When is it time to replace my car’s filters?

A:

Don’t think about changing these filters on a seasonal basis; change them on a usage basis. The more you use your car, the more the filters have to sift out the particulates in the air.

There are actually three kinds of filters that require regular attention and maintenance: engine, cabin and fuel. The first keeps dirt and other particles out of the intake system and the combustion chamber. It keeps your engine breathing, and when it gets plugged up, airborne matter enters, causing damage to sensors and doing things like turning on the “Check Engine” light.

The cabin air filter makes sure air coming into your car is clear of particulates. It used to be a luxury item, but now it’s mainstream and even essential. You should pull it out and inspect it on a regular basis.

The final filter that needs monitoring is the fuel filter. It needs to go when you hit a mileage milestone, which varies by vehicle. Some will be at 30,000, others at 50,000.

You can find out what your vehicle needs, and when to make replacements, in your owner’s manual or by visiting your Ford dealer. The Works Package, which gets you a complete inspection of your vehicle’s belts, hoses, steering, tires and more, is the best way to stay covered.

Tags: MAINTENANCE