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You and I both know that cars don’t come cheap but oil filters do! And that’s exactly what vehicle engines beg for good lubrication but without the microscopic contaminants which might put an end to their lifespan and add another problem to our lives.
When your Mercedes and my Honda are in operation, they both pick up particles. And they shouldn’t. They also consist of several steel parts, which need lubrication if they are to do their job right and without rubbing one against the other providing friction and thus damage. And here is where oils come in.
They grease parts by creating a cushioning layer among them not only to prevent damage and noise but also increased heat. But oil must flow well regardless of temperature levels without bringing along dirt, dust, and other harmful particles. And here is where the best oil filter comes handy.
- Helps protect against engine wear by screening out abrasives, such as carbon, sand, dust and bits of metal before they can get into your oil
- Pressure-relief valves help minimize the chance of contaminated oil circulating back into the engine
- Pressure-relief valves also help maintain the supply of oil to the engine under extreme cold conditions or if the filter gets clogged
- Steel cases are “ironed” for a precise fit, fluted to ease removal and painted to resist rust
- Efficient filter media offers increased dirt-collecting capability and ability to capture more engine-harming particles
I’ve compiled a list of the most effective options on the market. While these filters are available for most vehicles, you have to ensure that the specific replacement filter you choose is compatible with your car’s specific make and model. Before replacing your car’s filter, always consult your vehicle owner’s manual. In addition, look up the part number of the filter to ensure that the manufacturer features your specific make and model on its compatibility list.
|Mobil 1 M1-110|
|best oil filter brand|
|Motorcraft FL2016||best eco-friendly|
|Motorcraft FL820S||best cheap oil filter|
|Royal Purple 17807||best oil filter for synthetic oil|
|Bosch 3323||freat filter for a good price|
Mobil 1 M1-110 – Best Overall
I choose Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance Oil Filter as the best overall oil filter in the market. Let me explain why. I had to check several oil filters and talk to both experts and professional drivers before writing these oil filter reviews. I heard great opinions about this product before I actually used it.
But that was that: they were only opinions. As a driver, who wants to have full control, I decided that I wouldn’t jump in conclusions unless I tested the Mobil 1 M1-110 myself. And so I did. And since I wanted to form an opinion on my own, I went for a “test drive”.
Good oil filters should withstand pressure and difficult weather and traffic conditions. So I changed my daily route on purpose. Whereas any other driver would take short cuts in an attempt to avoid traffic, I would follow the longer lanes possible. And I took any chance provided to drive in the country where I found some excellent soil roads to test the product’s filtration efficiency.
- Great filtration efficiency
According to the company the Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance oil filter provides 99.6% efficiency. I was amazed to read that but then again some other oil filters also provide similar high level of filtration efficiency. But then I thought that a filter with such high efficiency and designed to allegedly hold up to 28 grams of dirt and contaminants makes a really powerful combination. I was determined to find out whether or not this combination made a difference. My long-term drive tests paid off. My mechanic checked the filter in between trips and was amazed himself of the great dirt-capacity. And he knows car oil filters inside and out! So I give one thumb up for the filter’s filtration efficiency and one more thumb up for its resistance to pressure. It can resist pressure 9 times more than other filters. Who doesn’t like that!
- Go for synthetic oils for even better performance
I used synthetic oil although the word out is that the Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance filter can work with any motor oil. I adhered to the company’s instructions according to which the filter lasts longer and performs better with synthetic oils. The combination of this particular filter and synthetic oil allowed me to change the filter about fifteen thousand miles later. And here’s one third thumb up for the long change interval.
Mobil 1 M1-110: Amazing features
What makes this specific product resistant and durable is its features. It has synthetic fibers, which enhance the cleanliness of the oil and so the engine is better protected and lasts much longer too. After all, isn’t that what oil filters are all about? They should filter well the oil entering the engine and keep the contaminated oil from re-entering the engine when it is switched off. And one more reason for that was the anti-drain back valve.
This valve is actually a rubber membrane, which covers the holes of the can and keep contaminated oil from flowing back to the engine. This can happen when the engine is turned off. By keeping oil to get to the pump, it allows the metal parts to get greasy faster during low temperatures and when the car starts up. So I could drive off fasterknowing that the engine is fully oiled and protected. When I took the car to my mechanic to change the filter, I asked him to take a look. The engine was in great shape. What this meant was that features of the Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance oil filter worked for me. Fourth thumb up, please!
