What Happens When the Air Filter Gets Clogged?

If the air filter gets clogged in your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine, you will start to have engine performance problems. When the air filter gets clogged, it prevents air from flowing into the combustion chamber for engine combustion. Consequently, you will end up with a rich fuel mixture in the chamber that will make your engine pick up speed and surge unexpectedly. To prevent this from happening, replace the air filter every 12,000 miles. This is just one filter that needs to be changed in your automobile. Here are the other filters and their changing schedules.

Cabin Air

The cabin air filter purifies the air that flows through the vents in the passenger cabin. This keeps you alert and prevents irritations such as allergies or headaches. Generally speaking, the cabin air filter needs to be replaced once the odometer has turned 30,000 miles. Unfortunately, there are several different types of cabin air filters on the market, and some need to be changed much sooner than this. Check your filter type to determine its changing schedule.


The fuel filter needs to be changed every 30,000 miles. If you fail to change the fuel filter, you will also have engine performance problems, but in this case, your engine performance will lag and sputter. This is a sign that you do not have enough fuel in the combustion chamber to produce efficient combustion. Consequently, you will continue to have engine performance problems until the fuel filter is replaced.


The oil filter is an easy one to remember because it is automatically changed when you have the oil changed in your engine. Therefore, the changing schedule depends on the oil type. Synthetic motor oil does not need to be changed as often as conventional motor oil does. As such, you will not need to change the oil filter as often. Make sure to get your oil changed at the proper interval to be certain that you always have a clean oil filter in the engine.


Finally, another filter that needs to be changed every 30,000 miles is the transmission filter. This is also easy to remember because the transmission needs to be serviced every 30,000 miles. A transmission service includes replacing the transmission fluid so it is clean and fresh in the transmission.

Give us a call today if you are concerned that any of your automotive filters are dirty. We would be happy to inspect the filters and replace the ones that need it.

Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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