What might be wrong with my car?


#1

Recently my car (2006 Scion xA) has been accelerating sluggishly and when I turn on the AC, it doesn’t blow quite as hard and smells like dog hair (my car is full of dog hair). I thought I might be having an air filter problem, but I talked to a service technician and he swore up and down that it wasn’t the filter and I should just bring the car in to get looked at. My oil change is up to date, so I have no other ideas as to what might be wrong. Any help would be appreciated.


#2

There is more to auto maintenance than just oil changes.

When you refer to the air filter, do you mean the engine air filter or the cabin air filter? When clogged and due for changing, either of them can produce problems–albeit in different areas.

Are you up to date with a fuel filter change, engine air filter change, and spark plug change? Those could account for sluggish acceleration.

If your car has a cabin air filter, is it due to be changed? That could account for the odor inside the car, and a clogged cabin air filter would also reduce air flow for both the heater and the A/C, although diminished A/C air flow is usually more noticeable than reduced heater air flow. If you don’t have a cabin air filter, it is possible that you have some fungal growth inside the A/C air passages. (Actually, you could still have fungal growth even if you do have a cabin air filter.)

If you are not aware of the schedule for any of these maintenance procedures, the booklet outlining all of this information is sitting in your glove compartment. Compare the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule with your service invoices to see if you are up to date, and bear in mind that there is an “elapsed time” value for maintenance, in addition to an odometer mileage value.