As a vehicle owner, you need to be concerned about wear and tear. In particular, you need to do whatever you can to protect the engine if you want your trusty ride to last a long time. You may think that as this is a sealed component it is not vulnerable to outside forces or contaminants, but this line of thinking couldn't be further from the truth. What do you need to know about the first line of defence when protecting your vehicle's motor?
Understanding the Problem
Firstly, it's important to understand where contamination can come from. Even though the vehicle manufacturer may have gone to great lengths to sanitise their assembly environment, many problems can arise during the normal course of operation.
For a start, added lubricants and fuel may introduce particles that are not supposed to be there. While the petrol may have been perfectly clean when it left the refinery it has probably passed through a variety of different stages since then including pipelines, truck tanks, storage facilities and petrol stations. Each one of these carries a risk of contamination.
Fuel filters are particularly important when it comes to diesel engines as the injectors, nozzles and pumps used to generate power are very precisely engineered. Any contaminants in the fuel line could easily damage them and lead to increased wear and tear, poor fuel consumption or possible failure. Remember, that the fuel filter in the diesel engine also removes water contamination that could similarly affect engine performance.
Many cities in Australia have high levels of air pollution and this can affect an engine as well. A wide variety of contaminants can be presented to the vehicle whenever you pass through different communities, from rural to agricultural to industrial.
Expect problems to develop if air flow is restricted in any way due to a blocked filter. Remember that not all air filters are of high quality and only choose those that have been carefully built to withstand tough operating environments. The components within cheaper filters can actually move or contract when subjected to constant flow and this can not only affect their performance, but lead to an increase in the level of risk to the mechanical components instead.
What You Should Do
Remember to take your car in to a car service at the manufacturer stipulated intervals and ensure that all the filters are regularly cleaned or replaced.