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An oil filter is an important part of keeping your vehicle running efficiently, however it’s not always something you’d pay much attention to unless you’re having it replaced. Choosing the best car oil filter depends on a number of factors, so we will look at some important aspects such as; what an oil filter actually is, how oil filters work, what to consider when choosing an oil filter for you vehicle, how often you should change your oil filter and then look at some of the best oil filters there are to choose from and the benefits and features of each of those oil filters.
Overall, oil filters are an important component of your vehicle and it would benefit from knowing you have chosen the best one for you vehicle and maybe a little information as to how they actually work.
What Is An Oil Filter?
Simply put, an oil filter does as the name would suggest – it filters your vehicle’s oil, getting rid of any impurities and contaminating substances that might be found in your oil. Think of it as a water filter if that helps. The device is typically the size of a tin can and without a fully functioning oil filter, damaging substances or even solid substances get into the fuel and can wear down integral parts of the engine faster or even stop pistons and valves from working, which can result in a very expensive fix. So, as you can see, an oil filter is a very important piece of the system and needs to be part of every tune up.
How Do Oil Filters Work?
The outside of the filter is essentially a metal can which has a sealing gasket on it which allows the filter to be tightly fixed onto the engine’s surface. The base plate of the can holds the gasket in place and is pierced with holes just inside the gasket. There is also a hole that runs straight through the center to connect with the oil filter assembly on the engine block. Inside the can is the actual filter material, which is commonly made from a synthetic fiber.
The oil pump moves the oil directly to the filter where it enters the holes in the base plate. The dirty oil is pushed, under pressure, through the filter material and back through the central hole. Typically the filter is able to stop particles as small as 25-30 microns, human hair being around 70 microns.
Choosing The Right Oil Filter For You Vehicle
Choosing the correct oil filter for your vehicle is extremely important, while they may look very similar, choosing one that is not compatible with your vehicle could result in catastrophe. The minute differences in the gasket and/or thread size can be the difference as to whether your filter works or not. The best way to determine what sort of filter will or will not work on your vehicle is to consult your owner’s manual. It is best to be certain, as a filter that doesn’t work with your vehicle can lead to serious engine damage.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil Filter?
More often than not, this particular question being asked can result in a myriad of answers and it really depends on exactly who you are asking. While car manufacturers advise that you only change your oil filter every other time you change your oil, the oil manufacturers themselves strongly advise that people should be changing their filters every single time they change their oil which typically occurs around every few months depending on your vehicle. While other say that it should be changed as soon as the service engine light comes one and some say that if you drive in stop-and-go traffic regularly then you should be changing your oil filter even more often. So, as you can see, it definitely varies. Your mechanic will generally advise on the right time to chance your filter when they are servicing your vehicle.
Our Best Car Oil Filters
Below are our recommended car oil filters, available from major retailers like Amazon. Our reviews are based on performance and overall user satisfaction, so you know these filters have been tested and recommended by drivers just like you. As we mentioned previously, make sure you pick a filter which will fit your particular make and model of car.
ACDelco PF2232 Professional Engine Oil Filter
This particular oil filter is equipped with a 98% multi-pass filtering efficiency and a cellulose filter material which traps particles as small as 25 microns. The thermosetting adhesive gasket seal it has holds the filter in place for a longer duration, making for a reliable and dependable filter. The filter also has a burst strength that is five times greater than that of most engine oil operating pressures once the oil reaches its operating temperature, as long as the normal engine oil operating pressure is not higher than 51psi, this makes it extremely durable as well as efficient.
Bosch 3323 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter
This filter, manufactured by the renowned company Bosch, uses exclusive FILTECH media technology which enables the filter to dispose of a larger range of harmful contaminating particles and a lot more extremely harmful particles. The base and the casing of the filter are made from steel which prevents the filter from warping, leaking and fitting poorly. The filter also has a silicone anti-drain back valve which ensures that upon you starting your vehicle’s engine being started, it is supplied with fresh oil. The gasket is designed with high lubricity to enable it to be tightly sealed and yet easily removed.
