How Many Filters Does a Car Have?

Clean air and fluids keep your car running its best. Filters remove contaminants that can cause wear to your engine and transmission. They also help purify the air inside your vehicle so that it's clean to breathe. That's why it's so important to be familiar with all your filters and make sure they're replaced on time.

Pretty much everybody knows about the air filter and the oil filter, but there’s a bit more than that going on in modern cars. They have two air filters, one for engine air and one for the cabin, and a host of other filters to protect your engine and transmission. It can get confusing because not all cars have the same filters, and each filter likely has its own service intervals.

Check out our list of filters that are in most cars. You can find exactly which filters your vehicle has from your owner’s manual or from a vehicle repair manual.

The Seven Most Common Automotive Filters

1

Oil filters keep your oil clean for longer engine life

What Does It Do? Removes dirt and contaminants out of your motor oil to prevent them from entering your engine and causing premature wear.

How Often Should You Change it? Usually every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? Upgrading to a premium oil filter can give your engine greater protection in tough driving conditions.

2

Air filters ensure clean air for your engine

What Does It Do? Removes dirt and contaminants from the vehicle's air-intake system preventing them from entering your engine and causing wear that can cost you money.

How Often Should You Change it? Usually every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? Two aspirin tablets worth of dirt can cause wear equivalent to 75,000 miles of normal driving.

3

Cabin air filters clean the air you breathe in your car’s cabin

What Does It Do? Removes dust, pollen, mold spores and other contaminants as air enters the passenger's compartment of your vehicle.

How Often Should You Change it? When you change your engine air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

4

PCV valves allow exhaust gases to recirculated in the engine by purging blow-by gases

What Does It Do? The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve removes combustion pollutants from the engine crankcase. It isn't a filter per se, but it works with the breather filter and should be serviced at the same time.

How Often Should You Change it? Every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? Not all vehicles have PCV valves. Click MANAGE MY VEHICLES to find out what you need for your car. If oil is present in the air box, change your PCV immediately.

5

Breather elements clean air in your engine’s crankcase

What Does It Do? Works with the PCV valve to help control crankcase ventilation and reduce contaminated vapor emissions.

How Often Should You Change it? Every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? Changing your breather element with each air filter change requires minimum amount of time and ensures adequate airflow to maintain the correct intake vacuum pressure.

6

Transmission filters help your transmission last longer

What Does It Do? Removes harmful contaminants that can reduce performance and life of your transmission.

How Often Should You Change it? Every 24 months or 24,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? Experiencing late or irregular shift patterns could be the first indication that your transmission filter needs to be changed.

7

Fuel filters protect your engine, gas mileage, and performance

What Does It Do? Removes rust, dirt and other contaminants from the fuel to prevent clogged fuel lines which can result in poor starting, performance and damage to your engine.

How Often Should You Change it? Every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner's manual for your specific interval.

Did You Know? An early indicator that your fuel filter needs servicing is loss of vehicle power or stalling.

Your car’s filters purify air and fluids to prevent damage and protect your drivetrain. AutoZone has all the filters you need to keep your car running at its best, along with the helpful advice to help you find, remove and install them yourself.

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