Mechanics

Filters

All filters incorporate a filtering element constructed from various materials. These materials can vary from cloth fiber, paper fiber, wire mesh screens or any combination of the three. Most fuel and oil filters are housed within a metal container connected to the engine or fuel system. Most vehicles have one or more filters that require regular maintenance (replacement). These filters range from an air filter, fuel filter, air cabin filter and oil filter. A properly maintained filter system will enhance the performance and extend the life of vehicle.

Changing an Air Filter
Changing an Air Filter

Inspecting the air filter is very simple and typically only involves opening the hood and finding the air filter box that is usually above the battery in the vehicle. Removing the clips that hold the lid of the box will allow you to easy access the air filter. You can quickly inspect the filter to determine if it needs to be changed. Some slight discoloration is acceptable; however an air filter that is dusty or dark should be changed to restore proper airflow to your vehicles engine. Checking the air filter of your engine is a simple process that only takes about five minutes.. Air filters remove debris from the air before it is allowed into the engine. If dirt where allowed to enter the engine it would cause premature failure. A fuel filter located in the fuel system ensures that debris in the gas tank is not passed through to the fuel injection system. A clogged fuel filter can cause low power and fuel sediments are the number one cause of system failure.

Changing a Fuel Filter
Changing a Fuel Filter

Remove fuel filter connections from fuel lines. A small amount of fuel will leak out when connections are removed. Next remove the fuel filter mounting bracket bolt and remove filter. Replace with new and recheck for leaks.

Changing an Oil Filter
Changing an Oil Filter

Normal service is mandatory for long engine life. Today's engines have more power which makes it imperative that you change your oil at regular intervals; every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. If your car uses synthetic motor oil you can extend mileage between changes up to 2,000 additional miles. Always use your manufacturer's specified weight motor oil. If a vehicle is used in dirty areas or extreme conditions it is advisable to change the filters more often than factory recommendations.

Changing an Air Cabin Filter
Changing an Air Cabin Filter

To replace the air cabin filter; locate and undo retainer clip to remove air cabin filter, compare the filter size to the replacement filter and reassemble. Note: clean the air cabin filter housing to help keep the vehicle inlet air clean. 

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Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-08-16)