How many filters play critical roles in your vehicle?
filter Noun fil·ter ˈfil-tər 1a: a porous article or mass (as of paper or sand) through which a gas or liquid is passed to separate out matter in suspension b: an apparatus containing a filter medium
As the definition above demonstrates, filters play an important role in our lives. In our homes, they filter the air that moves through the furnace. This provides us with clean air to breath while protecting the furnace from the effects of the dirt pulled through the heating and cooling ducts.
We have strainers that serve as filters for various purposes while cooking. We have water filters to clean particles out of the water we use and drink. But filters are also critical elements in our vehicles.
You may be surprised to find out how many filters you do have in your car.
- Oil Filter: Most of us know that there is an oil filter in our cars. It cleans particles out of the oil so the oil can do its job of lubricating moving parts in the engine without those particles causing damage between the moving parts.
- Air Filter: Cars use a mixture of air and fuel that is compressed and ignited to run. We have air filters to keep foreign particles out of the air that enters the air-fuel mixture.
- Fuel Filter: Similarly, your vehicle has a fuel filter to keep particles from entering the air-fuel mixture with the fuel.
- PVC Valve: The PVC valve, also known as the Positive Crankcase Ventilation filter, removes pollutants from the engine crankcase.
- Breather Filter Element: This helps to eliminate and control contaminants and vapors in the crankcase.
- Transmission Filter: Our vehicles have transmission and those transmissions also have a lubricant. And, just as with the engine, we want to eliminate particles that can interfere with the operation and life of the parts in the transmission.
- Cabin Filter: This is essentially the same as the furnace filter in our home in that it cleans the air that we breathe. Though it plays less of a role in keeping dust and particles out of the heating and cooling equipment, it ensures that the air that fills our lungs is cleaner than might otherwise be the case.
Filtration relies on meshed materials to allow air, oil, fuel, etc. to flow through while sifting out particles of dirt and foreign matter that we don’t want to allow in. They do a remarkable job at this. But, the particles don’t simply disappear. Overtime, they build up and clog the filters.
Periodically, filters need to be cleaned or replaced. In the case of your vehicle, replacement is the prescribed method of servicing your filters. And considering the crucial role that they play, we do well as owners of those vehicles to replace those filters in a timely manner, which is available in our auto repair manuals.