Choosing the right filter for your vehicle
(ARA) – In today’s economy it’s more important than ever to take care of your vehicle. Engine maintenance is critical when extending the life of your vehicle. There is a lot of information available about the differences in oils and other maintenance components, but what no one explains is what to look for in an oil filter.
The oil filter serves as the lifeblood for your engine. It is important because it cleans the oil and is capable of filtering high volumes of oil with relatively low restriction. How do you know which filter to choose and what are the differences between styles? Here is some information to help you decide.
The shell is the outside casing you see when the filter is installed. It keeps your filter safe during the wear and tear on your vehicle, and protects it from punctures.
The media is the filtering component. Depending on the level of filter you chose, media can be described as a maze of cellulose, synthetics and/or microfibers that remove the harmful debris from your engine oil.
The core is the part of the filter that helps the filter keep its shape and prevents it from collapsing under extreme pressure. It is inserted inside of the filter media and can be made of a variety of materials.
The base plate is the threaded component of the oil filter. In addition to providing the threaded attachment for the filter, it directs the oil flow through the filter.
The gasket is the rubber ring that seals the filter to the engine’s oil filter base. This gasket is typically made of flexible rubber.
Now that you understand the components of an oil filter, it’s easy to see that not all oil filters are the same. There are some key differences in the quality of oil filter you are purchasing.
Most “economy” filters are very basic and last for a limited time in comparison to the higher end filters. These filters use media of natural wood fibers to sort out the debris in your oil.
The “better” filter contains media that is a blend of fibers. The majority of the fibers are cellulose with a minimal blend of synthetic fibers that enhance the media strength and efficiency performance.
The “best” or premium level of filters use micro-glass filter technology. Advanced micro-glass oil filters are designed to extend the life of vehicle and equipment. In addition to superior filtration media, the other internal and structural components are of higher quality materials, making for easier installation and removal, as they are much less prone to crush while installing or removing. These oil filters can extend change intervals up to 12,000 miles.
Vehicles still under warranty should follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended filter change intervals.