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What Can Happen if a Lawn Mower Air Filter Gets Too Dirty?

New lawn mower air filters are revolutionizing the way people maintain their lawns and gardens. They can filter the air, keeping it clean as you work. They can also help prevent clogging of the motor and reduce maintenance cost. 

This helps to reduce air pollution and get a better quality of life for everyone in your community. But when a lawn mower air filter gets dirty, it won’t work as expected. 

The dirty air filter on the lawn mower can cause poor engine performance, which leads to an engine misfire. The dirt that is trapped in the filter can also lead to black smoke.

In this article we’ll discuss what can happen if a lawn mower air filter gets too dirty. Let’s find out.

Dirty air filter of a lawn mower
Dirty air filter of a lawn mower

Oily air filter traps dirt

With the air filters installed, dirt, dust and leaves can’t get into your car’s engine and cause damage. A dirty oily filter can cause a lawn mower to malfunction. 

Oily air filter of a lawn mower
Oily air filter

It can prevent the mower from working properly, which might result in the engine not getting enough oxygen, or allow bad particles to pass into the engine causing it to break down. 

An air filter allows a good mix with gasoline and combust. However, when it becomes oily, it can do harm to the lawn mower engine by not allowing adequate airflow through the engine. 

A major problem with filters that are too oily or contaminated is that they can get stuck in the engine, where they allow unwanted small particles to enter. If this continues, the engine may stop functioning properly and the user will have to replace it.

Wrong procedures to maintain

When turning the mower over the wrong way, it becomes impossible to clean and the air filter gets dirty and oily. What’s worse is that if oil gets on the air filter and it gets too clogged, it will cause damage to the mower. 

But if you don’t change the air filter as soon as it gets dirty, then the engine will not be able to breathe and this can lead to an engine failure. To fix this issue, change the air filter.

Engine Misfires

A dirty air filter in your lawn mower can cause an engine misfire. When it is restricted from getting fresh air, the unburned fuel is forced into the cylinders where it can form a soot residue which blocks critical passages inside the engine. 

Lawn Mower engine misfiring
Lawn Mower engine misfiring

The misfiring is also caused by an accumulation of dirt on the spark plug which can’t deliver enough combustion for optimum performance. Although there may be a lot of dirt in the air filter, the engine will still not perform well. 

This is because, in order to reach optimal performance, the spark plug needs to be clean. Changing the air filter regularly helps in maintaining this spark plug and prevents engine misfiring.

Poor engine performance

A clogged air filter in your lawn mower will cause poor engine performance and the engine to heat up quickly. Oil that has been spilled on the air filter will also not allow for proper combustion of fuel, creating a high level of unburnt fuel that will mix with dirty air. 

This buildup in your engine is likely to lead to any one of a number of different problems including reduced power and increased strain on the mower’s engine.

A clogged air filter will not only clog up the engine, but it will also smother your engine. It is important to be aware of how dirt from the air filter could kill your engine. 

It also prevents the fuel from burning with the right amount of air. The engine will fetch less combustion power that means less horsepower will be produced. And less engine performance.

In order to remove this problem, you need to remember that clean filters are crucial for optimal combustion, which allows for proper power usage and less wear and tear on your lawn mower. 

The best way is to replace the dirty air filter with a new one.

Causes Black Smoke

If a gas is not completely burned during the combustion process, it will result in black smoke or flames coming out of the exhaust pipe. As air is not clean, it will result in poor combustion. 

Black smoke is caused by fuel oil which has not been completely combusted during the combustion process. This is because of improper air filtration or too much fuel oil on the air filter. 

This leads to a build-up of tar particles which eventually coats the sides of the engine and prevents complete combustion of fuel.

Strong Fuel Smell

The quality of the air a vehicle produces can have a big impact on the engine’s performance. A dirty air filter can cause poor combustion and create black smoke. 

This will lead to a strong smell inside the car in addition to decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions. With all of these factors considered, it is important to take care of the air filter regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dirty air filter make you sick?

Breathing too much dirty air is bad. A dirty air filter could leave you with various health issues such as headaches, fatigue, or a tight feeling in your chest. 

This is because the filter traps pollutants and dirt in its surface while it traps allergens too.

Can a dirty air filter cause a lawn mower not to start?

For many lawnmower owners, grass and dirt can get caught in their machine’s engine. When this happens, they will find that the engine won’t start. It also causes the lawn mower to loose speed. Sometime the lawn mower won’t get good gas mileage.

To prevent this from happening, your machine has an air filter to keep debris out of the carburetor & engine. But when the filter clogs up or becomes too dirty, it can reduce your lawnmower longevity.

Why is my push lawn mower turning over but not starting?

Loose, dirty, or disconnected spark plug in your lawn mower? Check it out, clean off debris, re-connect and tighten. Dirty air filter? Clean or replace. Fuel not reaching the engine? 

Tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas. If this does not work, you may have a clogged fuel line and should have cleaned to fix the issue.


Lawn mower with a dirty air filter isn’t a good thing. You mush have to replace the dirty air filter. From reducing the longevity of the engine to harm your health, dirty air filters will cost you a lot. Whether it by harming your or your lawn mower. So, you need to replace this thing as soon as you can.

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