Skip to Content

What Oil Filter Do I Need for Optimum Performance: The Basics

What Oil Filter Do I Need for Optimum Performance: The Basics

Oil Filter

We all love and enjoy a smooth drive, and when that is paired with an excellent performance of the car’s engine, the experience will be better. With that in mind, amongst the most important things that help the car give an optimum performance is the oil filter. That means that it is responsible for helping the engine run smoothly and more efficiently at its maximum potential. However, there are a few numbers of options available on the market, and we know you often wonder and ask “What oil filter do I need?”

Hence, we will give you some of the most critical information that you need to learn about oil filters. As such, you would be able to find the right oil filter for your vehicle.

What Oil Filter Do I Need: Choosing the Best Oil Filter

Those tiny dirt particles that are barely visible to the human eye are the reason why the engine needs a good oil filter. These particles are perhaps in the 10 to 20 microns size range making them capable of passing through the bearing and shaft. The danger is that when they get lodged, they will generate heat and damage everything around it. Thus, they can do some serious damages to the engine and various other parts of the car.

That is why, when it comes to determining what the best quality of oil filter is, there are several standards to do so, and some of them are the following:

  • Filtration Efficiency

Amongst the most important factor to look into when buying an oil filter is the filtration efficiency, which is also known as particle size retention. This basically is the ability of the filter to trap various sizes of particles that enter the vehicle’s engine. Of course, the higher the efficiency and the smaller the size of the holes, the better.

  • Type of Oil Filter Based on Function

When buying an oil filter, you must also be familiar with the specific type of oil filter that is suited for your car’s engine. In most vehicles, you will find a standard primary oil filter. It is able to filter oil in very large volumes and has very few restrictions in order for the oil to flow as freely as possible even if the weather is cold. However, if there comes a point where the filter gets clogged, there is a bypass valve that gets activated.

READ ALSO:  How to Charge a Car Battery with Jumper Cables: Important Things to Know

In the case of diesel engines, you will find something called a secondary filter. It is designed to take some part of the engine oil and let it pass through the filter for a second round of “cleaning.” Although this is typical for diesel engines, it is also recommended to put this filter in vehicles that run on gasoline as they have the ability to increase the lifespan of the engine.

There is another type of oil filter which is called magnetic. This basically contains a small magnet on the inside of the canister so that it can attract any small piece of rust or metal that would otherwise be unnoticed. The magnet will hold on to these small metallic particles and prevent them from going to the engine. Depending on your vehicle, the magnets can also be fitted on the outside of the canister.

  • Filter Model

You will notice that most engine oil filters pretty much look identical. They resemble a metallic can along with a gasket and has threads on one of the ends. The inside of this engine oil filter can vary from brand to brand. The interior can comprise of different types of materials such as cellulose fibers, which is primarily used by most brands as they are the most value for money. Something a bit more high-end would be the micro-glass fibers. These are typically expensive and are used by premium brands, and they tend to offer superior levels of filtration.

Nonetheless, oil filters come in different sizes, and it is a significant factor when you plan on buying one. This basically depends on factors such as the brand of your car, the model you own, and the year which it was launched. Choosing a filter that is not meant for your particular car will result in it not fitting properly and ultimately causing a leak since there will be a difference in the threads. Also, you must note what kind of oil filter part number fits your particular car as only this particular size will work efficiently and keep your engine running well and for long.

READ ALSO:  3 Steps for Selling a Used Car in Texas

To know what is the exact size and model number of the filter that is meant for your vehicle, it is best to go through the user manual. The manual will contain all the necessary information not just for the size but also for the model of filter. By model, we mean that it could either be the classic canister style of engine filter, or the newer variant that is a replaceable cartridge type. In some cases, the manual may also give you the necessary information on what kind of material is used inside the filter system.

If you do not find the information in the user manual, you will most likely find it mentioned on the existing engine oil filter that is in your vehicle. It will mostly be written on the bottom of it. You can also find all this information on the manufacturer’s website.

When Should You Change the Oil Filter: Important Notes

The good thing about engine oil filters is that you do not need to be a mechanic to know when to change them. Replacing the engine oil filter depends on a number of factors such as how new or old is your car, how often you use your car and under what conditions you drive in. Ideally, if you have a small oil filter, replacing it every 3000 to 7000 miles mark is good enough. However, if your vehicle is newer, then, you can go on even up to the 8000-mile mark with the existing oil filter.


We hope this article has thoroughly answered your question, “What oil filter do I need?” Do remember that when you are choosing your oil filter for your car, you must always consider your car’s model and brand, as well as the type of engine that it has.

READ ALSO:  How to Replace an Idler Pulley