What Happens When My Car’s Filters Get Clogged?

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Your car, truck, or C/SUV has three to five filters in it. The happenings that occur when the filters get clogged depend on which filter is clogged. We here at Padron Automotive will discuss each filter below and the signs that the filter is clogged. Filter maintenance is an important part of your vehicle’s preventative maintenance schedule, so plan to have the filters changed when recommended.


Every automobile on the road has an air filter in the engine. The air filter should be changed annually or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. The air filter purifies the air used in the combustion chamber for engine combustion. A clogged air filter will make the engine sputter and stall. It will also reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy and may send fuel odors into the passenger cabin.


Not every automobile on the road has a cabin air filter. Some have permanent netting to purify the cabin air. If you have a cabin air filter in your car, truck, or UV, you should change it every 30,000 miles. If the cabin air filter gets clogged, you may start to feel sick when you drive your automobile. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and nasal congestion.


Your vehicle has a fuel filter. This filter purifies the fuel used in the combustion chamber. The fuel filter needs to be changed every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. If the fuel filter gets clogged, you may end up without any fuel delivery to the engine and a dead engine. Your engine may also sputter and your gas mileage will suffer.


Your vehicle also has an oil filter. The oil filter removes all of the dirt and contaminants that the oil picks up when it circulates through the engine. The oil filter is changed at every oil change, so depending on the oil in your engine, that could be every 3,000 miles or more for synthetic oil. A clogged oil filter can damage your engine.


Finally, some vehicles have transmission filters while others don’t. Your owner’s manual will tell you if you need to worry about a transmission filter. Generally, this filter is changed every 30,000 miles. As with the oil filter, a clogged transmission filter can damage your vehicle’s transmission by allowing dirty transmission fluid to circulate through it.

Padron Automotive is the best auto service shop in Topeka, KS, so call us today for a filter service appointment if you cannot remember the last time that you had your car’s filters changed.

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