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Here's What You Should Know About Oil Filter


An oil filter does exactly what it says on the tin: it is a component of your vehicle's engine that filters the oil. It's a small component about the size of a tin of baked beans that's critical to your engine's flawless operation. The filter's purpose is to clean your engine oil of any pollutants or polluting bodies. Willing to know more about the car oil filters? Then, keep on reading further.

What Is A Car Oil Filter?

Want to know about an oil filter? Then you have landed at just the right place. An oil filter is a filter that functions to remove pollutants from the engine oil, transmission oil, lubricating oil, or hydraulic oil. They are utilized in various types of hydraulic machinery. It is used in internal combustion engines and off-road motor vehicles, light aircraft, and different naval vessels that these oil filters are primarily used. Also, several other vehicle hydraulic systems like automatic transmissions and power steering have oil filters installed. Oil filters are also used on gas turbine engines like those on jet aircraft. Production of oil, transport, and recycling facilities are some other things that also use these filters in the manufacturing process.

Want to know more about car oil filters? If yes, then all you have to do is visit our “What Is An Oil Filter?” section.

Where Are All The Components Of Car Oil Filter Located?

Are you aware of the location of the oil filter and drain plug? Well, we’ll tell you. Popularly, the majority of cars are equipped with a bottom-mount screw-on oil filter. You need to bend down and look underneath the car. You will find the oil engine drain plug situated within 1-2 feet (0.30 - 0.61m) of the front of your car. This will be directly beneath the engine. On its bottom, there’s a large tank also known as an oil pan.

How Does My Car Oil Filter Work?

The oil filter’s function is to eliminate contaminants. It is essential as the grit and grime in the oil can harm the engine surfaces and components while flowing through the engine’s systems other than doing lubrication. The oil pump in the engine transports the oil directly to the filter, where it enters through holes in the base plate's perimeter. The unclean oil is pushed (under pressure) through the filter media and returned to the engine through the central hole. The functioning of the oil filter might look simple but involves several components. Here’s a brief guide that will help you get a better understanding:

  • The Tapping Of The Plate/Gasket - This is the exit/entrance point for the oil. It has a center hole that is surrounded by smaller holes. Oil enters through the small holes located on the outside of the tapping plate also referred to as a gasket and exits through the center hole that is present to connect the part to the engine.
  • The Anti-Drain Back Valve - It is a flap-like valve that protects the oil from going back into the oil filter from the engine while the vehicle is not functioning.
  • The Filter Medium - This part filters the oil and is made up of microscopic cellulose fibers and synthetic fibers that act as a sieve to trap pollutants before the oil reaches the engine. It is generally pleated or folded.
  • The Center Steel Tube - When the oil is filtered of all the dirt and debris it flows back into the engine via a center steel tube.
  • The Relief Valve - When the engine is cold such as while start-up, it still needs oil. When the temperature is low, the oil is too thick to pass through the filter medium. The relief valve enables small amounts of this unfiltered oil to pass into the engine to meet lubrication needs until the oil heats.
  • The End Discs - Each side of the filter medium has an end disc that is composed of fiber or metal. These discs block the unfiltered oil from reaching the center steel tube and flowing into the engine. They are secured in place by tapping plates (thin pieces of metal known as retainers).

How Do I Choose The Right Oil Filter?

Which Tools Do I Need To Repair My Car Oil Filter?

Do you want to repair your Oil Filter on your own? In that case, you should have the correct tools which are required for repairing your Oil Filter. Have a look at the most important tools which you might require repairing your Oil Filter:

  • An end cap oil filter wrench
  • An end cap remover
  • A handled band-style oil filter wrench
  • Filter pliers will be needed
  • Some cloth strap wrenches
  • And, chain wrenches

Which Top Brands Oil Filter Parts Should I Choose?

Most people have a nature to avoid risk and seek safety. That is the reason they would go with a familiar auto parts brand rather than a new one. It would prove to be safe, and they know what to expect. Have a look at our top brands for oil filters which would offer safety and decrease the risk of disappointment.

  •  Wix Oil Filter & Parts
  • Beck/Arnley Oil Filter & Parts
  • Mann-Filter Oil Filter & Parts
  • Fram Oil Filter & Parts
  • Bosch Oil Filter & Parts

For more information, visit our “Which Top Brand Oil Filter Should I Choose?” section.

