There are different types of car filters equipped in our cars. These filters play an important role in helping prolong our cars’ lives and protect them from suffering untimely damage or wear and tear. The different types of car filters include engine air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, cabin air filter, and transmission filter. These filters are very important since cars rely on them to help prevent contamination which can significantly affect the car’s performance. Each of these car filters has a different function but with one objective, and that is to make sure that you and your car will get a smooth ride and the best performance.
Types of Car Filters: What are the Different Filters in a Car?
A car is equipped with filters that play a very important role in its overall operation.There are five different types of car filters found in cars today and each one has a different function. Car filters are important since when you are driving your car, it can kick up airborne particles that can be harmful to your car components. Dirt, dust, and other small or airborne particles can damage your engine as well as harm you and your passengers.
Since a car has many different types of fluid inside it such as oil and fuel, these fluids will need some filters too. This is because fluids can get contaminated and the impurities will have to be filtered since it can cause harm to your engine and other components.
The different types of car filters include engine air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, cabin air filter, and transmission filter. The task of making sure that everything is running clean is given to these car filters and although each of them has a different function, they are working together to achieve the same goal. However, over time, these filters get dirty and clogged. When they do, it can cause a lot of problems which can affect the car’s performance significantly.
It is for this reason why you need to check and replace all your car filters regularly. Each of the different types of car filters has specific maintenance and replacement intervals set by the car manufacturer. You will know the respective schedules on your owner’s manual. Replacing your car filters is as important as the other maintenance and services schedule set for the other components of your car. It is best to not neglect them since it can lead to a number of problems.
So, what are the different types of car filters and how do we take good care of them? To know more about the different types of car filters, let’s go through each of them.
- ENGINE AIR FILTER
A car has an intake system that draws air into the engine which is required for the internal combustion process. You can spot an engine air filter placed on the said intake’s front and center which helps prevent dust, dirt, and other pollutants from reaching into the engine. It makes sure that the engine will be supplied with clean air needed for the combustion process which is vital to the performance and efficiency of the car.
Over time, the engine air filter becomes dirty and clogged. It is for this reason why it needs to be checked and replaced regularly. Dirty, clogged, or damaged engine air filters can lead to a reduced air flow to the engine which can alter the air and fuel ratio of the engine. When this happens, it can result in damaged spark plugs, engine misfires, rough idle, increased carbon deposits, and other engine performance issues.
Engine air filters should be changed at least once a year or every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. You can check your owner’s manual for the recommended replacement interval. You will know if your car is due for an engine air filter replacement when you notice problems such as engine misfires, faulty spark plugs, poor fuel economy, and decreased engine performance.
- CABIN AIR FILTER
The cabin air filter is one of the different types of car filters and like the engine air filter, it also filters the air, but unlike the engine air filter, this one filters the air coming into the cabin of your car. The cabin air filter is responsible for protecting the car’s passengers from airborne particles and contaminants in the air they breathe. It traps the pollutants like dust, pollen, or allergens and keeps them from entering the car’s cabin.
The cabin air filter can be usually found behind the glovebox. It is a small pleated unit made with paper-based, multifiber cotton. It cleans the air as it flows through the HVAC system of your car. It is said that the cabin air filters should be changed every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. You can also consult your owner’s manual to know the recommended replacement interval since it can vary from car to car.
However, if you often drive in congested areas or some place where the quality of the air is poor, you might have to change your cabin air filter more frequently. If you don’t replace your car’s cabin air filter regularly, it can become dirty and clogged with dirt and other particles. You will know if your cabin air filter is due for a replacement when you experience problems such as unusual whistling sounds that seem to come from the cabin air intake ducts, weak airflow even when the air conditioner has been set to high, moldy or foul odors flowing through your AC vents, and excessive noises which can be heard when you turn on your heating or cooling system.
During winter, you also need to make sure that your cabin air filter is not dirty or clogged since it can be difficult to defog your windows when it is clogged. This can happen since reduced airflow can affect the ability of the system to clear fog or condensation from your car’s windows. Dirty air in your cabin can also lead to condensation build up on your windshield which can block your view while driving. If you experience any of the symptoms of a clogged or dirty cabin air filter, you need to have your air filter replaced immediately.
