Sparesbox Blog

What do the different Filters actually do?

By Brad Nash

Fri Jul 31 2015

Your vehicle requires a huge amount of filters and filtration systems to keep the air and liquids flowing through it as free flowing as possible, while also removing any harmful contaminants which may end up costing you both performance and money down the road. Because of this, it’s important to learn just how these work, and how they benefit your vehicle.


Air Filters

Image: K&N Filters


Your engine has to breathe much cleaner air than you do. As you could imagine, travelling at speed along dusty, dirty roads means that the air entering your engine bay is full of a massive amount of contaminants, all of which would prove a disaster should they enter your combustion chamber. Air filters are the first point of contact for any air that’s about to be mixed with your fuel before it’s combusted.

These filters come in varying degrees of filtration (measured in microns) and flow, meaning the amount of air they actually let through into the intake system. Higher flow air filters and induction systems are used for performance cars to allow the engine to create more power, and are generally more advanced and expensive. Heavier duty filters offer a higher degree of filtration for longer.


Cabin Filters

Image: MANN Filters


Cabin filters work in an almost identical way to your engine’s air filter. However, instead of filtering the air that’s about to be put into your engine, it controls the air quality of the air coming into your cabin through the air conditioning system. Things like dust, exhaust gases and pollen are all contaminants that make the road a far less healthy place to breathe, and Cabin Filters remove as much of this as possible before it enters your car’s cabin for the safety of both you and your passengers.


Fuel Filters

Image: Ryco Filters


Just like with the air going into your engine, the fuel has to be as pure and clean as possible before being injected and burnt. This is obviously tricky, as fuel can pick up contaminants when it’s refined while it’s stored at the petrol station, and even within your fuel tank. Your fuel filter removes all of this before it gets through to the injection system. A good fuel filter will not only improve the performance of your engine, but also lengthen the general life of your vehicle.



Oil Filters

Image: K&N Filters


Your engine oil is designed to lubricate all of the components of your engine, picking up any contaminants and waste that accumulates in the engine in the process. As your oil cycles through the engine and picks this up, it’s cleaned by the oil filter before going through your engine again. This is what gives your engine oil the cleaning power and long-life usability that’s so vital for your engine.


Transmission Filters

Image: Wesfil Filters


Your gears and transmission are possibly the most delicate parts of your car, and because of this along with the precisions they work at, are the most expensive to repair or replace. As such, they demand a far higher level of stable lubrication from thin oils to ensure that they’re constantly working smoothly. Your transmission filter helps to filter out these oil as they’re cycled through your gearbox and transmission, keeping everything as clean and smooth as possible.


If performance is your next goal out of filtration, take a look at what a performance induction system or filter can do for you. To learn more about the big names behind filtering, take a look here.