I had to make a thorough research before providing these oil filter reviews and I was more than pleased with this oil filter by Mobil. I guess when they say “extended performance”, they mean it. It kept my engine clean and protected, oiled fast at start-ups, passed my driving tests, and lasted long. So if I was to evaluate its filtration efficiency, longevity, durability, oil flow, and performance, I would rate it as the best overall. Here is what my mechanic said:
I am in this job for over two decades and have changed thousands of oil filters. I have seen damaged filters in just a short time and even worse ruined engines due to poor quality filters. Customers, who use Mobil 1 M1-110 EP oil filters, weren’t as regular as others. And their engine was still in good condition at the change interval. That says a lot about the efficiency and overall performance of this particular oil filter. And I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it!
Jeff Harris, Mechanic.
Of course, you don’t have to take his word or mine for that matter. You can simply try it yourself as long as it is the right fit for your car.
Motorcraft FL2016 – The Best Eco-Friendly Oil Filter
What makes an oil filter eco-friendly is its features, which can effectively expand the lifespan of the engine and oil, and is durable enough to last for thousands of miles itself. When there is no need for frequent replacements, industries cut down on energy consumption which is one of the best ways to keep the planet healthy. After checking the best oil filters on the market, we decided that Motorcraft FL2016 is an ecofriendly product.
Thinking of an oil filter that will last a long time? With the premium construction of this product, you can expect that it will be durable. It can resist even high level of heat. To add, even with the fluctuations in temperature, the filter will stay in its best condition.
Motorcraft FL820S – The Most Budget-Friendly Oil Filter
Although oil filters are not expensive if you are on budget but still want a filter you can trust, check out the Motorcraft FL820S Silicone Valve Oil Filter. As you would expect in an oil filter, it can remove debris and abrasives, has steel cases for easy removal and they are painted to resist corrosion, includes an anti-drain back valve, and features pressure-relief valves to keep the engine oily when it starts up and prevent contaminated oil from getting back to the engine.
Car owners can trust this oil filter to capture or collect particles which are capable of ruining engine performance and its comes with a pressure release valve that makes sure there is a steady flow or supply of oil even when there is an issue of clogging or during harsh weather conditions. This pressure release valve also ensures that contaminants do not find their way back into the oil.
It’s a cost-effective oil filter. And that’s not the only good thing about this product. First of all, it’s durable because it has steel cases. This is enhanced by its weight: 13.8 ounces. Then it includes both anti-drain back and relief valves and doesn’t hold just dirt but also metal parts. As an overall, it has a great dirt-holding capacity and is designed to resist fatigue failure. Like all Motorcraft oil filters, it meets the OE standards and so it’s reliable in extreme temperatures, but also meets the standards of the Ford Motor Company and is recommended by Ford. Now add to these great features its low price and all you have to do is check if this is a good fit for your car.
Royal Purple 17807 – One of the best products.
Royal Purple has hit the market with force. When it comes to oil changes, many enthusiasts have been pouring the purple lifeblood into their engines. But are they also screwing on a Royal Purple oil filter?
The Extended Life filter is the only filter Royal Purple produce, meaning, they put their heart and soul into it. Royal Purple uses a 100% synthetic micro-glass media which is 99% effective at removing contaminants as low as 25 microns.
As with the M1, Royal Purple tout a thick canister material, which is resistant to high oil pressures and road debris.
All sounds pretty impressive, but Royal Purple don’t reveal their mileage claims, which gives the M1 a slight advantage over the Royal Purple.
Will this filter last 20,000 miles like the M1, who knows? If you are changing oil frequently or need the extra features of the Royal Purple, go for it!
Bosch 3323 – works, inexpensive, meets the specs
Bosch. They’re German. And like anything German, you expect incredible engineering detail, attention to quality, and a component you can rely on. It will do what you want it to do every single time. But does this filter live up to that?
The exclusive Filtech media technology makes the Bosch 3323 a great oil filter for cars as it will screen out more contaminants to provide greater engine protection.
Its durable steel base and plates and housing help to prevent warpage, leaks and poor fits. And so you can be confident of a perfect fit for all compatible vehicles.
The internally lubricated gasket on the oil filter is highly durable and helps to prevent dry out. An anti-drain back valve, on the other hand, ensures a supply of clean oil when you start your vehicle for fast and easy starting.
