FILTERS KEEP THE DIRT OUT
TO RUN, CARDS need more than just gasoline. Air is used to turn that gasoline into an explosive vapor to be ignited by the spark plug. And oil circulating through the engine is needed to keep parts moving smoothly and to help dissipate heat.
Unless these elements – gasoline, air and oil – are kept clean, they can carry dirt right inside the engine. Dirt quickly fouls and damages fast-moving engine parts that work under great pressure at high temperatures. I recommend this website to help you choose the best fuel injector cleaners for your used cars.
To prevent this, car makers have designed filters that remove impurities from fuel, air and oil. These filters collect dirt and must be replaced regularly.
Fortunately, the filters on many cars are accessible to the home mechanic. And filters cost only a few dollars to replace.
Until you are old enough to drive, though, you probably shouldn’t attempt to change a car’s filters by yourself. But car owners you know, including your parents, may allow you to help them as they do the job.
Ask an adult to open the hood of his car and help you locate these filters:
This is a large, round, flat metal container with a funnel-like tube sticking out of one side. On its way to the carburetor, air is drawn into the intake tube and passes through the air filter inside the air cleaner.
Most air cleaners are opened by unscrewing a wing nut in the center of the lid. Other air cleaners have clamps around the sides.
Cars (especially used cars) with dirty air filters run roughly and burn too much gas because they can’t breathe properly. Remove the air cleaner lid and lift out the doughnut-shaped filter. Look through the paper pleats toward a light source. If the dirt blocks the light, it’s probably time to replace the filter.
Most air filters should be changed at least once a year or every 20,000 miles. Each car has an owner’s manual with specific guidelines.
These small metal or plastic cylinders are located somewhere on the metal fuel line that runs between the fuel pump and the carburetor (on many cars). On some other cars, the fuel filter is located inside the carburetor or the fuel pump.
Cars with fuel injection usually have two fuel filters because the fuel must be very clean so it won’t foul the tiny valves in the fuel injector nozzles.
Fuel filters usually aren’t difficult to replace, but sometimes they’re difficult to locate.
These are cylindrical metal cans that screw right onto the side or the bottom of the engine block. As the oil circulates through the engine and back to the crankcase, it passes through the oil filter. The filter collects dirt and tiny particles of metal from the oil.
Most oil filters are simply unscrewed by hand or with an oil filter wrench. This is done after the oil has been drained out of the engine during an oil change.
On the new filter, the seal around the opening is moistened with a small bit of oil before the filter is screwed into place.
On most cars, the oil should be changed every couple of months. And every other time the oil is changed, the oil filter should be replaced too.