What are filters for?
Air filters are generally used in applications where air quality is important, and that includes car engines.
Normally air filters are made with fibrous, or porous, materials that remove solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mould, and bacteria from the air. With car engines this is important because these particulates could cause damage to the engine if they made it inside.
It’s the same with oil and fuel filters too; they are designed to ‘filter’ out any impurities which may cause damage if they are not removed.
In the case of vehicles, these impurities could cause problems such as blocked fuel lines, which would mean calling for a recovery truck. Worse still, they could lead to engine damage and a very expensive repair bill!
Here are some of the types of filters used in cars:
Picture taken from the site www.euspares.co.uk
When to change filters
It can be difficult to know when to change filters, but a good place to start is your vehicle handbook. This will tell you the service intervals and what should be changed depending on the service being carried out.
It is always good practice to change filters at regular intervals, and this is a job that can be done quite easily at home with basic tools. But, as a guide for changing them, every 12 months or 12,000 -15,000 miles is probably about right.
How to change filters
As mentioned, this is a very easy task to perform yourself with some basic tools. A workshop manual for your car will be a great asset to you – it will show you step-by-step how to perform these maintenance tasks.
If you don’t have the manual, try looking online. There are often dedicated owner’s forums where maintenance tips are discussed. These often include handy guides and picture/video tutorials to help you.