How important are my car's filters?

June 16, 2021

You have an air filter in your home's air conditioner and heating system but did you know that your car or truck also has filters that need to be checked and replaced periodically?

Your car has several filters in it that help your car run at its best. These filters remove harmful, microscopic particles from your car's engine oil, the air that goes into your engine and the air you breathe inside the car., but to the typical vehicle owner in Hatfield and the surrounding areas, microscopic particles are just that — microscopic. The sense of urgency isn’t there like with a lit “Check Engine Light” or pulsating brake pedal. Believe it or not though, the filters in your car are just as important as every other part of your vehicle.
A restricted oil filter means shorter engine life, a clogged air filter means greater fuel consumption and a dirty cabin air filter can increase flare ups of allergic symptoms. None of these situations are good and they’re all easily taken care of by the technicians at J’s Auto Service.
Installing new quality filters at the correct interval can cut these conditions off at the pass. Don’t think of servicing the filters as a cheap way to maintain your vehicle. Filters are truly important for the ­ongoing performance of your vehicle and you should consider the best parts for the job.
Here is what to look for:

Air Filters

An air filter is critical for the health of an ­engine, which can be ruined by only a few ounces of dirt. A cheap filter with the wrong design and filtering media can change fuel economy, turn on your Check Engine light and even damage internal sections of expensive mass airflow ­sensors.

Selecting the right filter is not only about having the correct filtering material, but it’s also about how the ­filter is made. If the end caps or seals on the filter leak when in the air box, the engine’s life will be shortened.

Oil Filters

According to the Filter Manufacturer’s Council, filter manufacturers have between 50 and 75 different filter media grades at their disposal. One reason for such a variety is the ability to control a certain size of particle ­contamination. The ultimate goal for the manufacturer is to balance filtration performance with the desired cleanliness level.

The correct filter for an application will have a good balance between efficiency and capacity for the application in which it’s used. Using a filter with a very high efficiency may fill with dirt faster  which shortens the life of the filter. This increases the risk of the system going into by-pass and not filtering the engine oil as designed.

Cabin Air Filters

According to a study from WIX Filters, Americans spent 5.5 billion hours in traffic jams in 2011. This works out to be an average of 38 hours a year that a driver is breathing air ­inside his/her vehicle, while caught in traffic. Cabin air filters are ­designed to capture contaminants, such as soot, dirt and other airborne pollutants, ­before they can enter the vehicle.

Quality cabin air filters are capable of trapping 100% of particles that are 3 microns or larger in size, and 95% to 99% of particles that are 3 microns or less. Premium filter media can trap ­particulates down to 0.001 microns in size. Cabin air filters work in similar fashion to oil, air and fuel filters, and must be changed because they have a limited life. However, cabin air filters often go unchanged because most car owners don’t realize their vehicle even has a cabin filter.

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