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Fire Smoke and Your Car’s Air Filter

It’s been a tough summer in Los Angeles. Between COVID-19 and the wildfires, going outside hasn’t been a whole lot of fun. Our California sunshine has had a rough time shining through all of the smoke. So, what does fire smoke do to your European automobile’s air filter? If you got stuck in snowing ash while driving around like many Los Angelinos did, you should probably check your air filter or let us here at Eurozone Motors do so to make sure it’s not clogged.

Air and Engine Combustion

Your automobile uses internal combustion to fire up and run. Combustion combines air and gasoline and then ignites it with the spark plugs. There’s actually more to it than that, but you get the gist. The cleaner the air coming into your vehicle’s engine the better. Dirty air introduces contaminants and debris into the engine, which could damage it. Even small dust particles can harm the engine. Our air has been particularly polluted over the last two months, which means your automobile’s air filter has had to work double-time to keep the air flowing into the engine clean.

Changing the Air Filter

Generally, your vehicle’s air filter should be changed every 15,000 miles to 30,000 miles, but this duration can be affected by exactly what’s been going on in Los Angeles right now. Smog, smoke, and ashes in the air will flow through your automobile’s air filter while you drive, dirtying it up much sooner than in 15,000 miles. Check your air filter now, especially if you haven’t had it changed lately, to make sure it isn’t chalked full of dust and ash. Also, check your owner’s manual to see when your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends you change it for a general guideline.

In most cases, you can change the air filter yourself, just make sure you purchase the right part for your BMW, MINI Cooper, Jaguar, or other European automobile. Find the location of the air filter in your engine in the owner’s manual. Remove the top of the housing carefully to inspect the air filter. Pull it out and visually inspect it thoroughly. If it looks clean and white, you don’t need to change the air filter right now. If it’s dirty, you need to change it or have it changed. Remember, you only want clean air flowing into the engine and it’s the air filter’s job to ensure that happens.

Ignoring your air filter will affect engine performance, gas mileage, and wear down your spark plugs prematurely. Switch out a dirty air filter or stop by Eurozone Motors’ Los Angeles auto service shop. With all the fire smoke in the air, your air filter could be clogged, so don’t put off changing it.

Photo by MichaelPenhallow from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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