82 signs that your vehicles filters need replacing

signs that your vehicles filters need replacing


By Jessica Howe on 2018-05-06 19:40:24

Every type of filter on your car will need to be serviced a little differently. These filters will have different service intervals, as well as different symptoms to look for when they need to be replaced. There are also various ways to upgrade these filters in order to provide the best protection and performance for you and your vehicle. The list below highlights the most common symptoms of filter failure for each type of filter on your vehicle.

Engine Oil filters

The engine oil filter on your car may give little to no indications that it needs to be changed. You may notice signs of the engine running sluggishly, or notice low oil pressures on your oil pressure gauge on the dashboard. You may notice metallic sounds or have more fuel consumption. However, there will likely not be any other signs that directly point to your oil filter. The best way to keep track of when to replace your oil filter is by clocking the mileage since it was last replaced. Checking the condition of the oil will also indicate how dirty the oil filter likely is. The dirtier the oil, the dirtier the filter will be.

Transmission Fluid Filters

The transmission may show signs of improper or delayed shifting if the transmission fluid and the filter are needing to be replaced. Most often the filter itself will not show obvious signs that it needs to be replaced. The transmission fluid filter is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and only becomes worn when the transmission fluid breaks down, the fluid becomes overheated, or the transmission is failing. However, it is often recommended by the manufacturer that you replace the filter at a given mileage. If the transmission is not shifting correctly, have it inspected by a professional to make sure there are no serious signs of damage. Always follow your manufacturer recommended service schedule for transmission maintenance.

Fuel Filters

Your fuel filter can show several signs that it needs to be replaced. Fuel filters will cause poor acceleration when they are clogged. The flow of fuel to the engine will decrease and the throttle may seem unresponsive. Restricted flow through the fuel filter may be most noticeable when the vehicle is under a load such as driving uphill, carrying a heavy load, or while towing. A clogged fuel filter will strain the fuel pump causing it to work harder than it should. That clogged fuel filter can cause your fuel pump to completely fail if it puts excessive amounts of strain on the pump. As always, follow manufacturer recommendations when it comes to fuel filter service intervals. If you need to replace the fuel pump for any reason, always replace the fuel filter at the same time.

Cabin Air Filters

Cabin air filters are often forgotten because they do not show signs of being contaminated without a major event provoking filter failure. The most common signs of cabin air filter failure include a poor smell, extremely dirty interior, or restricted air flow. This is another filter that should be checked based on time and mileage. You can also clean the cabin air filter between replacements. For anyone who suffers from outdoor allergies, changing your cabin air filter frequently can make a difference in how you feel while on the road. You may also choose to upgrade your cabin air filter to one designed to capture the particular particles in the air that you are allergic to.

Engine Air Filters

Engine air filters will also rob the engine of power. Poor acceleration, an unresponsive throttle, poor fuel mileage, and a rough idle are all warning signs that the engine air filter needs to be replaced. A lack of airflow to the engine can cause a ripple effect.

The fuel supply to the engine will be too rich, causing spark plug fouling, and eventually leading to the engine misfiring. You can typically see how dirty your engine air filters are simply by checking them. If your filter is damaged, it must be replaced. If it only has minor surface contamination, you can likely clean the filter rather than replacing it.

Summary

The various fluid and air filters on your vehicle have different signs that indicate that they need to be replaced. Some filters will not give you any indications that they need to be serviced, but instead, you have to know how long its been since they were replaced last. It may be beneficial to keep a physical log of when your filters were checked or serviced.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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