Somersworth Auto Repair

What Should My Car’s Engine Air Filter Look Like?


Your engine depends on an air filter to block dust, debris, and other harmful particles from the engine. The filter provides the motor with clean air, so the engine can get a proper amount of air to achieve peak performance and efficiency. It can be found under your car's hood and in the engine air filter housing, typically on top or beside the engine. You, or your mechanic, should check on the filter periodically.

Overly worn or filthy air filters can cause your vehicle’s motor to perform poorly, with less power and laggy acceleration. So how do you know when to change it? Typically, it is recommended to change the air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, give or take. If you often drive in heavy traffic or stop-and-go traffic, you may need to replace it more frequently. Those conditions will cause your filter to get dirty quicker. 

What Should the Engine Air Filter Look Like?

When you check your filter at home, you should know that the air filter in your car looks similar to the one in your home. It is usually square and has folding lines. A brand-new air filter is white or off-white, whereas a clogged one will look darker, almost gray. When your filter looks dark and caked with dirt and debris, you should replace it ASAP.

Knowing the telltale signs of a bad engine air filter can keep you from experiencing a loss in engine power and other engine problems. Below are some of the other signs that indicate your air filter is due for a replacement:

  • Less engine power/laggy acceleration
  • Check engine light illuminated
  • Engine sputtering
  • Dirty exhaust smoke
  • Rough idling

An engine air filter replacement is usually done with an oil change or tune-up. It is very simple and straightforward that can be accomplished in minutes. Let us help you take care of your car and improve the mileage and performance of your vehicle all at the same time. If you need an air filter change, please call or visit Central Park Garage today!

Central Park Garage is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Central Park Garage (603) 953-0047 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.