Anyone buying a car to restore should consider that all of its filters will need to be replaced.

The cost and time involved in replacing a vehicle's filters are minimal, yet their importance in running a car and protecting its integrity bears no comparison to the costs involved.

Every vehicle on the road is fitted with four filters as standard, each carrying out its independent task.

  The four filters are as follows:

  • The air filter
  • The cabin filter
  • The fuel filter
  • The  oil filter

Each of these filters operates independently of each other, but all share the same function- to minimise the intrusion of dust and other foreign bodies into the body of the vehicle as well as its moving parts

Air filters ensure that any dust or foreign bodies cannot make their way into the engine, preventing it from becoming clogged up, thus improving fuel efficiency.  The average car engine will consume between two to five hundred square metres of air per hour when in motion.

An air filter will ensure that the vehicle's engine will get clean air, a key component in the combustion process. Particularly vulnerable is the vehicle's carburettor, where any obstruction can cause malfunction and even irreparable damage.  

A properly installed and fully functioning air filter will increase engine performance and reduce fuel consumption.

A cabin air filter differs from the other three filters in that it does not affect the vehicle performance or integrity in any way, instead simply for the comfort of the driver and passengers.

The role of the cabin air filter is to prevent dust or pollen from entering the passenger cabin. The impact of these airborne annoyances is significantly reduced inside the cab, cleaning the air.

A part of the vehicle's ventilation system-the cabin air filter will also prevent a vehicle's AC system, if fitted, from becoming blocked.

While air filters and cabin air filters have an essential role to play in keeping a vehicle's systems free of dust and impurities, it is the oil filter that has to do all of the "heavy lifting."

Designed to capture all the impurities in the vehicle's lubrication system. oil filters remains at a consistent level, free of the various sediments and particles of foreign matter that will build up during the fluid circulation process.

Most importantly, oil filters will protect the intrusion of minute metal shavings that will build up in any engine during its active life. Without an oil filter, these shavings will make their way to the oil pan, form where it is a simple step for them to be recycled back into a system where they can cause considerable harm.

Typically, oil filters are produced used a combination of metal end discs and/or metal or natron mesh, depending on the nature of the engine.

Last but not least in the list of filters is the fuel filter- the only one required to be duo functional, depending on if the engine is diesel or petrol powered.

If the vehicle being restored has a petrol engine, the role of the fuel filter is there to remove any impurities that come with the fuel.

In the case of a diesel engine, the fuel filter has a much more demanding role. As well as filtering out any impurities in the diesel, it will also prevent the incidence and spread of corrosion inside the engine by removing levels of water that are liable to buildup in the engine.

Because diesel fuel is less dense than water, it will gradually build up inside the filter, whose bowl-like shape has been designed to collect water or any liquid lighter than diesel at the bottom.

  In the event of a buildup, a drain plug is situated at the bottom of the water to be rapidly drained, preventing damage to the engine.

While the two air filters and the petrol filter are "user friendly" and can be speedily removed by hand, removing the oil filter can be a struggle.

There are a few specialist tools available that can do the job and are not too expensive

The next option is to use an oil filter wrench, preferably the handled band-style. These multi-functional wrenches are now available with a swivel handle, making them much more adaptable.

The oil filter wrench will almost always do the job as well as being a handy tool to have in the workshop.   Other more obscure ( and more expensive options) are filter pliers.

Filer pliers are an excellent tool for workshops where they have to cope with releasing and tightening large diameter objects though will be of little use in a simple home workshop.

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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.