Choosing the right oil filter for your car isn’t just a detail—it’s a necessary component to extend your vehicle’s lifespan and improve engine efficiency. While many of us are familiar with the convenience of drive-thru oil changes, this guide explores the importance of what goes on under the hood, particularly focusing on your oil filter.
Your engine relies on clean oil for smooth operation, and the role of the oil filter is indispensable. We cover key considerations such as how often your filter may need changing, what happens if you don’t get your oil changed on time, and how different oil filters can impact your engine’s health. We aim to help you make well-informed decisions to ensure the filter you choose will work efficiently, as overlooking the filter can lead to unpleasant and sometimes costly situations.
What is an Oil Filter?
An oil filter is a device designed to remove contaminants from various types of oil, including engine oil, transmission oil, lubricating oil, and hydraulic oil. Its primary use is in internal combustion engines for motor vehicles, powered aircraft, railway locomotives, and ships. They’ve been around for over 80 years now, and we’re glad to have them.
Oil filters are typically made in a cylindrical steel body shape and include a filter element and various parts. The filter material is made of a mesh of synthetic fibers that act as a sieve to catch grit and grime in the motor oil. The material is folded into pleats to create a greater surface area. Two end discs on either side of the oil filter, made of metal or fiber, prevent unfiltered oil from passing through to your engine.
The oil filter in your vehicle works by cleaning the oil that passes through it, locking in particles to improve the oil quality. The engine’s oil pump moves the oil directly to the filter, where it enters from the holes in the perimeter of the base plate. The dirty oil is passed (pushed under pressure) through the filter media and back through the central hole, which re-enters the engine.
This process helps reduce engine abrasion by removing any impurities in the oil, significantly improving engine life and efficiency. Oil filters also help increase the life of the oil, reducing maintenance costs and providing optimum engine performance. They also minimize the engine’s environmental impact.
When Should I Change My Engine Oil Filter?
It is highly recommended to change your oil filter every time you get your oil changed. Following the manufacturer’s schedule for oil changes is required for the longevity and efficiency of your vehicle. Why do you need an oil change? Skipping or delaying this regular maintenance task can lead to reduced engine performance, increased wear and tear, and higher costs in the long run.
The oil filter is necessary for maintaining your car’s engine health by removing impurities and contaminants from the oil. Changing your oil filter at the same time as your oil ensures that any accumulated particles are removed from the system entirely.
If you don’t change your oil filter when you get an oil change, several problems can occur. The oil filter can become dirty and clogged, leading to damage in the internal parts of your engine due to lack of lubrication and increased friction. This can increase the engine operating temperature and shorten the life of your engine.
Another issue is that once the filter gets full, it may start bypassing unfiltered oil directly back into the mix. This ensures your engine won’t fail outright from oil starvation, but it also means you have all of the dirt and particulates causing havoc within your engine. In the worst-case scenario, if the oil filter is not changed for a long time, it could plug up entirely, leading to a loss of oil pressure and potentially causing significant engine damage.
To maintain the health of your engine and ensure its smooth operation, it is advisable to change your oil filter every time you change your oil. This practice not only prolongs the life of your engine but also helps in maintaining optimum engine performance.
Do Different Types of Oil Need a Specific Car Oil Filter?
The compatibility of the oil filter with different types of oil can vary. While most engine oil filters will work with conventional or synthetic oils, it is important to understand the options for your vehicle. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Conventional Oil: Most engine oil filters will work with conventional oil, the traditional type of oil used in vehicles.
- Synthetic Oil: Synthetic oils have different characteristics and are often promoted as having a longer life. Therefore, it is recommended to use high-efficiency oil filters that are specifically designed for synthetic oils to ensure optimal performance and protection.
- Compatibility: Certain oil filters are compatible with both traditional and synthetic oils, whereas some are engineered exclusively for a particular kind of oil. When choosing an oil filter, check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility with the type of oil you are using in your engine.
- Primary Oil Filters: The primary oil filters used in modern cars are full-flow filters designed to remove impurities from the oil used by the engine. These filters can be compatible with conventional and synthetic oils, but it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility.
- Secondary Oil Filters: Some vehicles may have a secondary oil filter to support the primary full-flow filter, designed to clean less than 10% of the motor oil used by the engine. The compatibility of these secondary filters with different types of oil may vary, so it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications.
What Are Other Factors to Consider When Choosing the Correct Oil Filter?
Your vehicle’s make and model also influence the type of oil filter you need. Oil filters are designed to fit specific engines and have different specifications, such as size, thread pitch, and filtration efficiency, to ensure proper functioning and compatibility with the engine. When choosing an oil filter, you should consider the following:
- Compatibility: Ensure that the oil filter you choose is compatible with your vehicle’s make, model, and engine type. You can use online tools to find the right filter for your vehicle or consult a professional.
- Quality: Look for oil filters that meet or exceed the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) specifications for your vehicle. High-quality filters, such as those made with synthetic filter media, can provide better filtration and longer service life.
- Application: Consider your driving conditions and the type of oil you use when selecting an oil filter. For example, if you use a heavier grade oil or drive a racing vehicle, you may need an oil filter with a higher flow rate and better filtration capabilities.
How Do I Find a Good Oil Filter for My Vehicle?
The best way to ensure you have the right type of filter for your vehicle is to read your manufacturer’s manual and trust the professionals. If you need help determining where to go for a reliable oil change near me that includes an oil filter change, we at Strickland Brothers offer quick and convenient service without compromising quality.
By entrusting your vehicle’s oil change and oil filter replacement to professionals like us at Strickland Brothers, you can ensure that your vehicle receives proper care and maintenance, ultimately prolonging its life and maintaining optimal performance. Never be in a position to wonder how to tell if the engine is damaged from no oil.
Here’s a quick breakdown of why a professional oil change service like Strickland Brothers is the best choice for finding a good oil filter:
- Expertise: Professional technicians have the knowledge and expertise to handle oil changes and oil filter replacements efficiently and correctly, ensuring that your vehicle receives the best possible care.
- Convenience: Strickland Brothers offers a quick and convenient 10-minute oil change near-me service, allowing you to stay in your car while the technicians perform the service. This saves you time and effort compared to attempting the task yourself.
- Quality: Strickland Brothers uses high-quality oil and filters, ensuring that your vehicle receives the care and maintenance it needs to help it continue to run properly.
- Additional Services: Along with oil changes, we also offer other maintenance services such as tire rotations, cabin and air filters, wiper blades, state inspections, and more. This allows you to address multiple maintenance needs in one visit.
Wrapping Up: Ensure Your Vehicle’s Health with the Right Oil Filter
Understanding the importance of choosing a car oil filter is required for maintaining optimal engine performance. The oil filter plays a critical role in ensuring your engine runs efficiently by cleaning contaminants from the oil. A good filter can remove impurities that can lead to engine wear and increased maintenance costs. With different filter options available, it’s essential to know what works best for your vehicle’s specific needs.
When it’s time for an oil change, don’t just search for a drive-thru oil change near me and leave it at that. Make it a point to visit a Strickland Brothers location, where you can rely on high-quality filters and professional service. This simple action can enhance your vehicle’s lifespan and performance.