10 More Products i liked – Budget/Cheap Oil Filter Comparison – Mann vs STP vs Purolator vs Fram vs Bosch
Just because I chose the Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance oil filter as the best overall, it doesn’t mean that the following are not worth your attention. They are actually some of the best products available on the market. But don’t forget that your choice also depends on your vehicle.
Mann-Filter HU 718/5 – best for
What’s great about many Mann-Filter products is that their elements are metal free. Oil filters are constructed with the same material and don’t produce ash under heat. I would recommend this filter because it is very efficient in terms of dirt-holding due to its large surface and the structure of the pleat. It is also replaced really easy. It’s a great value for money product.
Mann-Filter HU 816 – Excellent filter, appears identical to BMW
As with the previous Mann-Filter product, this one is metal-free. Its structure allows fast oil flow and has pleats to increase filtration efficiency. It’s a great deal if you consider that it is removed easily with a wrench, allows long change intervals, and can efficiently protect your engine.
Mann-Filter HU 925/4 – best for BMW e46 oil filter
This is the third Mann-Filter product we recommend and it’s not a coincidence. The company makes incredible oil filters. This one is metal-free once more and a great product for BMW cars.
Just make sure it’s the right fit for your car. Like the other Mann-Filter products above, this one has great filtration efficiency due to its structure and pleated media. It can last for a long time and offer maximum car engine protection.
Mobil 1 M1-102 – Finally a Filter Designed For Synthetics
As the name of Mobil oil filters imply, they are designed for extended performance. This means they are made with high quality materials. This particular product weighs a bit more than other oil filters. Its weight is 11 ounces whereas others have an average weight of 8 ounces.
And so it can withstand high pressure. In order to extend the lifespan of your engine, this filter traps more particles than other filters guaranteeing a 99.6% efficiency and holding 28 grams of dirt. That’s truly amazing! It also has an anti-drain back valve. Mobil recommends it for the following cars: Chrysler, Dodge (1995-11), Mazda (2011-14) Ford Focus, Escape (2003-14), Fusion (2010-13), Lexus, Toyota (1988-14), Saturn (1991-02).
Fram PH7317 – Best performace oil filter out there for the price.
This filter is best for those who don’t mind short change intervals. It lasts up to 5,000 miles and is designed to work with regular oils. It provides great debris-holding capacity ensuring 95% dirt trapping. And that’s a large percentage for cost-effective oil filters. So if you do regular maintenance and would prefer to change the filter often,this is an excellent choice for you.
But if you prefer long intervals and synthetic oils and drive in harsh conditions, this is not the right filter for you.
K&N HP-1008 – Great filter for a good price
Whether you are looking for a replacement filter for a car, truck, SUV or even a motorcycle, theK&N HP-1008 will be a good buy as it is designed to work with all these vehicles.
The oil filter features a heavy-duty construction to ensure it can withstand extreme conditions, and with a resin-impregnated media that will trap up to 99% of the harmful contaminants.
Also, the oil filter has a 1-inch exposed nut that helps to ensure easy filter removal and an anti-drain back valve that eliminates dry starts by preventing all the oil from draining back during the shutdown.
Purolator PL14612 – Eco-friendly
To enable your vehicle engine to keep performing at a stable and at its peak then you must be ready to spend on a quality oil filter and one oil filter that is capable of pushing your engine to perform at its best is the Puralotor One 14612 oil filter which has the ability to eliminate up to ninety nine percent of dirt. For every vehicle that plys the road today, the PL 14612 oil filter would increase the life of its engine so it can drive up to ten thousand miles.
Having metal end caps which are resistant to wear and also filter media that are made of high density synthetic blend, this is the only oil filter that knows how to retain its filtering power during an oil change and this therefore contributes to why it is suitable for use irrespective of the condition or situation whether it is under difficult driving conditions like stop and move traffic, towing and also under any unfavorable harsh weather condition.
You would be impressed with the level of performance it delivers combined with the amount of protection that this oil filter offers when it is combined using high mileage and synthetic oils.
Bosch 3330 – Excellent alternative to Ford OEM filter
Here is another great oil filter from Bosch that is quite affordable and also made to offer great service for thousands of miles
It has a 14-gram dirt capacity which is as good as you will get at the price tag and a silicone anti-drain back valve that helps to eliminate dry starts by ensuring there is a sufficient supply of oil when starting your car.
Like other top-notch Bosch oil filters, it uses the Filtech media technology to screen out more harmful contaminant for greater engine protection.
The strong steel base plates and housing will help to prevent warpage, leaks and improper fit which are issues that many other oil filters seem to struggle with. High lubricity gasket design provides a tight seal while still allowing for easy removal.
Motorcraft FL-910S – Good price, good product
The more efficient filter media is one of the key elements that make Motorcraft FL910S one of the best engine oil filters out there as it provides increased dirt-collecting capability and ensures it can capture more engine-harming contaminants.
This oil filter also has a silicone anti-drain back that helps to prevent oil from draining out of the filter and engine when you shut it down so that you do not get dry starts.
There are also pressure-relief valves that prevent dirty oil from circulating back and also ensure a constant supply of oil even in cold weather.
Motorcraft also makes this oil filter with a durable steel case that is ironed to ensure a precise fit. And it is designed to provide a dirt holding capacity of 12 grams.
FRAM PH16 – Best deal
Fram makes some of the best auto oil filters on the market, and so even before you install their model PH16 you can be confident that it will perform well for your vehicle.
The Frame PH16 is one of the cheapest items on our oil filter reviews, and so you will not only get good quality but also save some money.
It works great for conventional oils and is designed to offer an efficiency of up to 95% which might not be the best but should still be good enough.
You can also be confident of getting up to 5,000 miles of engine protection from this filter, and it uses an ultra synthetic filter media to make it also ideal for use with full synthetic oil.
Like most other Fram oil filters, it has a non-slip finish that provides an excellent grip to make your filter changes and installation much easier.
What is the best oil filter? Although each car would need the perfect fit (there is no such thing as one oil filter fits all), all oil filters must provide sufficient contaminant filtration and trapping. They must also be able to grease the engine when it first starts up and keep it cool when it is heated.
It’s their job to see that oil keeps the engine running and contaminated oil doesn’t find its way back to the engine when the car is switched off. In order to do such things, it must have a number of parts, the strength and the right media. We understand that it’s hard for you to choose the right products without knowing more about their features or be sure of their quality. And these are the reasons why we provide you with these oil filter reviews below.
Who makes the best oil filters? The truth is that there are several committed manufacturers out there. Perhaps Mobil is one of our favorites with its Extended Performance oil filters. And that’s because they last long and can contain up to 28 grams of particles. What this means is that your engine will be free of contaminants due the products’ 99.6% filtration efficiency and you won’t have to change the filter any time soon.
How to Choose the Best Oil Filter
What makes it hard to choose the best oil filter is that there are several types available on the market. And filters don’t mean a thing on their own.
They go hand in hand with oils. So you don’t only have to consider what the best oil filter for your vehicle is, but also which oil type to use! It’s really important to get the right oil filter for synthetic oil although some filters work with both regular and synthetic oils. But before you get all stressed out, let us assist you by providing the answers to a few critical questions.
1. How does oil filter work?
As a new driver (once upon a time), one of the first things I learned was that the oil filter would help my engine last for long. And that’s because oil filters separate metal and hard particles, debris and contaminants from ever reaching and thereby damaging the engine. They actually consist of several parts, which allow filtered oil to feed the engine when it is required while keeping unfiltered oils in different areas.
- The filter has a can and sealing gasket, which keeps it at the surface of the engine. There are several holes in the gasket where oil enters and exits from a central hole.
- The actual filter is found in the can and this is what keeps debris from reaching the engine.
- When oil is filtered, it goes through a tube and into the engine.
- But there are also two types of valves. The anti-drain back valve keeps oil already in the engine to seep back to the filter when the car is in operation. The second valve is called a relief valve. This is important when the car is still cold and oil too thick to go through the filter. This valve allows small portions of oil to go through just enough to lubricate the engine and get it started before oil heats up and flows normally.
- Finally, there are discs at both sides of the actual filter. Their job is to keep unfiltered oil to find its way to the tube and from there to the engine. They are mounted on the gasket by metal pieces, which are known as retainers.
2. Why use synthetic oil?
Let’s start with some basics. Why do we need oil to protect our car’s engine?
- Oil acts as a lubricant, which keeps metal components from getting worn. When metal parts come in contact, they create friction which will cause damage but also increase heat.
- Oil removes dust, debris and combustion by-products and carry them back to the filter keeping the engine clean.
- Oils seal the piston ring and cylinder.
- Oil keeps metal parts from getting corroded.
In order to do such things, it must flow well at all temperatures. And that’s where we should discuss the importance of viscosity. This is the resistance oils have to flow. When we talk about high viscosity or thick oil, there is more resistance to flow whereas with low viscosity or thin oils, there is less resistance to flow. The letter “W” you see on the bottle of your motor oil stands for winter and is a reference of how well oil flows at start up (low) temperatures. Most car oil makers recommend 5W-30. What this sign stands for is that the oil will be thin enough to flow at cold temperatures, but it will be thick enough to protect the engine in high temperatures. So what you need is an oil which flows well when you just change it but continues to do so before the oil change interval.
A top rated synthetic motor oil offers much higher protection. Whereas both regular and synthetic oils will be equally good at the beginning, overtime regular oils will get thicker at low temperatures and that means there won’t be sufficient oil flow at start up. Another downside with regular oils is that they get thinner at high temperatures because their additives break down and so they don’t offer sufficient protection to the engine. Does that bring us to the conclusion that synthetic oil can be changed in longer intervals? The answer is no because additives in either oil type wear overtime and so you have to change the oil at the same interval (based on manufacturer’s instructions). The main difference is that your car will have a better protection at the end with synthetic rather than regular motor oil. But which is the best oil filter for full synthetic oil? Let’s discover more about filters now.
3. How often to change the oil filter
Keeping the level of engine contamination low is vital. Dirt is one of the main reasons for engine wear. Does that mean you have to change the oil filter every time you change the oil? Well, opinions among manufacturers are divided. Most manufacturers suggest replacing the oil filter every time you change the oil while others say every other time. So if you change the oil every 3,000 miles, you should change the oil filter every 6,000 miles. Big dilemma!
However, if you consider that the oil filter is the best defense against engine contamination and thus large expenses, it’s best to replace it every time you change the oil. Your choice is also subject to your driving habits. If you often drive in heavy traffic or extreme temperatures, you should change the oil filter often because the entire engine along with its components work much harder. After all, it is most cost-effective to replace the oil filter than replacing the engine.
4. What type of oil filter do I need?
You are obviously wondering: what is the best oil filter for my car? Oil filters are different in terms of their material, size, price, and type. As long as it fits well in your car, you don’t have to get a larger one. But many manufacturers suggest better quality oil filter when using top rated synthetic oil. It all comes down to how often you change it and whether or not you drive in harsh conditions and turn on and off the engine often. So the distinctive features of each filter in association with your car & driving habits but also the quality of the product are essential. And that’s a reason why our oil filter reviews play an important role to your decision. We are trying to make some things clear and help you understand the differences in order to choose wisely. So let’s carry on explaining the major oil filter types, which include:
Mechanical oil filters have a pleated paper element to trap contaminants. But they are clogged rather fast and must be cleaned or replaced frequently because they restrict proper oil flow.
As their name implies, magnetic oil filters utilize a magnet or electromagnet to keep contaminants. The pros of these oil filter types is that they are easily cleaned from any particle and don’t need frequent maintenance. The cons is that they are not as effective as their counterparts.
Some early oil filters contained a cartridge or else a removable part, which can be easily replaced. Eventually these turned into spin-on designs, which could be changed much easier. But many manufacturers began using the traditional cartridge oil filter again during the 1990s because they didn’t generate as much waste. But the latest products are made of synthetic and metal material and thus they are more durable.
Once more the name of this oil filter type explains how it works. These oil filters consist of a fiber material which is used to filter contaminants but it also has a chamber, which spins to capture debris. So instead of using gravity, this oil filter is using centrifugal force to clean oil from particles. The housing chamber must be cleaned often or it will stop rotating.
- High efficiency
High efficiency oil filters have 3-micrometer pores, which protect engine from early wear and so they are recommended for longer oil filter change intervals.
5. What is the best oil filter brand?
The advantage of Bosch (besides the reputation of the brand) is that it uses durable materials and guarantees 99% filtration efficiency. And that’s important when you are looking for a good oil filter. It also offers a variety of oil filters. This is a Bosch oil filter review to help you understand the differences among products.
- DistancePlus: this is a high efficiency oil filter, which can contain 29.1 grams of debris compared to the 7.4 grams other filters contain. You can use it with regular, synthetic or semi-synthetic oils. Its gasket can be easily removed for replacement. So it won’t only last long but it will hold a greater amount of contaminants.
- Long life: it has a synthetic oil filter media and has a wire mesh to allow maximum filtration. It comes with both anti-drain and relief valves and is one of the best oil filters for synthetic oil but it works well with semi-synthetic oil too.