- OIL FILTER
The engine oil needs to be clean and free from any contaminations to ensure that the engine and its components will be protected and properly lubricated. It is the oil filter’s task to do this. The oil filter is one of the different types of car filters and it is responsible for protecting the engine from potential damage by trapping or removing dirt, metallic particles, oxidized oil, and other harmful contaminants that may accumulate in the engine oil because of engine wear.
Like all the other types of car filters, the oil filter also needs to be checked and replaced regularly. This is because over time, dirt, grime, or other contaminants will build up in the oil filter. When this happens and you fail to replace your oil filter, it will become clogged and the flow of oil to the engine will be restricted. Although there is a bypass valve that allows the oil to flow when the oil filter is obstructed, passing through it will not filter the dirt and other contaminants and they will eventually find their way to the engine.
Unfiltered engine oil flowing through the engine could mean that there are small particles such as dirt, metal shavings, and other substances present, flowing with the oil through the engine and its components, which can lead to premature wear and tear on the surfaces of your engine.
Perhaps you already know how important oil changes are, but it is also important that you change your oil filter regularly as well. It is said that the oil filter should be replaced every other oil change. This means if you have your oil changed every 3,000 miles, then you should have your oil filter replaced every 6,000 miles. But, if you often drive your car in extreme driving conditions, it is recommended that you have your oil filter replaced every 3,000 miles. You can also check your owner’s manual to know your car manufacturer’s recommended oil filter replacement interval to be sure.
- FUEL FILTER
One of the different types of car filters is the fuel filter. The fuel filter is an important part of the fuel system since it is responsible for protecting the engine from many harmful debris or contaminants. It filters dirt, rust, and other small particles from the fuel and keeps them from reaching into the engine. Without the help of the fuel filter, rust, paint chips, dirt, debris and other particles in the fuel can enter into the engine which can cause premature wear and tear on the engine and its components.
The fuel filter works differently, depending on the type of fuel used in the car. For engines that use gasoline, the fuel filter is responsible for removing or trapping any small particles or contaminants in the fuel. Fuel tends to have some impurities in it since petroleum is an organic source.
On the other hand, the fuel filter equipped in cars with diesel engines, is not used like the fuel filters found in gasoline engines. Fuel filters in diesel engines function by helping it prevent corrosion from developing inside the engine by removing any water build ups. This type of fuel filter is designed like a bowl which collects the water at the bottom since water is heavier than diesel. There is a drain plug at the bottom which can be removed to get rid of the water until all that’s left in there is diesel.
Gasoline fuel filters need to be replaced every 20,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on the car you own and its age. But, newer cars are equipped with fuel filters that can last up to 60,000 miles. Meanwhile, for diesel engines, it is recommended that their fuel filters should be replaced every 10,000 to 25,000 miles. It can vary depending on the car you own, how you drive, and how often you drive it. To be sure, you can check your owner’s manual for the recommended filter replacement interval.
- TRANSMISSION FILTER
Although the transmission filter is one of the different types of car filters, not all cars are equipped with one. The transmission filter is an important part of the transmission system. It is responsible for preventing metal shavings, dirt, and other debris from contaminating the transmission fluid. This filter is located between the transmission pan and the tube that controls the transmission fluid pressure. It is there to catch any dirt that flows with the fluid through the fluid passages in your transmission gearbox. This type of car filter is commonly used in cars with automatic transmissions.
Like the other different types of car filters, the transmission filter also becomes clogged or dirty over time. Failing to replace it regularly may lead to a number of transmission problems. It can be hard to determine if your transmission filter is due for a change since checking its condition is a bit difficult because of its location. To check it, you will have to open your car’s transmission.
Fortunately, there are some common signs that can help you determine if your transmission fluid is already due for a replacement. Its common signs include a burning odor, odd noises, shifting issues, or when the color of your transmission fluid is darker than normal. Fuel filters are usually replaced every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first. You can check your owner’s manual for any specific guidelines on when to replace it.
Knowing the different types of car filters will give you an idea what they are, how they work, and how to maintain them. The different types of car filters are there for a reason and sometimes, car owners usually only change them when problems start to occur because of them. This should not be the case. You need to make sure that you consult the owner’s manual of your car to give you an idea when to replace your car’s filters. You need to replace them even before they start to show some problems.