Once upon a time, it was normal to take your car in once a year for a complete tuneup. Part of that tuneup involved checking all the filters, and cleaning or replacing them as needed.

Today, tuneups may not get done for years. The spark plugs on most cars tend to last for at least 50,000 miles or more. So many people forget about the importance of checking the filters.

Oh, sure, they get their oil filter replaced when they have the oil changed. And they may remember to have their air filter checked occasionally. But there are other filters that should be checked or replaced occasionally. Not all cars have them, but it’s a good idea to make sure and have them checked on your car once in a while.

The fuel filter is an important one: a clogged fuel filter will cause driveability problems and can even become so clogged that the engine won’t start.

Some cars also have a crankcase breather, to filter fresh air as it gets drawn into the crankcase. These have to be cleaned or changed every couple years, along with the PCV.

And there may be a filter on your car’s evaporative canister. That’s the device that stores raw gas vapors that would otherwise evaporate into the atmosphere. Replacing it can keep the evaporative system working better, saving gas and avoiding repairs.

Today a lot of cars also have a cabin filter that filters the air coming in through the heater or air conditioner. A clogged cabin filter will reduce fresh air flow, and can cause your A/C or heating system to work poorly.

Finally, there’s the transmission filter. That should be replaced whenever you have your car’s transmission serviced. But today, many shops only offer a fluid exchange, and they leave the old filter untouched. A clogged transmission filter can reduce your transmission’s performance until the car won’t move.

Your local Cottman center is well versed about the filters in today’s cars. They’ll be happy to check them and let you know which ones need replacement and which ones are okay to go for awhile. And, if a filter needs to be cleaned or replaced, the technicians there will take care of them for you quickly and inexpensively.

Today’s cars may not need to be tuned up every year, but they still have filters that need to be replaced occasionally. Your nearby Cottman center will be happy to check them for you, and let you know what you need to keep your car breathing freely.