Top Reasons for a Clogged Air Filter in Your Volkswagenby admin October 20, 2020
Making sure your Volkswagen is in great shape should be a top priority for any good driver and car owner. Regular maintenance is extremely important, but so is knowing the signs of when something might be wrong. Knowing the root cause of some of the strange symptoms your car experiences can save you time, money, and stress, and help you solve problems such as a clogged air filter in your Volkswagen.
What does the air filter do?
It may sound obvious, but the air filter prevents dust, insects, debris, sand, and any other form of small particles from entering your engine. It also regulates the amount of air your engine receives, allowing oxygen to enter the engine for the combustion process, and keeping the car in peak performance.
The Importance of Changing the Air Filter
The air filter is more important than it sounds. Allowing the proper amount of oxygen into the engine, as well as blocking unwanted debris and particles to enter, the air filter allows your Volkswagen to perform to the standard you expect.
An old, dirty, or broken air filter can cause poor gas mileage and fuel economy. Your exhaust can turn dark, black, and/or smoggy, which is always a terrible sign of things going on in your engine. Overall power and performance of your engine will also be jeopardized, which can be not only irritating, but sometimes dangerous as well.
Common Causes of Clogs
A clogged air filter normally comes about from everyday driving. Debris such as insects, dirt, and dust filling up the air filter will inevitably eventually clog it and render it rather useless. This can be particularly prevalent here in Arizona, if you drive around dusty rural areas or any sandy areas regularly.
A clogged air filter can be expedited by overuse of the car’s A/C. This is because the circulating air will constantly push air through the air filter, introducing new particles to fill the filter up and block it every time new air passes through.
It should take around 10-12 months for your air filter to get dirty, a couple months faster if you live in an exceptionally dusty or sandy area. If your filter is getting dirty much faster than this, you could have the wrong kind installed if your car is used or if you ever tried to fix the air filter yourself. Make sure to take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.
Symptoms of a Clogged Air Filter
Your engine misfires
If your engine is misfiring, it could be caused by a lack of air flow to the engine, causing fuel that hasn’t been burned exiting the engine. This could take the form of misfiring, simply not starting easily, or a jerky start as well.
Reduced gas mileage
If your fuel economy is reduced, it could mean your engine is trying to make up for the lack of oxygen it’s receiving through the air filter by using more fuel. The oxygen helps the ignition/combustion process work, so without it, the car needs more fuel to reach the same power. This reduces your fuel economy significantly, so if you’re having gas mileage problems, be sure to have your air filter checked.
If the gases coming from the exhaust pipe look smoggy, dark, or even black, it could be an issue with your air filter. This would be the result of the fuel in your engine not being properly combusted because of the lack of oxygen. Then, the unburnt fuel leaves the car through the exhaust pipe.
Air filter appears dirty
This one sounds a little bit more straightforward than it is, actually. A clean air filter should be white, or at least close to it. However, even if it is white, there could be dirt and debris on the inside that is blocking oxygen from getting through. Always have a professional mechanic check your air filter when you take your car to the shop.
McIlvain Motors will Repair Your Air filter Problems
If you’re having problems with a broken, dirty, or otherwise malfunctioning air filter, come see us at McIlvain Motors. We proudly serve the communities in and around Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, AZ for all of your Volkswagen maintenance needs.
Taking care of every part of your car is part of being a good Volkswagen owner, so make sure to come in and see us for a diagnosis if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms. We look forward to earning your business.