The engine and hydraulic systems of your car are expensive pieces of equipment that you must protect with a high quality oil filter. The oil filter performs many functions to help prolong the life of your engine. It cleans the motor oil and prevents contaminants from reaching the engine. There are a range of oil filters you can buy in the market and choosing the right one for your car with the most effective filtering media or membrane can be a little difficult. While it is always advisable to buy company recommended replacement parts, you could keep these factors in mind when opting for a high quality oil filter.
High-grade oil filters can include up to 50% added usable surface area of membrane. The filter membrane is made of cellulose, synthetic media, or microglass fibers. These membranes are effective in removing particles; 20 to 40 microns in the case of cellulose, and 8 to 10 microns for synthetic media. Microglass fibers additionally offer low oil movement restriction and better durability.
Size of the internal valving, threads, and gasket
If you’re opting for a spin-on filter, ensure that you choose an oil filter with a hole at the bottom that has the same diameter as the company installed one. Also, make sure it has similar threads that can be SAE or metric. Not matching the right oil filter can result in oil leakages and damage to the mounting. If the motor oil continues to leak, over time, there will be insufficient oil to lubricate the engine leading to damage to its vital parts. This in turn will result in the engine not functioning properly, and ultimately, costly repairs. The positioning of the new gasket must also match the original.
Many oil filters also include an anti-drainback valve. This valve holds the motor oil inside the oil filter and does not allow it to drain when you turn off the ignition. As a result, when you start up the engine again, a better oil pressure allows it to reach the vital engine parts sooner, thus protecting them better.
In case the oil filter is clogged and does not allow motor oil to reach the vital components of the engine, the bypass valve allows the oil to pass around the filter and lubricate it. Make sure your new oil filter has this failsafe measure.
If you’re using a spin-on oil filter, choose one that has a non-slip coating on the outside of the metal can. This will assist in replacing the oil filter media when needed.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Tell If an Oil Filter Is Good Quality and was authored by Saroj Aggarwal.