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SPRING

AUTO GUIDE

Cabin air filters:
a guide to cleaning and
replacing them

How to change a flat tire in
10 easy steps

Does the air conditioning unit in your car
get a lot of use in the summer? If so, it’s
important to attend to the air filters in
your car’s cabin. It’s the best way to ensure
that the air circulating in your car will
be clean.

7. raise the vehicle with the jack. Fix the crank onto the
knob at the end of the jack and turn counterclockwise
until the tire is about six inches off the ground.

As countless drivers can confirm, most tire blowouts occur
without warning. Should it happen to you, it’s very handy to
be able to change a flat yourself. And it’s not hard to do! Just
follow these 10 steps.

8. remove the flat tire. Finish unscrewing the lug nuts
and pull off the tire.

1. pull over to a safe spot. If you notice you have a flat,
don’t brake or turn abruptly. Instead, slowly reduce your
speed and look for a wide shoulder with level ground. Once
you’re pulled over, put on your hazards and engage the
emergency brake. If you have roadside flares or a reflective
triangle, set them down behind your car.

The basics
If your vehicle was manufactured after
the year 2000, it likely has cabin air filters. Depending on the make and
model, it will have either one or two. Cabin air filters purify the air that enters into your car’s cabin by trapping dust, mold, pollen and other fine particles.

9. put the spare tire on. Mount the spare tire onto the
lug bolts, then replace the lug nuts and tighten them by
hand — but don’t tighten them completely.
10. lower the vehicle. Turn the jack’s crank clockwise until
the vehicle is fully on the ground. Lastly, tighten the lug
nuts completely and replace the hubcap.

2. place wedges under the diagonally opposite
wheel. Put bricks, rocks, wooden blocks or wheel
wedges both in front of and behind the wheel that’s diagonally across from the flat. This is a safety measure
meant to prevent the car from rolling.

Over time, cabin air filters can get pretty dirty. This is something you have
to watch out for. When they’re overly saturated, they’re much less effective
at trapping contaminants. Moreover, they can cause your car’s cooling and
heating system to work less efficiently.

That’s all there is to it. Simply stow away your equipment and
you can be on your way. Just make sure not to exceed highway speed limits with the spare. And be sure to get your flat
tire fixed or replaced as soon as possible!

3. Get your tools. This includes the jack, the crank for the
jack, the lug wrench and the spare tire.

When To replace cabin air filTers
Generally, manufacturers recommend that air filters be replaced about once
a year. It’s also worth it to clean them every few months.

4. remove the hubcap or wheel cover. If your
hubcap is covering the lug nuts, remove it
using the flat end of your lug wrench or according to the directions in your owner’s
manual.

If you have persistent bad odors in your car or the climate control is overly noisy,
these are signs that the filters are due for a cleaning — or need to be replaced.
Cloth and carbon filters can withstand a few washes. Paper filters, however,
are too fragile to clean and always need to be replaced when dirty.

5. loosen the lug nuts. With the lug wrench,
unscrew the lug nuts slightly (just enough to
break the resistance).

hoW To clean cabin air filTers
To clean your cloth or carbon air filters, first you need to get at them. Usually
they’re located on the passenger side under the glove box, and sometimes you
need to remove the glove box from its fasteners to access them. Consult your
owner’s manual for detailed information on how to remove them.

6. position the jack under the vehicle. Refer
to the vehicle owner’s manual for the best
spot to place the jack. There are parts of the
undercarriage designed to accommodate it.

Make sure to handle filters with care when removing them. If you tear them
even slightly, they’ll need to be replaced.
Clean each filter by running water through it at low pressure. Always apply the
stream of water to the cleaner side and let it pass through to the dirtier side. Once
you’ve got most of the dirt out, soak the filter in soapy water for 10 minutes. Afterwards, let it air dry on a towel. Once the filter is completely dry, it’s time to put
it back.

Be sure to keep your spare tire
inflated to the PSI recommended
by the manufacturer.You should
verify its air pressure every time
you check the other tires or about
once a month.

Note that you can only clean filters so many times. If they start to look at all
ragged, it’s best to replace them. You can put in a new air filter yourself or
get the mechanic at your local garage to put one in for you.

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