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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

It's time for a change: A reminder from Borg & Beck about the importance of regular filter replacement

Date: Wednesday 31 March 2021

Over the last 12 months people haven’t been driving as often as normal and have only been using their cars for essential journeys that they need to make. Unfortunately, vehicles that are not used regularly can develop issues, some of which may relate to safety critical components such as brakes, tyres, and lights, which are often not identified until the vehicle is in for its next MOT or service. Drivers also need to be reminded about the benefits of carrying out some simple checks at home, such as tyre pressures, quality of the wiper blades, and levels of screen wash and other fluids.

Currently, there is a real concern about the safety and road worthiness of vehicles on the roads, especially from the DVSA. Now that the UK is slowly easing out of lockdown, we will start to see an increase of traffic as more and more people jump back into their cars. It is therefore imperative that those working in the automotive industry take the time to remind drivers about the importance of ensuring their vehicle is safe and roadworthy, especially if it has not been driven much in the last 12 months. No doubt some drivers have forgotten when their MOT or service is due and will be grateful of a reminder, so it’s a good to time to get in touch with them to invite them in for a vehicle inspection or scheduled service, especially as many of the original equipment schedules refer to not only mileage, but time between services.

Renowned aftermarket supplier, First Line Ltd, has outlined the possible filtration issues vehicles may have due to them being stationary for months at a time, as well as pointing out common faults that technicians should look for.

Oil filters
Vehicles that are only doing short journeys may not heat up to their optimal operating temperature. This means the oil will still be slightly thicker and, if these conditions persist, can clog the element and cause a flow blockage, which in extreme scenarios could cause engine damage if not changed annually, or to the vehicle manufacturers’ requirements. It is recommended that the driver allows the vehicle to warm up to operating temperature by driving at a gentle steady speed, even on short journeys and especially in colder months, as this will allow the vehicle to get the engine and other components to optimal operation.

Air filters
Infrequent use of a vehicle should not affect the air filter, unless it has been sat for months and not moved, then in very rare cases, there may be some mould/condensation in the filter element. Even while sat, there will still be a slight air movement through the engine from the natural elements pushing it through, therefore this will still, overtime, clog the air filter.

Petrol filters
Condensation in the tank can cause the filter element to clog a lot quicker, as the water is denser than the fuel. This can result in fuel starvation and juddering of the engine. Over time this can lead to a corroded filter, which will create particles that could get through to the engine and cause internal issues, such as blocked injectors.

Diesel filters
Water in the fuel is an issue for diesel vehicles. However, these days, a lot of modern fuel filters have a water trap or separator. As the water is denser than the fuel mix, the water will sit at the bottom of the filter. Some filters can be drained out by the water drain screw/petcock at the bottom, however the more modern units are sealed and need to be changed at regular intervals.

An unchanged filter may lead to fuel pitting and bacteria growth in the filter and this can get through to the engine, which can cause internal issues. Another issue with diesels is that the fuel can solidify into a gum-like substance if the vehicle is left to sit for a long period of time (usually longer than six months). Therefore, First Line Ltd highly recommends following the manufacturer’s service intervals to stop these issues occurring in any of the filters discussed.

Cabin filters
During any service, all filters should be replaced in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s schedule. If customers choose not to replace the cabin filter whilst the vehicle is in for its routine service, then they need to be aware of the possible consequences. Clogged filters will reduce the amount of clean air entering the cabin, which can lead to the windows misting, plus they will notice a greater level of dust building up, as it will be unable to be filtered out.

First Line Ltd’s brand, Borg & Beck, supplies premium quality filters for the aftermarket, with a range of more than 1,350 references manufactured to original equipment specification, to ensure optimum performance and longevity.

For more information about the premium quality products available from First Line Ltd, please call the sales team on: 01869 248484 or visit: