Keeping It Clean: The Different Filters at Work in Your Truck

By: Megan B 

Keeping It Clean: The Different Filters at Work in Your Truck

Filters are essential to ensure that the air, coolants, etc. travel around your vehicles different systems without any particles or contaminants getting in the mix. It’s essential to keep your filters in good shape, since they are integral in maintaining the integrity of the parts in your vehicle, helping you get further.

So, keep reading if you want the rundown of what filters are at work in your truck.

Lube/Oil Filtration

Oil filters removes particles (dirt, metallic particles, and oxidized oil) from your oil, encouraging a continuous flow of oil while preventing wear on the engine.

In addition to regular oil changes and checks, be sure to listen to the sound of your engine to know when a change is needed. A tell-tale sign is a louder-than-normal engine – because oil lubricates engine components, hearing them at work means less friction due to dirty or low oil. Another sign is a stronger-smelling exhaust.   

Fuel Filtration

Fuel filters removes impurities – such as dust, paint, rust, and water – that may end up in your fuel. These impurities, if not removed, can wear down your engine; water in particular can cause overheating.

So, your fuel filter works to:

  • Guard against engine overheating
  • Prevent fuel and engine corrosion
  • Avoid blockages caused by particles and debris in the fuel system and engine system

Aside: Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF)

If you’re familiar with the differences between gasoline and diesel, you know that diesel evaporates slower than gasoline, giving it a better fuel economy and more torque (which is a big part of why trucks commonly have diesel engines.)

However, because of the higher compression, diesel engines tend to produce particulates like soot and ash: this is where Diesel Particulate Filters come in. These filters – referred to DPFs, for short – capture the particulates created by diesel engines, preventing harmful exhaust emissions.

As you can imagine, the DPF can get filled with a lot of gunk. Rather than replacing your DPF, it can be cleaned for 1/4th the price – service offered at all current Parts for Trucks. Check out our video on our YouTube channel showing our process. If you think your truck’s DPF could do with a thorough cleaning, contact your local PFT.

Hydraulic Filtration

A truck’s hydraulic system is a subject that deserves its own article, but in short, a hydraulic system creates movement through the use of pressurized fluid.

Rather than using something like water, hydraulic systems use hydraulic fluid for its higher boiling point (so it doesn’t flash into a gas when under pressure), lower freezing point, and to provide proper lubrication, among other things.  

A hydraulic filter will keep the fluid clear of contaminants and extend the lifespan of your equipment, so be sure to invest in one that’s high quality.

Cooling System Filtration

Coolant filters helps in keeping your coolant up to snuff by controlling its pH, flow rate and boiling point.

There are 3 kinds of coolant filters:

  • Pre-charge filter – These contain an adequate amount of coolant additive to charge the cooling system at first. This allows depletion to the first service interval.
  • Spin-on filters – These contain enough chemical additives to maintain cooling systems between the service intervals.
  • Blank filter – Filters with no chemical additives and are used with cooling systems maintained by liquid additive, systems that use long-lasting coolants and need no additive, or on systems that are overcharged to bring back the additive to the normal range.

Engine Air Filtration

Engine air filters keep contaminants from reaching your engine and ensure your engine is working at maximum power. Although they often come in a variety of shapes, the most common for large trucks are cylindrical. A clean air filter lends to good combustion, leading to decreased fuel consumption.

If your truck has more trouble turning over, is not accelerating as quickly, or you’re experiencing a weaker fuel economy, it may be time to change your engine air filter.   

Engine air filters are on special this month so check out our online store or your nearest Parts for Trucks to find the right filter for you. Or if you need a hand installing your new air filter, our service team’s got you covered, too.

Cabin Air Filtration

It’s nice to be able to smell fresh outside air while on a long road trip. However, there are parts of outside that you want to keep there – namely, bugs, leaves, dirt, pollen, and of course harmful exhaust fumes.

Your cabin air filter prevents gunk from clogging up your A/C system, keeping both you and your vehicle healthy.

We hope you enjoyed our rundown on some of the filters working inside your truck. There’s much more detail to the systems each filter is a part of, but those deserve their own dedicated articles.

Until next time, keep it between the mustard in the mayo.