Why are the oil filters in your car important?

most commonly replaced auto parts - oil filter

Most car owners are aware of what an oil filter is and what it does. However, most of them don’t know how crucial it is to change this filter. 

A number of things such as dust, dirt and metal particles can pollute the engine oil. When this unclean oil circulates through your engine, it affects the performance of your car.

Your engine, therefore, has an oil filter to eliminate these impurities from the oil. If oil is the lifeblood of your engine, as many people claim, then the oil filter is its kidney, responsible for filtering out foreign objects.

Generally speaking, the oil helps in lubricating each part of an automotive engine. To perform vehicle maintenance as efficiently as possible, you need to be aware of the many functions the oil filter serves as well as when to replace it.

How does an oil filter work?

An oil filter serves a basic purpose. The filter is just a tightly sealed cylinder mounted to your engine to stop oil leaks. The pump forces the engine oil from the engine through the filter and then into the filter housing before sending it back to the engine. Any dirt particles, metal fragments, and oil carbons get trapped in the filter so it doesn’t reach the components inside the engine.

Parts of oil filters

Here are the main parts of an engine oil filter:

  • Tapping plate
  • Antidrainback valve
  • Filter medium
  • Pleats
  • Centre steel tube
  • Relief valve
  • End disc
  • Retainer

Functions of oil filters

Here are some features that oil filters provide:

  • As we know, engines produce dust, metal fragments, oil carbons, and other combustion leftovers. Oil filters remove this particle before it enters the engine. It cleans up the oil which is crucial for robust engine performance.
  • The soot buildup in your car’s engine can thicken the oil. The oil filters have thinning holes that prevent thick oil from passing into the engine.
  • If the filter works properly, it will prevent all moving parts, including the camshaft, valvetrain, and connecting rods from wear and damage.

When should you change the oil filter?

One of the most important maintenance tips for your car is changing the oil filter regularly. Here are the signs your car gives you when it’s due for a filter change.

Engine overheat

If the filter is not functioning properly, it will hamper oil flow to the car engine. The engine of the car will overheat as a result of friction caused by less oil entering the engine.

Low oil pressure

If you see that the oil pressure has decreased, there might be a problem with your car’s engine. Low oil pressure can be a result of a leaking or blocked oil filter. It will cause the oil to enter the engine.

Poor engine performance

The engine performance will decrease and the car’s engine power will be quite poor when impurities accumulate because of a malfunctioning oil filter. The driver won’t be able to reach the appropriate driving speed if the engine performance drops.

Dirty exhaust smoke

Exhaust fumes that appear unclean are a sign that your car’s oil filter needs to be replaced. Another indication that there is an issue with the oil filter is the smell of burning oil.

How to maintain the oil filter?

Despite the importance of oil filters, these are often the most neglected components of a car. Here is how you can maintain the oil filter in your car.

Regular cleaning

As the oil filter takes out impurities, the dirt gets stuck to the filter. When you service your car, make sure to get the oil filter cleaned by a professional.

Change the oil filter

If you often use your car for long trips, there’s a high chance that the filter will get damaged more quickly. Change the oil filter as soon as possible so it can work properly.

Change the oil

The lubrication process won’t function effectively if the oil is too old. The efficiency of the oil decreases with time. So, using old oil will cause the engine to wear out more quickly.

Use high-quality oil

The type of oil you choose depends on the type of your vehicle, riding conditions and the purpose of usage. But no matter what you choose, don’t compromise the quality.

It’s crucial to keep the oil clean as it moves around the engine. Regularly changing your filter and oil are the best ways to accomplish this.