Seaside Auto Repair

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Can a dirty air filter affect engine performance?

Can a dirty air filter affect engine performance? 

Ever wondered what happens when your engine air filter gets dirty? At Wayside Garage, we often see clients coming in for maintenance, and one common issue we spot is a clogged air filter. A dirty air filter can cause several problems for your car, impacting its performance and fuel efficiency. Let's dive into why keeping your air filter clean is crucial.

What Does an Air Filter Do?

The engine air filter is designed to keep dirt, dust, and debris out of your engine. It ensures that only clean air enters the engine, which is vital for efficient combustion. When the air filter is clogged, it restricts airflow, making it harder for the engine to get the oxygen it needs.

How Does a Dirty Air Filter Affect Performance?

1. Reduced Power: Your engine is essentially an air pump. When the air filter is dirty, the engine can't get enough air, reducing its power output. You might notice sluggish acceleration and overall decreased performance.

2. Poor Fuel Economy: Restricted airflow means the engine has to work harder, which leads to higher fuel consumption. You’ll end up spending more on gas as your car’s efficiency drops.

3. Potential Sensor Issues: Modern cars have sensors like the mass airflow sensor and manifold pressure sensor that help manage engine performance. A dirty air filter can cause these sensors to become contaminated, potentially triggering the check engine light.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your car running smoothly, it's essential to change the air filter regularly. At Wayside Garage, we recommend replacing your engine air filter every 10,000 miles or every 12 months, whichever comes first. Regular maintenance not only enhances performance but also extends the lifespan of your vehicle.

Why Choose Wayside Garage?

We preach maintenance because we believe in the longevity of your vehicle. Our certified technicians are here to ensure your car stays in top condition. Schedule an appointment with us and experience the difference that proper maintenance can make.

Give us a call at 831-899-2425 or schedule online at

Let our team help you keep your car running smoothly and save you money in the long run.


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