Your car, truck, or SUV is equipped with various filters that keep the air going into your engine clean, the air you breathe in the vehicle, the fuel that supplies your engine, and the oil that keeps it going. How often should you have them replaced? It depends on the filter, the vehicle, and the environment. Here’s what you need to know, from Autoworks in Ithaca, NY.
Oil Filter - Your oil filter does a very important job. It prevents debris in the oil from making its way into the bearings and journals that keep your engine running strong. Typically it’s a good idea to replace your oil filter every oil change - sometimes you can get away with every other oil change if you’re running synthetic oil. If the filter gets too dirty, one of two things happens - it stops filtering the oil, or it clogs and starves the engine of oil completely. Either is disastrous to your engine.
Fuel Filter - Fuel filters don’t have to be changed very often - but it’s important that they’re changed before they become clogged. A clogged fuel filter causes all sorts of difficult-to-diagnose issues with the way your engine runs, and if it clogs, your vehicle may not run altogether. A fuel filter that isn’t allowing good flow is also hard on the fuel pump and can cause one to fail prematurely. Gasoline has small amounts of debris in it; dirt and contaminants are introduced to the fuel system though gas pumps, rusted or flaking gas tanks, and the fuel itself. The fuel filter keeps debris from making their way to the engine and collects them all in one place. Generally, it’s a good idea to replace your fuel filter every two years or 30,000 miles. There are also diagnostics your technician can perform, such as fuel pressure tests, that can indicate whether or not the fuel filter is in good shape.
Air Filter - The air filter on your vehicle is the only line of defense between particles that are floating in the air and the inside of your engine. Cylinder walls, pistons, and rings are finely machined and must be exactly within spec in order to work correctly. If it were not for your air filter, your engine would be destroyed by abrasive material in the air. Consider traveling down a dirt road, and all the dust that gets kicked up - your intake is essentially a high horsepower vacuum, and that debris is like sandpaper on a finely polished surface. For non-turbo applications, your air filter should be changed every 15-30k miles. Inspecting it is the only way to really tell since the frequency an air filter needs to be replaced depends on the environment you drive in. If your vehicle is subjected to a lot of unpaved roads, dust, or pollen, it needs to be changed more frequently. As the air filter becomes clogged, the engine becomes less efficient, and has to work harder - issues and poor running conditions will result from a clogged filter.
Cabin Filter - The cabin filter is an often forgotten filter. It is typically located somewhere under the dashboard, and it filters the air brought into your vehicle from outside. It should be changed every 15-25k miles, but like your air filter, it depends on the conditions your vehicle is subjected to. If the cabin filter becomes clogged, the air conditioning won’t work as well, and the air from the vents won’t blow as hard as they should. It’s a quick and easy fix - the most difficult thing about replacing the cabin filter is remembering to do it.
No matter your repair or maintenance needs, our technicians have you covered. For the best auto service shop in Ithaca, NY, call or stop by Autoworks today.
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