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Oil Filter: How It Works and When to Change It

Oil Filter, How It Works and When to Change It

By now, you should know the importance of oil for the proper functioning of the car’s engine. In his day, we tell you all that can lead to deception and also the disastrous state of an engine when an oil change never made.

But replacing oil is not enough. It is also key to change the filter. As much or, if possible, more. As the lubricant specialists of Total Spain tell us, the engine oil of your car serves to reduce friction between the moving gear, which cuts on the components and prolongs the life of the mechanics. It must be as clean as possible, and for this purpose, it uses the filter.

The filter is responsible for retaining all impurities and foreign particles that can wear down the parts, which are floating in the lubricant (such as small combustion residues or small metal fragments resulting from the friction of internal components).

If the filter is in poor condition, these elements are circulating through the engine; the mechanics will reduce its performance, which will also spend more fuel and will reduce its useful life.

Oil Filter, How It Works and When to Change It

Types of oil filters and their parts

An oil filter is a cartridge that hides different layers of porous elements, where the lubricant passes to be filtered. If it is in good condition, it retains more than 97% of particles, very small, between 10 and 40 microns in size (a hair has a thickness of about 60, so you can get an idea of ​​how small they can be). There are different types in the market, depending on their structure:

  • Oil filter with interchangeable cartridge: It keeps the outer casing, and you have to change the inner filter. They are cheaper (you don’t have to change everything), but also harder to change for inexperienced hands. They usually found in diesel engines.
  • Monoblock oil filters: It is a single piece, very easy to remove and replace. They are the most common.
  • Centrifugal oil filter: They employ a centrifugal force, which mobilizes the oil in its path, to push the harmful particles towards a filter paper. They use them, especially large diesel.

Regardless of the type of filter, they can have different parts:

  • Bypass valve: The quality filters included. It is responsible for directing the unfiltered oil to the circuit in case the filter becomes clogged (key in cold climates, where the oil can thicken a lot until the engine warms up).
  • Non-return valve: Good quality filters include this valve, which prevents oil from returning to the crankcase after the engine is turned off. Thus, filters and ducts have oil when starting the engine.
  • Filter housing: It is the “wrapper” of the filter. There have been cases (cold start), which cause such pressure that they can explode. It is not common… and less bad, because in those cases all the oil in the car is lost and the engine damage is very considerable… but fatal.

Oil Filter, How It Works and When to Change It

When to change the oil filter

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the car manual. As a general rule, the useful life of an oil filter is around 10,000 km, and it is best to replace it every time the oil is changed to the vehicle, to avoid leaking the accumulated waste in the new oil.

The price of an oil filter depends on the type of filter that your car requires, but don’t be alarmed since it is between 5 and 15 euros. It is best to choose one of quality, from a consolidated manufacturer, of proven reputation. It is not convenient at all to spar and less when we talk about such small amounts.

From Total Spain, we advised looking at the filtering capacity, which indicates the number of contaminants that can retain before clogging. The more, the better (the good ones have a capacity of 13 grams). And keep in mind also how effective it is to remove smaller particles.

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