- Premium: made of synthetic and natural materials, these oil filters protect better the engine and maximize filtration performance. They restrain 14 grams of contaminants while debris trapping efficiency is enhanced by a glass content woven in the gasket.
b. Royal Purple
Royal Purple oil filter only makes one product, which is the super-premium Extended Life oil filter. It is made of synthetic materials, it features a 100% synthetic micro-glass media, it’s thicker, it has metal end-caps and also includes a silicone anti-drain back valve, a steel backplate and a by-pass valve. So it’s build strong and to capture all contaminants which in turn maximizes oil flow at all temperatures.
Fram makes oil filters for old and new cars and all temperatures while it meets the requirements of all drivers. This is a Fram oil filter review:
- Extra Guard: this is designed for regular oils and features a media made of a cellulose/glass blend. It provides 95% filtration efficiency and should be replaced at the latest every 5,000 miles.
- Tough Guard: this oil filter is made for tougher conditions, like when you stop and go in traffic a lot or drive in extreme weather conditions. It can be used with both regular and synthetic oils and should be changed every 6,000 to 10,000 miles. It features an innovative synthetic blend media and the company guarantees 99% filtration efficiency.
- Ultra-Synthetic: this oil filter can last longer since it is designed to protect your engine for about 15,000 miles. It is the best oil filter for synthetic oil and provides 99% filtration efficiency since it features a double layered media made of synthetic materials. So this is truly the best synthetic oil filter in its category.
- High Mileage: this is ideal for those who don’t want to change the filter often. It is designed for 75,000 miles. It must be paired with high mileage oils.
d. Mobil 1
Mobil oil filters are known as Extended Performance oil filters and there are tens of them since the company’s goal is to serve the needs of each car brand and model. So after a Mobil 1 oil filter review, we came to the conclusion that customers are satisfied by the filters. These are the benefits and main features of the filters:
- Synthetic fibers, which enhance oil filtration and enable the engine to last longer.
- Engine protection up to 15,000 miles when the filter is used with synthetic oil.
- Filters designed for each truck and car.
- Removal of contaminants more than any other conventional product on the market.
- Mobil 1 filters remove contaminants three times more than economy versions.
- The filters permit good oil flow protecting better the engine.
- 9 times better resistance to the operating pressure.
e. Mann oil filter
Mann-Filter makes two filter designs:
- Spin-on oil filters feature a housing and filter, which are easily replaceable. And this is possible due to a release device. These filters also have a return stop valve, which makes sure oil remains in the filter and channels so that it will be available when the engine is switched on again. And there is also a by-pass valve, which makes sure there is oil at the start-up point or when interval time is exceeded and the filter is filthy.
- Filter elements is an ecofriendly product since the housing is not replaced during the lifespan of the product. It is highly resistant and can hold a large amount of dirt which allows for long change intervals. Other features include a non-return membrane, which keeps oil in the module readily available for when the car is turned on again.
Choosing the Right Oil Filter for your Car
Other Factors to Think About Before Buying an Oil Filter
The battle of synthetic oil filter vs regular oil filter settles with the former getting more credits since it is more durable, resistant and best for oil flow. And although materials matter, you should also consider the following factors before buying a new oil filter:
- Open- versus closed-cell structure: by definition closed-cell structures have pores which are not connected to each other (as it happens with membrane oil filters). The open-cell structures have higher absorptivity or allow greater oil flow (like fibers). The latter is often used for the manufacturing of media and are usually made of glass/synthetic materials. Glass fibers have the capacity to hold more dirt.
- Density, thickness, & weight: the thickness of the backplate and can is important because they must resist pressure. As you will read here below, filters undergo several tests. Since their efficiency is what matters, it is also measured by weight with gravimetric measurements.
- Product Dimensions: to choose the right dimensions, check the manual. Sometimes, it is written in the cap as well. That’s the safest method to select the right oil filter. It’s also good to know that filters with paper elements are three-dimensional and this allows oil to flow even if contaminants are caught in the filter. With the two-dimensional steel elements of filters, pores are clogged when particles are caught.
- Durability: the durability and thus longevity of the oil filter depends on its features and efficiency. As a general rule, cellulose media is not as strong as synthetic media. And it doesn’t trap debris efficiently. Whether or not steel cases are rust resistant also determines the strength of the product. The filter must have enough pores for sufficient oil flow but not big enough to let particles go through. And as an overall the product will be more durable when its parts are made of synthetic and metal materials and are sealed.
