Spool Valve Filter: Helpful Buying Tips for First-Time Buyers
A spool valve filter is a filter for your car's spool valve that is a part of your hydraulic system—the system that is responsible mainly in directing hydraulic fluid flow. It acts as a sealant that assists the valve made up of spools that slide or rotate to block and open channels in your hydraulic system. Consider it a filter guarantee that ensures cleaner and even better distribution of hydraulic fluid that guarantees better all-around power steering for your car. The common four-way spool valve typically has openings leading from and to another valve. If it's compromised or damaged, it will start leaking, but that's natural for any part of your automobile that acts as a seal. Wear and tear is what causes it to stop doing its sealant-based job. And when it's your first time to get a replacement, here are some tips that you might find helpful to get started with your purchase:
Know what type of spool valve your vehicle has
There are two main types of spool valves. And the minute you decide to get a spool valve filter, you need to know which type your vehicle has. The first one is the rotary spool valve. This type has a rotating cross-shaped piece called the core and is composed of a fixed tubular sleeve. It's a valve that works like a rotating door as far as fluid distribution is concerned, with every core bend working as a portal for the hydraulic fluid to flow. The second one is the sliding spool valve. A different filter is required for sliding spool valves because these valves are more complex than their rotary counterparts. More to the point, this component is more grooved than cross-shaped, plus it slides in and out of position within its sleeve that allows for alternate opening and blocking of the fluid when it comes to its intake/outtake portals. As such, the filter has to take into account this alternate method of fluid distribution.
Decide whether you'd go for a kit or standalone parts
When looking for a spool valve filter, you will notice that it either comes as a standalone part or as a package with the filter O-ring. Obviously, if your valve O-ring is still working and only the filter is compromised and leaking, you should buy the filter only. Just keep in mind that you don't have to get a filter that's sold separately when, say, a solenoid spool valve O-ring with filter.
Determine if it's really time to replace the filter
You usually have to replace the filter when it's already clogged and filled with engine oil. The filter is supposed to only allow the hydraulic fluid to come through, filtering out the oil to ensure smooth operation all around. If you're getting a low pressure reading from your car, the best way to clear it is to change your spool valve filter post-haste. Take note of the symptoms and confirm with a paid professional (like your dealership mechanic).
Don't use temporary fixes for a busted filter like flushing your leaky or clogged valve filter with car formula that you can buy from the grocery. That fluid is for maintenance instead of repair. Certain kits even include a size 10 wrench and a picking tool, but if you're an experienced gearhead, you'd have those tools already. Your filter assists your spool valve's function of fluid redirection by filtering out other fluids from coming through, like oil. Once it's compromised, the oil will overflow and clog your valve like cholesterol to your arteries.