On top of nailing down what type of oil to use in your car, you also need to choose an oil filter. There are many different kinds available with varying strengths and weaknesses.
How To Know What Oil Filter Do I Need?
Take the time to learn how they work and what your vehicle needs for efficient and clean lubrication.
When to Change Filter
It is general practice to change your oil filter with each oil change. This may change if you have a premium filter or operate under more extreme driving conditions. Every vehicle is different, so it is a good idea to consult with a technician if you are unsure.
What does an oil filter do? It’s important to understand this before making a decision on which one is for you. Oil filters keep your oil clean by filtering out particles.
These particles are a byproduct of fuel burn and are absorbed from the air. They contaminate your oil and can damage your engine over time if left untreated.
Size of Filter
The size of the filter refers to the size of the microns that can pass through. On average, road dust is smaller than 25 microns. Economy grade captures particles larger than 40 microns. Premium filters go down to 10 microns. Both capture with about 95% efficiency.
Synthetic filters improve on this by capturing tiny microns at 98% efficiency. You do not need to use synthetic filters with synthetic oil, these titles mean different things. However, the two combined are great for extended use.
Ability to Withstand Dirt
The dirt-holding capacity of your filter determines how long it will last until it’s clogged and triggers the bypass valve. The bypass valve allows unfiltered oil through to the engine to prevent damage. You’ll need a better dirt-holding capacity if you prioritize extended use or drive in a dusty environment.
Clogging is one of the major reasons to change your oil filter regularly. Doing so is often more important than the type of filter you choose to prevent clogging.
However, Diesel engine oil filters tend to be more resilient and larger in size. This is because diesel engines tend to produce more contaminants.
The type of vehicle you drive and how you use it will always affect the type of oil and filter you choose. For example, do you have a sedan you use as a daily driver or a truck for towing your boat? Different situations require filters with different flow rates or capacities for pressure variation.
You should also consider your environment when choosing filters for car. One factor is temperature. Freezing temperatures thicken the oil and put more strain on your filter.
Certain environments produce more particles, especially if you’ve gone off the pavement. If you live on a dry, dusty backroad you have more contaminants to contend with.
The world of oil filters is vast and complicated. You may not have all the answers to these questions at first. Find a retailer of auto parts that can give you expert guidance on what will work best for your vehicle. You don’t have to make these decisions alone.