Car filters are crucial components that shouldn’t be neglected and they all have an important job, as they’re the parts responsible of keeping everything running clean in your vehicle.
Forgetting to change the filters in your car can cause serious damage.
In a previous article about automotive pumps, we mentioned fuel and oil filters, and we briefly explained their role removing microscopic particles and impurities, but actually, there are four types of filters in your car, (not only two).
In this article we will take a closer look at each and every one of them to help you better understand how filters work, and most importantly to know when your car filters should be replaced.
Manufacturers build different fuel filters to fit different vehicles, it’s not a “one size fits all” with fuel filters. A specific fuel filter is made for a specific application in a specific vehicle.
That’s said, all fuel filters share the same job, which is cleaning the fuel in a highly efficient manner by separating particles and water to prevent ware and corrosion of the sensitive injection system and the engine.
The fuel filter is normally equipped with a threaded fitting on each end and it screws into the fuel lines on either side.
Even though fuel is cleaned in the refinery, it may pick up a lot of impurities during storage and transportation to local gas stations, and the car’s gas tank typically contains contamination, for example paint chips, dirt, or rust.
These impurities collect on the fuel filter which then results in clogging.
If you start to notice symptoms such as difficult starting or shaky idling you'll want to make a quick visit to the shop and get your fuel filter replaced.
It is recommended that you should change your fuel filter once a year. But, it’s always preferable to check your owner’s manual for the specific service interval.
Oil keeps the engine’s metal parts properly lubricated and prevents them from making contact with each other, which drastically increases the life of the engine. However, dirt and tiny flecks of metal may contaminate the oil, and these tiny particles can scrap, dent, or scratch the engine components.
That’s why it is imperative that the oil be clean, which is where the oil filter comes into play.
The outside of the filter is a metal can that has the filter material inside, most frequently made from synthetic fiber. The engine’s oil pump moves the oil directly to the filter, where it enters from the holes in the perimeter of the base plate. The dirty oil is passed through the filter media and once cleansed, it flows through the central hole, where it re-enters the engine.
Since we can’t actually see inside a filter to check on how full it might be, and filter failure can cause potentially serious damage, replacing it with every scheduled oil change is a good practice.
Air filters catch all of the dust, grime, insects, leaves, and any other debris that may get sucked up into the engine, providing engines with clean air.
Internal combustion engine needs a mixture of fuel and air to operate properly. The lack of clean air can result in the gasoline not completely burning during the combustion process, and without the proper combustion, fuel mileage and power are both lost.
A clean and correctly installed air filter can enhance fuel economy, increase engine life, lower emissions and boosts acceleration.
How often an air filter should be replaced varies, on most cars, air filters need to be changed every 12 months. However, you should consider replacing your air filter more frequently if you live in an area with a lot of dust or impurities in the air. Air filter is typically easily accessible in most cars, so if not sure, just pull it out and check how dirty it is.
AC filters, or cabin filters provide clean air to your vehicle’s interior through the ventilation system. They do to the passenger compartment what the air filter under the hood does for your engine. Only, instead of keeping your engine healthy, they help keep you healthy!
The AC filter is a small pleated device composed of fibrous, or porous materialsand its purpose is to clean the air coming in through your car’s heating and cooling system, removing solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from the air.
AC filters need to be replaced periodically because over time, they fill up with dirt and contaminants, and when that happens they can no longer do the job they’re designed to do
If you notice unpleasant odors coming from your vents, rattling noises when running air conditioning, weak airflow, or haze on the inside of the windows, those can be signs that your AC filter needs to be replaced, but in general, you should change your cabin filters once a year.