4 Types of Car Filters and What They Do for You
You have probably seen pictures of the black, sludgy lungs of tobacco smokers in health class. Mechanics can show you pictures of dirty car filters that are just as scary and clogged.
A car engine won’t work well without dust and dirt-free air, clean oil, or clean fuel. Air filters are one of the four kinds of car filters: oil, air, cabin air, and fuel.
Why Should You Know What Car Filters Do?
Knowing about the different auto filters and when you should change them is part of responsible driving and car ownership. Dirty filters can lead to serious mechanical problems over time. You can learn how to change most car filters yourself.
Air Filters Clean the Air Your Car’s Engine Uses
If you’ve seen an older car with its engine sputtering and puffing out black smoke, it could be due to a dirty air filter. Long before a newer car starts puffing smoke, the check engine light will come on.
The air filter is one of the simplest parts to change or clean. You can remove the intake hose attached to the air collection box and lift out the filter. Hold the filter up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, you should clean or replace it.
Cabin Air/Air Conditioning Intake Filters
Whether or not you’re using the air conditioner, the cabin air filter keeps dust, pollen, and other air pollutants out of the air you breathe while driving. The cabin air filter can be under the hood, behind the glove compartment, or under the dash.
Depending on its location, cabin air filters can be slightly more challenging to replace than the engine air filter. They are still a part you can replace if you want to work on your car.
Oil Filters: Critical to Engine Performance
The oil filter keeps debris out of the oil while the engine is running, along with road grime and dirt. A properly-working oil filter is critical to your car’s smooth operation, engine life, and fuel mileage.
Replace the oil filter with every oil change. You may need to change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles but many newer vehicles require less-frequent changes up to 10,000 miles.
Fuel Filters Keep Engines Efficient
When fuel comes out of a refinery, it’s clean. Then it goes into trucks and gas station tanks and may get contaminated. The fuel filter keeps dirt, grime, and water out of your engine.
Most manufacturers recommend that you change the fuel filter every two years. Follow your car’s manual to know when to change the fuel filter. Some fuel filters are located inside the car’s gas tank and can be difficult to change yourself.
If you can change your oil, you can also replace the oil filter. Air filters for the engine and cabin are straightforward to replace. All four kinds of car filters keep your car running so you can drive safely and worry-free.