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Toyota Prius Air Filter

How to Tell if the Toyota Prius Air Filter is Dirty

The air filter may be a small component, but it does a great deal in improving the performance of your car engine. It's basically responsible for getting rid of the contaminants and allowing enough airflow in the engine for combustion. Take note that if it gets clogged up, it can limit the flow of air to the engine and lessen the amount of air for the combustion. Here are some useful troubleshooting tips for you to diagnose the Toyota Prius air filter if it needs to be replaced.

Decrease in engine performance

If you sense that the performance of your engine is demoting, then you should check on its parts. Perhaps, it could be due to a clogged air filter. In the intake cycle of the combustion process, the pistons go down to the cylinder and fill it with fuel and air. If the air filter gets dirty, it could reduce the air flow and affect the vacuum pressure as the cylinder's downward stroke will suck in less air. This will result in the loss of engine performance. If this happens, get the air filter cleaned if it's washable or have it replaced with a new one.

Difficulties in breathing

Just like humans, when the room is dirty, it can be very difficult to inhale. On the other hand, the engine creates power by breathing in air and fuel mixture, which gets combusted and compressed. This makes it easy for the engine to breathe. If the air filter gets all clogged up and dirty, it can decrease the horsepower of the car engine. Worse, it can affect the fuel economy even when you're just cruising down the highway. If you're running on carbureted engine, it can also decrease the gas mileage. So if any of these happen, then it's a sure sign that the air filter is dirty and should be cleaned or replaced.

Darkened air filter

A new air filter will generally look white or close to that color. Take a good look at your current one and inspect the color. If it's dark and filled with dirt and debris, then just by looking at it you can tell that it needs to get cleaned or replaced.

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  • Toyota Prius Air Filter Cleaning Tips 27 February 2013

    Basically, the air filter is made of fibrous material to keep contaminants such as dust, mold, and bacteria, from entering the car engine. If it gets dirty, it won't be able to remove these and will negatively affect the performance of the vehicle. It's good to always check up on the filter to know when it's time to get it cleaned. Here are some tips to clean the Toyota Prius air filter to make your engine perform better and more effectively.


    Check the color of the air filter.

    Take note that a new air filter would look white or off white. Inspect the current filter and see how it looks like. If it's blackened or filled with dirt, then it surely needs to be cleaned. If it's reusable, then go ahead and wash it; otherwise, don't think twice about getting your hands on a new one. You get the best of both worlds because you can get a fresh air filter and greatly improve the performance of your engine.


    Regularly wash the air filter.

    If it's a reusable engine air filter, then you can save money and wash it instead. You'll only need a mixture of liquid dish soap and water to do the trick. First, you'll have to wipe the inside of air filter container using a clean rag or paper towels to get rid of all the dirt buildup. Surely there are debris and dirt inside the filter, so gently tap it to remove those solid contaminants. Simply soak it in the mixture of liquid dish soap and water and swirl it around. Be sure to completely get it dry before putting it back inside.


    Know when to clean the air filter.

    What people know is that they're supposed to get the air filter cleaned every 15,000 miles. But, you have to take note that that's not the case most of the time. The air filter starts to get all clogged up with dirt and dust after a few thousand miles. If this happens, it can slow down the speed of your vehicle and become less fuel efficient. So even after 5,000 miles, inspect the filter if it needs to be cleaned.