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The 4 Car Filters and When to Replace Them

The 4 Car Filters and When to Replace Them

Every car has four different filters: air filter, cabin filter, oil filter, and fuel filter. All of these filters enable flow and catch impurities to ensure that your engine is running efficiently and safely.

Air Filter

To begin to think about getting your car started, you need to think about airflow to the engine. Your car engine requires air for combustion. Without proper combustion, you risk losing fuel milage and overall power to your vehicle.

An air filter prevents insects, dust, particles, and debris from reaching the engine. As mentioned, air is necessary for combustion. Without this filter supporting your cars performance, you’d be lost.

When To Replace the Air Filter

It’s ideal to change the air filter at least once a year (preferably sooner) if you drive in dusty areas. Luckily, the air filter is one of the most accessible parts to clean or change. Simply, remove the intake hose attached to the air collection box and lift out the filter. If you hold the filter up in front of the light and see any light peeking through, that means it’s time to change the filter.  If your car is emitting black smoke or the check engine light has come on, that means you’ve waited much too long to change your filter.

Air filters can come in various shapes depending on your vehicle. The most commonly seen are panels, circular and cylindrical, all of which are pleated materials made of cotton, synthetic paper, or foam.

Cabin Filter

Not only does the filter keep the interior air of the car clean of contaminants and debris, but it also prevents all of that debris from clogging up your car’s AC system. It’s essential to keep a clean cabin filter because it keeps allergens, like pollen and dust, out of the air you breathe. Carbon activated cabin filters can even absorb exhaust gasses and odors.

When to Replace the Cabin Filter

The lifespan of a cabin filter is dependent on the make and model of a car, but generally speaking, it’s best to change between every 15,000 and 30,000 miles. If you’re noticing any reduced airflow, lingering odors, or increased dust within your car, these may be signs that it’s time to get a new cabin filter.

The cabin filter can be found under the hood, behind the glove compartment, or under the dashboard. Depending on where it is located, it may be difficult to change it on your own.

Oil Filter

Without oil, the engine would overheat, and parts would wear out prematurely. The oil filter maintains continuous oil flow and removes particles that may appear in the motor oil due to engine wear. Ultimately, the oil filter is critical to maintaining smooth operation, engine life, and fuel mileage.

When to Replace the Oil Filter

You’ll want to replace your oil filter to avoid ruining your new oil.  In general, you should change your oil filter every other time you change your oil, which is about every 5,000 miles. You should also keep your eye on the check engine light. Some newer cars even have an oil change indicator or oil pressure warning light. DON’T IGNORE THOSE.

Fuel Filter

Like all the other filters, this filter also catches impurities and contaminates. In this case, the fuel filter catches things like dust, rust, grit, and water that can be found in fuel. It’s important to change out the fuel filter when needed, because without one that properly works or you risk letting contaminants cause expensive damage to your car. It could even cause the fuel pump and injector to fail!

When to Replace the Fuel Filter

Most manufacturers suggest that you change your fuel filter every two years or after 30,000 miles. Again, these numbers are dependent on the type of vehicle you drive. It’s always best to check your owner’s manual for the right information for your car.

Home Service Oil

When it comes to your car, you’ll want to make sure everything from the engine to the gas pump is working efficiently. At HSO, we efficiently deliver gasoline and diesel fuel to commercial companies, construction sites, and farms. If your bulk fuel supply is starting to dip, call us at 1-800-467-5044 to schedule a delivery.




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