Tech Corner feature: vehicle filters – what garages and factors need to know to adapt to changing technology

MAHLE has released a feature looking at how filter technology on vehicles should be maintained and delivered.

Latest trends and practices for correct air, cabin and oil filter replacement and maintenance are examined, and industry routines need to change, MAHLE says.

MAHLE has released its latest vehicle filter guidance to factors, garages and the wider automotive aftermarket and explained why changing technology means a shift in working practices too.

Jonathan Walker, general manager aftermarket UK and Ireland, MAHLE explained what’s changing with cabin, air and oil filters and how the industry can keep up with emerging technology and adapt to new demands.

What is new in the world of filters?

“The two main areas of change are improved cabin filtration and increased pressures placed on filtration products due to unspecified servicing intervals.

“Previously, motorists were advised to adhere to pre-determined servicing intervals, but now modern vehicles “tell” motorists when the vehicle should be serviced, placing additional pressure on filters.

“Filters can now be expected to run for at least 25000 miles without a service change.

“These unscheduled intervals, coupled with extended servicing intervals because of costs, mean filters are being pushed to the limit.

“And, with more environmental and operating demands on oil filters than ever before, oil filters must exhibit continuously improved performance and screen out dirt particles reliably for up to 50,000 km.

“As a consequence, MAHLE develops its filters to cope with any additional demands.”

What recent additions has MAHLE made to its filter portfolio?

“MAHLE has recently started manufacturing plastic oil filter module housings, with simple radial O-ring seals instead of axial sealing concepts, which were fitted in previous aluminium housings.

“This means weight savings of five–15 per cent — and, as a result, lower fuel consumption.

“We’ve also launched CareMetix®, a five-layer cabin filter specially designed to improve passenger health and wellbeing by removing nasty odours and harmful contaminants from vehicle cabins.

“Garages can offer customers a tangible difference as the innovative range provides five-layer protection against allergens, brake dust, diesel soot, fine particulates and tyre debris that is proven to enter a car from exhaust fumes.”

Where do you see the market going for oil and fuel filters?

“There is a greater demand for quality, especially from motor factors, and this is impacting on garages.

“We have previously run a campaign on the quality of filters in the media and this has really driven the message home.

“Yes, there are cheaper filters that will fit, but if you have to replace it more often within the service interval, or it’s not performing, then there’s no saving to be made and you have an unhappy customer.

“Lesser quality filters will not efficiently remove contaminants from the vehicle’s fuel, causing problems with diesel fuel injectors and ultimately engine components.

“Many motor factors we work with have fully embraced the quality message and draw comparisons with other components.

“If the vehicle is to be filled with the right grade of oil, then it should have the right high-quality oil filter.”

What are still some of the common faults for air and cabin filters failing prematurely? Do you think most technicians are aware of them?

“Fitting cabin filters is increasingly complex and garages can spend a lot of time having to remove other components to ensure a correct fit.

“Fixed-price service has arguably had a negative impact as the time spent on replacing cabin filters becomes more pressurised.

“It all equates to the biggest contributor of failure, which is a clogged cabin filter.

“Cabin filters should always be changed at regular service intervals and we make motor factors and garages aware of the importance of this, as well as opportunities and how to promote these to the customer.”

What should garages be doing when it comes to filters?

“The message from MAHLE is simple: as an original equipment supplier, MAHLE products have been tested to the most stringent of standards and have unrivalled technical support.

“Cheap filters will not efficiently remove contaminants from the vehicle’s fuel, causing problems with diesel fuel injectors and engine components.

“MAHLE has range of literature available to garages to promote regular filter replacement to motorists.

“Delaying an oil change may save money in the short term but it increases the risk of terminal engine damage.

“Only oil of the correct grade and specification for the vehicle must be used.

“The oil filter should also always be replaced in the process, as only a clean filter has sufficient capacity to remove contaminants, such as dust, metal and combustion residues from, the oil.”

MAHLE Aftermarket UK releases regular up-to-date “Technical Messengers” which offer advice to garages on fitting filters correctly.

More information about these and MAHLE’s aftermarket product range can be found by clicking here.


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