It takes two air filters, working on different jobs, to stop outdoor contaminants from entering your vehicle, auto experts say. An engine air filter protects internal engine parts under the hood from the dirt and grime that cause premature wear – and the cabin air filter protects an even more important part of the vehicle – the passengers inside it.
“With both filters subjected to the same air quality and driving conditions, chances are if one needs changing, the other one does as well,” says Gary Bilski, chief engineer at Fram, a leading brand in oil and air filters. “When the engine air filter is dirty, it is a good visual cue that the cabin filter also needs to be changed.”
Drivers who do combine this change say they can indeed breathe easier knowing that the cabin air is clean and fresh, and that the engine is protected. These dirt-trapping filters have similar ‘recommended change’ intervals, so it’s also an opportunity to add convenience to the task.
Drivers often ask, what exactly do air filters do?
Bilski explains, “In any engine, outside dust, dirt, carbon, and other abrasive particles can cause serious damage if they are permitted to enter the engine air-intake system. The role of an air filter is to remove those harmful contaminants before reaching the cylinders, thus allowing cleaner air into the engine. Inside your vehicle, dirty air enters through the heating and air conditioning system and exposes everyone to road dust, pollen, and allergens. If left unchecked, passengers breathe in these pollutants possibly deep into their lungs – and that could cause mild irritations or more serious coughing, constant throat clearing, and wheezing.”
Not all filters are alike however. The material, design and engineering are fundamental to the performance quality, mechanics say, so drivers are encouraged to research or read the packaging for that type of information.
“In standardized industry testing, our top-selling engine air filter Fram Extra Guard, confirms its dirt-trapping efficiency removes 99 percent of contaminants,” Bilski points out. “This is due to a highly efficient filter media that is proven to let through two times less dirt when compared to the averages of other standard brands. And for added driving comfort, why not install a Fresh Breeze cabin air filter? Its advanced filtration technology traps 98 per cent of the common contaminants (such as road dust and pollen particles ranging in size from 5-100 microns) and uses baking soda and activated carbon to absorb and eliminate odours.” – NC