Have you ever wondered why your oil filter needs to be replaced along with the oil at specified intervals that are recommended by the OE manufacturer? We’ve created a quick FAQ to help you better understand the importance of regular maintenance and the use of correct parts to extend the life of your engine and car.
What Does an Oil Filter Do?
The car oil filter constantly removes dirt and impurities from the oil circulating around moving engine parts. Clean oil provides greater lubrication and lowers heat buildup due to friction inside the engine.
Your oil filter should be changed every time you change the oil as the medium collects dirt and debris as you rack up the miles on your ride.
How is the Oil Filter Constructed?
Your oil filter is usually cylindrical in shape. The outside case is made out of a thin metal. Inside, there is a fiber medium such as bulk cotton or pleated filter paper, which is what does the job. The medium is held inside the filter by a perforated metal piece that allows oil to flow in and out. It screws into place usually on the side or near the bottom of the engine.
How Does Oil Protect the Engine?
Oil is often referred to the lifeblood of an engine. In reality, it is more like a liquid shock absorber. Every moving part of the engine is constantly rubbing against other metal parts, including the pistons, cams, pushrods, and rockers. Oil provides a protective layer between the components. When the right weight and properly filtered oil is pumping through the entire system, there is less friction and a much lower rate of metal striking metal, increasing the life of the engine and maintaining performance.
What Happens if the Wrong Oil Filter is Installed?
It can be tempting to pick up an oil filter designed for a car that is not quite the same model as yours because it is on sale. However, using the wrong oil filter can lead to some serious problems. Doing so can result in:
• Oil leaking around the filter mount,
• Low oil pressure,
• High oil pressure,
• Dirt entering the oil system through loose fittings,
• Damage to engine components, and/or
Every part on your engine was designed to work with one another. Every time you add a part that belongs on a different car, you increase the chance of damage or part failure.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Replacement Automotive Oil Filter
While you don’t have to buy the authentic automotive filter replacement sold at your dealership, it is very important to purchase one that meets the OEM specs of the original filter. Cross-reference the make and model of your car along with its engine size against the list of filters offered by a filter manufacturer. Verify that the filter is intended to last for the expected duration of your oil change, whether that is 3,000 or 10,000 miles. While one filter will fit a variety of vehicles, none of the available automotive filters will fit all cars.