inquiries.