Plenty of car owners know what a vehicle needs to function. Fuel, oil, and coolant are all crucial, but none of them would mean anything if your car couldn’t get the air it needs. Your air intake system is responsible for bringing oxygen into your combustion chamber, and a damaged air intake system spells trouble for everything else. Watch for these signs that your vehicle’s air intake system is damaged so you can deal with the issue quickly.
Illuminated Check Engine Light
Check engine lights turning on can mean a whole host of different issues, but this is one you don’t want to ignore. Your check engine light might come on if there’s something wrong with your air intake system because it can sense that your engine doesn’t have the correct air-to-fuel ratio.
If this ratio is off, you’ll feel it in how your car drives, and your check engine light will usually come on to let you know that you need to get your car looked at to assess the issue.
Heavy Shaking While Idle
An incorrect air-to-fuel ratio can often manifest itself as a very rough idle while you’re driving. This usually happens if your air intake manifold has a crack in it or if it’s already expired. The uneven amount of air that gets to your engine means that it won’t be able to hold a steady RPM.
If idling is a very unpleasant experience for you, the chances are excellent that your intake manifold has an issue, possibly a significant crack. This can often be your first sign that your air intake system needs to have a professional look at it.
When intake manifolds crack, they can often let too much air into the combustion chamber through that crack. This extra air needs to go somewhere since your engine won’t be able to use it effectively, resulting in a misfire.
Intake manifold cracks can also allow coolant water to leak into your engine. This also commonly results in a misfire as your engine can’t use this liquid in any way. Misfires are startling enough as it is, so don’t let them become a normal thing.
Reduced Engine Performance
Not many vehicle parts affect performance like your air intake. Even a tiny crack in your intake manifold can drastically reduce performance in multiple areas. You may not be able to accelerate as quickly as before, your towing power might decrease, and you could even start to see your engine burn through fuel at a faster rate. Keeping an eye out for these signs that your air intake might be damaged will help you spot them earlier and take care of them quickly. The longer you wait to fix these issues, the more expensive the repairs will be.