How To Choose the Right Oil Filter For Your Car?

by Carmelo PickelJanuary 10, 2023

When it comes to oil filters, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. A good oil filter is essential in ensuring it consistently removes contaminants from your car engine's oil. In time, this can accumulate as the oil maintains the cleanliness of your engine. 

Read on to get some clarification on how to pick the appropriate oil filter for your car’s engine.  

Benefits Of Clean Engine Oil

Higher engine reliability is a well-documented impact of reducing solid contaminants in crankcase oils used in diesel and gasoline engines. Particle pollution can affect fuel efficiency, lubricant life, and environmental concerns, as well as wear and dependability.

Here are also other reasons why you should always keep your engine oil clean at all times.

More Efficient Engine

Regular maintenance not only keeps your engine clean but also makes it more effective. As it travels into the engine, oil inevitably carries dirt, debris, and other particles. As a result, sludge begins to accumulate inside the machine over time. 

Due to the built-up debris within and not replacing the engine oil at the recommended intervals, you may notice a substantial shift in your vehicle’s engine's efficiency and output. On a similar note, AC Delco Division of General Motors studied diesel engines and discovered that lower lubricating fluid contamination levels resulted in eight times lower wear rates and better engine life.

Better MPG

When traveling, an efficient engine will offer the best gas mileage. Clean oil filters are therefore necessary to keep your engine free of debris in order to achieve that. Better gas mileage also means major cost savings. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Engine Oil Filter

Here are three primary filter properties that impact an oil filter's ability to function, whether it is for a gasoline or diesel engine. 

Size And Capture Capacity

Debris such as airborne dust and sand that manage to get past your air filter will enter your lubrication system and eventually end up suspended in the engine oil. This will result in a less efficient engine and lower MPG. 

At 40 microns, a typical economy-grade oil filter will have a 95% capture efficiency. However, it’s best to install oil filters that have 95% filtration efficiency at 10 to 15 microns as smaller particles suspended in the engine oil can generate more engine wear. 

Dirt Holding Capacity 

If your oil filter becomes clogged, it will open its bypass valve, which allows the oil pump to push unfiltered oil through and save your engine from running out of oil.

Dirt holding capacity determines how long an oil filter can endure before going into bypass. An oil filter with high dirt holding capacity is especially crucial if you plan an extended oil drain without a midpoint filter change, or if you drive in very dusty environments.

Design and Fabrication Integrity

In addition to their filtration media, automotive filters perform a variety of other functions. The construction and design of an oil filter should be built with keen attention to detail. 

An excellent oil filter should have the following components. 

  • Robust and burst-resistant canister
  • No-weep bypass valve for use at normal operating temperatures
  • Flexible anti-drain-back valve to prevent oil leaks and back-pressure at low temperatures
  • Strong filter element (filtration media) with supported pleats and tightly sealed seams 

Do you know how to change a car battery with a booster pack? If not, you may want to check out our guides here at Keep Driving to help improve your car maintenance habits. 

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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