FRAM CH10855 Passanger Car Cartridge Oil Filter
This next oil filter made by FRAM uses a cellulose synthetic material for the media of the filter which enables the filter to remove a wide capacity of particles from your oil, and does so efficiently. This filter is also compatible with CJ4 engine oil. The base plates are also incredibly strong and durable, and allow the filter to fit easily and therefore reducing the chance of an oil leak. The high strength spiral tubes also enable the filter to be able to handle high amounts of internal pressure from the oil being filtered. Statistical Process Control also ensures that the filter is of high quality.
K&N KN-160 Oil Filter
This filter comes from another highly regarded manufacturer, K&N. This oil filter has an overly exposed 17 mm nut, which is designed for easy removal and our testing shows it yields results. It has a very sturdy construction enabling it to withstand extreme conditions as well as using a cellulose material for the filter media like a few others do. The filter media is also resin-impregnated, trapping 99% of harmful particles in your oil. And it has an anti-drainback valve, which eliminates dry starts by giving the engine fresh oil upon starting up.
Mann-Filter HU 819 X Metal-Free Oil filter
This filter is a ‘metal-free’ make, meaning that a large benefit of it is there is less environmental waste caused by using one. This oil filter also offers optimum protection to your vehicle’s engine, with its consistently high separation efficiency which means that it filters oil both quickly and efficiently. The filter also has a high dirt holding capacity caused by the pleat structured design of the filter allowing the filter a larger surface area and thus perform more effectively. And it is also guaranteed to be quick and easy to apply and remove the filter.
Mobil 1 M1-209 Extended Performance Oil Filter
This filter provides long life performance, better equipping it for the long drain intervals of today. This can be seen with its 28-gram capacity to hold contaminants. It also has 99.6% multi-pass efficiency rating and an advanced synthetic fibre blend media, thus ensuring that the filter is more than effective at removing contaminating particles from your oil. It can also withstand nine times operating system pressure, being able to take on around 615 pascals per square inch. Its use of a silicone anti-back drain valve ensures that the engine has fresh oil upon starting up and reducing internal leaking during the event of engine shutdown.
Motorcraft FL820S Silicone Valve Oil Filter
This widely reviewed oil filter helps to protect from the wearing down of your vehicle’s engine by preventing abrasive and contaminating substances such as; metal, sand, dust and carbon before it even gets into your oil. It also has a pressure relief valve which prevents any of the harmful and contaminated oil that have been removed via the filter from somehow finding their way back into your engine. The valve also helps maintain the supply of oil to the engine during cold weather conditions or if the filter gets clogged. The steel casing is also ironed for a precise and tight fit, fluted to ease removal and painted to resist rust. And its efficient filter media enables more harmful particles to be caught and it comes with an anti-drainback valve.
Purolator PL24651 PurolatorONE Oil Filter
Guaranteed to last for up to 10,000 miles with constant and efficient dirt and harmful particle removal, this filter is built to be durable and reliable. It also comes with a high-density synthetic blend filter media, enabling a larger amount of harmful particles are caught and removed from your oil. The silicone anti-drain back valve that it uses prevents against dry starts and oil leaks while lasting a lot longer than the common nitrile ones that are used. The gasket is coated in PFTE making the oil filter easy to remove and install.
Royal Purple 10-48 Oil Filter
Unlike the other filters mentioned, this one uses a synthetic glass filter media for superior particle removal and 99% filtration efficiency, catching particles as small as 25 microns. The filter is also designed with a high-performance silicone anti-drain back valve, ensuring that your engine does not have a dry start and reducing the chance of oil leaks. On top of that, the underside of the oil filter uses an extra heavy duty rubber base making for a tight seal and very small chance of oil leaks. Its strong filter housing can also endure a lot higher burst strength than that of conventional filters.
To wrap up, your vehicle’s oil filter is a very important component of your vehicle. Specifically, it’s important to your engine as without it your vehicle’s engine would likely wear down a lot faster provided it doesn’t suffer more serious damage before it has the chance to wear down. Also choosing a filter for your engine is quite a serious task as there are all sorts of great ones to choose from, yet it is important to choose one that’s right for your vehicle. As always with buying things this important, it is best to do some research on it first and make an informed decision. Amazon is also kind enough to tell you if your car fits the filter you’re viewing, so make sure to double check before you purchase.