Let's Talk Wheels

Mike Herzing clears the air about car filters

Make sure your filters are keeping the bad stuff out.

Photo by Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Your car's filters play a big role in the life and performance of your engine — and your comfort. There are two you'll want to pay attention to: the air filter and the cabin filter.

Air filters
For performance and economy, you want a filter that will allow enough clean air for the engine to run well while still protecting it.

Did you know a quality air filter can help keep your oil cleaner? Inferior-quality filters allow fine sand and dirt to enter the engine, which dirties the oil and causes extra wear.

If you are driving a diesel, your engine uses twice as much air as a gas engine — that means your air filter gets dirty twice as fast.

You should get a quality air filter and replace it at least every 15-20,000 miles. Do it even sooner if you drive in a dusty area.

Remember that the original equipment filter is always a safe bet.

Cabin filters
Spring is here, and that means that everything is blooming. Here in Texas, the pine trees cover our cars with yellow pollen that drives allergy sufferers crazy. Spring also brings high levels of mold and ragweed.

The problem? You're likely driving around with the AC blowing it all right in your face.

But all is not lost if your vehicle is less than 10 years old, because it should have a cabin filter. Your cabin filter works just like the filter on your home's HVAC system, cleaning the air before it gets to you.

Of course, it can only help when you change it at least once a year. You can get cabin filters at your big box store or auto parts, and best of all, they are easy to replace.

For more tips from Mike, visit LetsTalkWheels.com. Be sure to subscribe to the new Let's Talk Wheels podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Stay cool this summer.

Photo by Julis Yanti Binti Mohd/Getty Images

Just like humans, cars don't like extreme heat or extreme cold. Since summer is upon us, let's talk about the maintenance you can be doing to avoid a costly breakdown.

Cooling system: One of the most common primary cause of summer breakdowns is overheating caused by a cooling system malfunction. A cooling system that isn't running at peak efficiency cannot keep the engine at the correct operating temperature. Get it flushed every 30,000 miles to ensure everything is moving smoothly.

A note for do-it-yourselfers: The most common coolant type contains ethylene glycol, which according to the EPA is toxic to humans and animals. Because of this it must be disposed of properly, so a flush might be something you should let a professional perform for you. When performing a coolant flush, the technician should also check the condition of the belts, hoses, engine fan, and thermostat. Any of these could cause a problem, so they should be inspected by a trained professional.

Oil: We all know that oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and it also provides cooling for your engine so don't overlook this important element. Replacing the oil at the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) suggested intervals is essential. It is just as important to use the oil weight and grade specified by your OEM (check your owner's manual for the requirements).

Air conditioning: Your car's A/C keeps you cool, but if it's not clean it can cause engine overheating. The A/C condenser is located right in front of the radiator and a dirty condenser can block airflow to it. As a result of emission requirements, newer engines have higher operating temperatures than engines built, say, 20 years ago. Because of this, their cooling systems must be operating at peak performance to provide the durability we have come to expect.

Overall, maintenance is the keyword to remember here. By doing a little upkeep now, your car should be running happily into the fall.

For more tips from Mike, visit LetsTalkWheels.com. Be sure to subscribe to the new Let's Talk Wheels podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play.

Trending News

 
 

Get the whole family involved.

Photo by Imgorthand/Getty

Spring is here, so that means it's time to think about doing some spring cleaning on your vehicle. In between the vacuuming and window polishing, you may forget about one very important step: Your paint job needs a good coat of wax every six months to protect the paint and the clear coat.

You see, when they paint your vehicle, the last coat they put on is called the clear coat. It's paint without a pigment, and it's what gives your paint job that multi-dimensional look while also protecting it.

So unless you want to end up having your clear coat turn chalky and look terrible — and we've all seen that — you need to protect it with a good wax job.

To do it right, you want to wax your car by hand and use the best wax you can find. Take advantage of having everyone at home right now and make it a family event.

Just remember, if you don't see the water bead up on the paint, it's time to wax.

For more tips from Mike, visit LetsTalkWheels.com. Be sure to subscribe to the new Let's Talk Wheels podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play.

Trending News