What filters in my car can be cleaned instead of replaced?

What filters in my car can be cleaned instead of replaced?

There are many filters used by vehicle manufactures to keep your car running in tip top shape.

The most important of these filters include the oil, fuel, air and automatic transmission fluid filters.

On some newer vehicles, a cabin air filter is also used, to keep the air entering the cabin fresh and free from pollutants.

All manufacturers specify regular intervals where these filters are recommended to be replaced, but some of them can be cleaned, to prolong their service life with no ill effects.

The oil filter and fuel filter are two of the most important filters fitted to a vehicle.

The oil filter is an integral component in keeping the engine running at its best, by filtering the oil used to lubricate the moving parts inside the engine.

Modern day engine oils contain cleaning agents and detergents to remove carbon and debris build up from the lubrication system and the oil filter is designed to capture these contaminants after they are dislodged to prevent any damage to the inside of the engine.

These filters are recommended to be replaced whenever the oil is changed, as there is no way to effectively clean them.

Most oil filters are relatively cheap, so replacement is simple and easier than trying to clean out an old filter.

The fuel filter is designed to remove any dirt or debris from the fuel system. Any small particles that make their way into the fuel system can cause expensive damage if not removed, especially in diesel vehicles.

Replacing fuel filters at specified intervals will help prevent damaging particles wreaking havoc on your fuel system.

Like oil filters, there is no effective way to remove the debris from these filters and replacement is recommended at manufacturers specified intervals.

The cabin filter and air filter are different stories. These filters are easily cleaned out to extend their life.

Simply remove the filters and inspect them. If they are dark in colour and full of debris, it is best to replace them.

If, however, the filter looks OK with just a small amount of debris, cleaning it may be the best option.

Using compressed air, if you have access to it, will allow you to remove most of the particles in the filter and prolong the life.

If compressed air is not available, using a vacuum cleaner with a small attachment may help to remove debris and dirt from the filter.

Once the filter is free from the dirt and debris, refit back into its housing.

Following this guide will allow you to get the most out of your vehicles filters, and keep your vehicle in great shape for years to come!

Got any other car maintenance hints or tips? We’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below or send us an email via [email protected]

About Simon Lai 892 Articles
Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

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