- Style & location: regardless of the oil filter style (cartridge, spin-on etc.), most of them are located at the bottom or middle of the engine.
- Length & size: in order to choose the right oil filter size, you must know the make, year, and model of the car. If the size of the filter is wrong, oil will leak. The length and overall size of the gasket is important too. It must fit perfectly.
- Media: synthetic media is much better than the traditional pleated paper ones. It can trap more contaminants and lasts longer. Many of them also include drain back valves and are often larger which means that they can go for more miles.
- Pores, porosity and flow rate: they are equally vital. The size of the pore is actually the size of the filter’s opening and the number of pores per surface is equally important because such things determine the oil flow rate.
- Valves: filters might have relief valves, which allow oil flow when the engine is still cold. Filters might also include anti-drain back valves. These ones keep oil in the engine when the car is off and don’t let contaminated oil go back to the engine.
Filters come out in two different media types: membrane and depth. For the former, imagine a filter face with pores whereas for the latter, there are several overlaying fibers.
But you should also give importance to ratings:
- Nominal rating: Although the size of the filters must be the right one for your own vehicle, the filter must be efficient too. The relation between the two will give you the nominal rating. A product with 5 micron filtration but low efficiency rating won’t capture all contaminants whereas a 5 micron filtration product with 99% efficiency capture will contain most contaminants.
- Mean rating: The average size of pores is also important. This rating is the average of small and large pores. And that will help you understand the efficiency of the filter.
- Absolute rating: This gives you the size of the largest pore and will help you understand which size particles will be filtered. So if the larger pore is 10 microns, an 11 micron particle will be stopped. Anything smaller than 10 microns will most likely pass through.
- Beta rating: this is a test manufacturers do by using dust to see how much it will flow out.
To enhance filtration, you want smaller pores so that particles won’t find their way in the engine. But in this case, you must either increase porosity, decrease viscosity, increase the surface area, or reduce flow rate. If not, the valve might break and the oil won’t be filtered.
What Makes an Oil Filter Good?
We cannot complete this cycle of oil filter reviews without pointing out some of the most important features of these filters.
Most Important Features
- Filter housing – it is the house of the filter.
- Steel coil spring – it keeps parts in place.
- End-cap – it contains the relief (by-pass) valve.
- Center tube – it protects the media and facilitates oil flow.
- Media – it is a membrane or in the form of many fibers and allows oil flow.
- End cap at the bottom of the media – it is sealed to protect the media.
- Anti-drain back valve – it keeps oil from draining back to the filter when the car is turned off.
- Baseplate – it supports the gasket and has several holes around as well as a central one threaded to the assembly of the filter.
- Relief valve – it allows oil to go through at low temperatures to prevent engine oil starvation.
- Taping plate – this is the point where oil goes in and out. It is also known as gasket.
- Retainer – plates which keep the end discs/caps in place.
Other Crucial Features to Consider
- Oil filter magnet – it is part of magnetic oil filters and can catch iron particles.
- Oil filter silencer adapter – it varies among cars.
- Oil filter wrench – this is a tool which is used to remove spin-on oil filters.
- Oil filter relocation kit – they allow you to relocate the oil filter.
- Remote oil filter – used to relocate the filter.
The Best Oil Filter Wrenches to Get Unstuck
Find the best oil filter removal tool for your particular car brand? This is our pick of the best oil filter wrenches to make easier to buy the right one.
The Best Oil Filters For Your Car | Frequently Asked Questions
After a rather long journey among brands and types of oil filters in order to write these oil filter reviews, we have come to the conclusion that there are several things to keep in mind before buying an oil filter. First of all, it has to do with your car, habits, and expectations.
Do you want regular or synthetic oils? Do you prefer long or short change intervals? Do you drive daily in heavy traffic or often leave the car without using it for days? But in spite of such differences, we all want the same thing which is to keep our engine intact for as long as possible and under any weather conditions. As long as you find the right fit, it’s best to stick to details related to the product’s durability but most importantly to its efficiency.
The higher the efficiency the less damage for the engine. And so all tests and ratings done for the evaluation of oil filters are worth the effort. The ratio of pore size and efficiency, for example, is important. What you want is proper oil flow even at low temperatures but high dirt-holding capacity. And that’s where you should aim at when searching for the best oil filter for your car. With that said, all we can say is happy journeys!