Taking Care Of My Car

Are Contaminants Reducing Your Vehicle's Power?

If you are experiencing acceleration issues coupled with reduced gas mileage, your vehicle's engine may be dealing with contaminants that are interfering with normal combustion. These materials can be affecting the quality and quantity of the air needed for efficient burning of gas, or else preventing the gas itself from reaching the combustion chamber in the proper manner.

A visit to an automotive repair shop can check your engine air filter, as well as your fuel filter and injectors to determine if they are to blame for your vehicle's poor performance.

How Can a Dirty Engine Air Filter Affect Your Engine?

Your engine needs oxygen to burn fuel inside its combustion chamber. When the air filter gets dirty, it loses its efficiency in removing contaminants before the air reaches the combustion chamber. An extremely dirty filter, which hasn't been changed for an extended period, will become clogged, reducing the amount of air that can pass through to the engine.

Both of these factors can affect the combustion process, which reduces available power and forces the engine to use more fuel to compensate for the lack of oxygen. A completely clogged filter will cause the engine to shut down.

How Do Dirty Fuel Filters and Injectors Affect Performance? 

The fuel filter removes contaminants from the fuel before it can reach the fuel injectors, which spray fuel into the combustion chamber to mix with oxygen in the most efficient manner. When fuel filters are dirty, contaminated fuel can enter the combustion chamber, reducing engine performance.

These same materials can also accumulate on the tips of the individual injectors, reducing their ability to deliver gas to the chamber in an efficient manner.

Which Services are Needed to Solve These Performance Issues?

You will need to replace the engine air filter and/or the fuel filter. The engine air filter, not to be confused with the cabin air filter, which cleans the air for the occupants of the vehicle, is simple to replace.

It is located in a rectangular plastic box beside the engine in most vehicles. You simply pull away the locking bar that holds the lid of the box in place, remove the old filter, place the new filter inside, and restore the lid.

Replacing a fuel filter is a little bit more complicated (and dirty), and best left to your local auto repair shop. Cleaning the injectors requires a special machine that forces chemical cleaners through the fuel system to flush out all old fuel and contaminants. This is also a job for an automotive repair shop. The initial investment in these essential services will be returned to your pocket over time through improved gas mileage and reduced engine wear.