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Posted: 01/26/2022

How Many Filters Does a Car Have?

Clean air and fluids keep your car running at its best. To prevent your car from getting dirty, use filters to remove contaminants that can wear down the engine and transmission. While routine maintenance with a professional technician will make sure the filters of your specific vehicle are changed or cleaned at the right intervals, it never hurts to learn for yourself in terms of where these filters are and how often they should be replaced.

How Often Should You Replace Filters? 

Every filter on your vehicle has its own replacement interval. Not only does the type of filter factor into the interval, but even the make and model of the vehicle can also have an influence. The recommended replacement intervals for most filters can be found in the owner's manual of the vehicle. When in doubt, check the documentation.

How Many Air Filters Does a Car Have?

Air filters are an essential part of a car’s function. There are two types of air filters in your car, and both keep your car running smoothly, and protect you–and the engine–from harmful pollutants. You or a professional technician should make sure that the air filter in your car is clean and free of debris. Changing your air filter is an important part of maintaining the overall health of your car. If they're clean, you'll have a cleaner car!

The cabin air filter allows you to breathe fresh air in the cabin. It keeps the air inside the vehicle clean and prevents harmful pollutants from circulating through the vehicle. A car's cabin air filters should be replaced every 15,000 miles or so. Depending on your climate and your driving environment, you might be able to go significantly longer. Again, a technician is going to be your guide on how often to replace the air filters in a car.


The other type of air filter is like the cabin filter, but for your engine. Just as you need clean, fresh air to function, so does your car. An engine air filter serves the same function as the cabin air filter, except for your car’s engine. This filter should also be changed every 15,000 miles or so, but with the same notes that climate and environment can move this number up or down, though environmental conditions generally mean an air filter needs to be replaced more often. 

What Do Oil Filters Do?

An oil filter is a device in a car's engine that removes contaminating bodies and impurities from the engine oil. Because oil contains hard particles, it can wear out essential machinery much more quickly, which is what the oil filter aims to counteract. In addition, specks of dirt can become lodged in the parts of the engine, preventing pistons from moving or valves from closing properly. This is a major problem and could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair, depending on how long this problem continues.

You should replace your oil filter about as often as you replace your oil, which is typically around 10,000 miles.

engine oil filters

What is a Fuel Filter on a Car?

A fuel filter keeps dirt out and other impurities out of the engine’s fuel supply. Fuel filters prevent contamination of the fuel by keeping debris out of the fuel line and fuel pump. Just like you and your car need fresh air to function, the fuel should be clean, too. 

A fuel filter should be replaced every 20,000 miles or so.

fuel filters

What Does the Transmission Filter Do on a Car?

If you were to guess what a transmission filter does based on the previous entries in this list, you’d probably get it right away–it traps dirt that circulates inside the car’s transmission. A transmission filter should be changed about every 30,000 miles or so.

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