Which Parts Are Related To My Car Oil Filter?

The brighter you are, the more you have to learn! That’s why we are here to provide you with more knowledge about the related parts of the car Oil Filter. They are mentioned below as follows:

  • Oil filter
  • Oil drain plugs
  • Oil drain plug gasket
  • Oil filter cover or cap
  • Oil filter gasket/seal
  • Oil filter adapters

What Are The Steps Of Changing My Car Oil Filter?

Here’s how you can change your oil filter by simply following these guidelines:

Step 1

Firstly, drain the oil present in the engine to change the oil filter. Lift the car off the floor by utilizing jacks or ramps.

Step 2

The engine should be turned on to let the oil warm up. Leave the engine running for about 3-4 minutes. Let the oil warm up and then drain it off once it's heated.

Step 3

Let the engine run as it will enable the pieces of dust or grit to come up to the surface, thereby leading to better cleaning.

Step 4

Turn off the engine and remove the oil cap before looking out for the oil pan. The oil pan is a flat metal dish situated close to the bottom of the engine (bent down to access the area underneath).

Step 5

Then you will find a bolt or a plug on the bottom of it. Now that you have found the oil pan, put the container that’ll be used to capture the oil underneath so that it doesn’t spill out.

Step 6

Next, remove the plug (be cautious because as soon as you do that, the oil will start flowing). Now, that the oil stops flowing out, move on to changing the filter.

Step 7

Find the filter in the engine. It should be noted that the exact positioning of the filter varies according to different make/model of car, so refer to the owner’s manual to locate it.

Step 8

Next, ensure that the pan that had been used to drain the oil is still intact, as it will be required to capture any oil which is still present inside the oil filter. As soon as you start unscrewing the filter, the oil will start coming out. Now if the filter is located, unscrew it from its position. You can do this by twisting it anti-clockwise. Use a rag for a solid grip.

Step 9

When you unscrew the filter, the rubber gasket ring that helps to seal the oil filter against the car will come off. If it is in the left position, then it will likely cause problems when you will fit the new filter. This will prevent it from creating a tight seal and will therefore start to leak which can further lead to all sorts of failures to the inside of the engine.

Step 10

If in case, the ring gets stuck to the car, then you should either utilize your fingers or a pencil or a screwdriver to help get some grip to peel it off.

Step 11

Use a plastic bag to prevent oil spills on the floor, if you want to avoid oil spills when you remove the filter from the car.

Step 12

Prepare the new oil filter to replace the old one. Wipe all the oil on the new gasket ring. Just spread a fingertip’s worth of oil on the new gasket ring to lubricate it, to create a good seal against the car. Oiling the ring slightly will make it easier for you to peel it off again the next time replacements are performed

Step 13

Pour a small amount of oil into the filter before installing it. This will help in decreasing the time taken by the car to reach the required oil pressure now that you have re-filled the oil in the engine. If the filter fits in a vertical position in your car, then you can put it to use completely.

Step 14

Be careful while screwing the new filter back into place. The instructions on the box of the new filter should be referred to before installations. Twist the filter until it or the gasket touches the car and then twist it a further quarter of a turn more if there are no instructions on the box.

Step 15

Refill the oil in your car and start the engine to ensure that the oil light is off.

If you are still confused on which type of oil filter you should buy, then you can visit our Ultimate Oil Filter Buying Guide. You should always look for the warning signs of a bad oil filter and replace them at the earliest you can. With us you can find oil filters at the most economical costs.

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FAQ

The oil filter helps in removing contaminants from your car engine's oil which can accumulate over time as the oil keeps your engine clean.

When one of your filters becomes clogged, it might cause issues and affect performance. A lack of power, foul smoke, an oil light, or even engine failure may be seen.

With each oil change, get a new oil filter. Every three to six months, most automobiles require an oil change. Some manufacturers recommend changing the filter every other oil change, and doing so regularly will keep it from clogging prematurely.

If your oil filter isn't replaced regularly, it can become significantly blocked, limiting the amount of oil that passes through it and into your engine. Your engine could be severely damaged if you don't use this oil.

John Framigllia
Technical Writer
Our technical writer is known for simplifying automotive parts and services. Intuitive with various vehicles and manufacturers, he knows how to simplify complicated problems.