(WHTM) — With the smoke from Canadian wildfires still blanketing central Pennsylvania, it can cause many problems with people’s lungs, hearts, and overall general health.

But can wildfire smoke cause problems or damage your car?

According to Spokane Hyundai, if the smoke is thick enough, it can cause severe problems for your vehicle if those issues are not addressed.

Spokane Hyundai says that some of the most common problems that occur with cars when exposed to wildfire smoke are due to a clogged air filter. Because of that, it can lead to the following problems:

  • Strange engine noises
  • Decreased power and performance
  • Lower than usual fuel range
  • Check engine Light turns on
  • The smell of gas in the exhaust system
  • Black smoke or flames in the exhaust system

If your car is experiencing any of these things, Spokane Hyundai says that the air filter may be to blame, and wildfire smoke can exacerbate these issues.

To keep yourself safe in your car while driving during smoky conditions, Spokane Hyundai recommends the following:

  • While driving, always keep windows fully rolled up to let the cabin air filter do its job
  • If using air conditioning, make sure to use the recirculate setting to cycle the clean air in the vehicle.
  • During particularly smoky or dusty areas ensure the air on the vehicle is turned off to not clog up the filter with dust, smoke, and debris.

It is always important, not just during times of bad air pollution, to check your engine’s air filter.