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So, about 3 months ago I went to Jiffy Lube for an oil change (I know, I know, the only reason I went was because someone gave me a free oil change voucher) and they seemed to do everything right. Then of course they did the bit where they bring you your engine air filter and show you how filthy it is, and you tell them just to knock the dust out and put it back in. I drive away, no problems, and I checked the oil level etc. when I got home. About a month down the line I notice a steady drop in gas mileage after every fill up, from 24 mpg, to 22, to 20, down to about 18 now. So I went to check the air filter, which I should have done a while ago I guess, and I found that they not only didn't even fasten the housing back down, but that they wedged the main wire coming off of the positive battery terminal between the housing and the filter, so for at least a month there's been a 1/2 inch gap there, so the engine has likely been sucking in unfiltered air from the engine compartment. Obviously, I'm not very car savvy, or I would have noticed the glaring issue when I first checked the oil level after I brought it home. Am I absolutely hosed on the lost performance? is there anything I should do besides replacing the filter and actually latching down the housing? And I guess most importantly how damaged could the engine be? Thanks for reading, I know its a giant block of text, I'd really appreciate any input you guys have.

-Sam
 

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Little harm would come short of you driving into a flock of birds or something. :) Drop in gas mileage could be winter. You don't show your location.
 

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Little harm would come short of you driving into a flock of birds or something. :) Drop in gas mileage could be winter. You don't show your location.
Ok, thanks for the peace of mind. It could totally be winter, its 15 degrees F here (Virginia), and I guess the progressive decrease in temp would make sense causing a progressive decrease in mpg. Thanks for the info!
 

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Yes it's an icebox here in central Illinois this winter. My Accent is down 4-5 mpg. :(

Check those tire pressures!
 
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