Filters – Their Importance and why They Need to be Replaced

Many times when a car’s oil needs to be changed, or it is taken in for a repair, a filter may need to be replaced.  There are several different kinds of filters on cars, with each serving different functions.  Here is an overview of what they do to protect your car and why they need to be replaced on a regular basis to help keep your vehicle running properly.

Oil filter

This automatically gets replaced whenever you come in for an oil change. The oil filter keeps little metal shavings from landing in the oil pan, which is at the bottom of the engine. If those shavings would get in there, they could hurt your engine. Why? Because the oil in that pan is pumped throughout the engine to lubricate, clean and cool the moving parts. It would be a problem if you have metal shavings being pumped along with your oil.  By getting your oil changed on a regular basis, you shouldn’t have oil filter issues.

Air filter

The most simple explanation is that there are a lot impurities in the air that can get into the engine (think: tiny specks of dirt and trash). If you consider every time you drive on a highway or any road, and all the gravel and dust and dirt that sprays into the air as your car moves forward, you can see how you wouldn’t want any of that in your engine. The air filter protects your car’s motor from all of that and keeps the engine clean. You don’t need to change it as often as you do your oil, but once a year is typically a good idea.

Fuel filter

For gas engines, the fuel filter is there to keep any impurities that might be in the actual oil at the gas pump, from getting into your fuel tank. What can happen is that if the fuel filter gets clogged enough, less fuel will reach the engine. You could find yourself in a bind, where you suddenly don’t have enough or any fuel getting to the engine, and the car simply won’t start. Or it may work out where the fuel pump has to work harder, due to the fuel filter being clogged, which can lead to the fuel pump breaking.

For newer vehicles, the fuel filter may be designed to last the life of the car – or at least 100,000 miles. For many cars, you need to change them every 30,000 miles. Whatever the case, if it’s recommended to you, to change the fuel filter, you probably should – or at least not put it off for too long. Although it may vary based on the specific car, generally replacing the fuel filter isn’t overly expensive.

But if it’s recommended that you replace it, you should, so that a clogged fuel filter doesn’t lead to much more expensive problems down the road.

Cabin air filter

The good news is, if it’s recommended that you replace it, and you don’t change it immediately, the car will run just fine.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to replace it sooner or later. The cabin air filter takes the dust particles and pollen and out of the air of your car, making the air you breathe in your car cleaner. It also allows your air-conditioning to work more efficiently, another good reason to replace it. It’s generally recommended to change it once a year. Assuming you have one, it’s probably behind your glove compartment and is typically a fairly inexpensive fix.  It can be very important for those who have allergies.

If it has been some time since you have replaced any of the filters for your car or notice any performance issues, be sure to visit your local Milex Complete Auto Care to have our experts check your vehicle.


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