What Does An Oil Filter Do?
Let’s start with the basics. The entire purpose of a car’s engine is to convert fuel into energy, and that energy moves your car. This process requires a lot of moving pieces, all of which are lubricated by motor oil. This increases efficiency and reduces wear, giving you a more productive engine with a longer lifespan. To help out this lubrication process, your engine needs an oil filter.
Motor oil keeps all the pieces of your engine, from the valve train to the piston rings, lubricated to prevent metal-on-metal friction and overheating. To get oil out to all of these little bits and pieces, your engine has an oil pump which puts oil that’s resting in the oil pan to work. The oil running through this system only remains effective so long as it can successfully lubricate all the engine’s moving parts. To do this, the oil needs to be kept as clean as possible. A sludgy, messy engine won’t do you or your car any good.
This is where your oil filter comes in handy. It captures any harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments that have finagled their way into your system. With a clean oil filter in place, more material gets picked up. More material getting picked up means cleaner oil. Cleaner oil means a healthier engine and a happier you.
Types of Oil Filters
The oil filter is the unsung hero of your car’s engine. That being said, not all filters are the same. There are two main types out there. The first is compact, a canister filter which can be removed or installed as a single unit. The second requires more installation. It is composed of a separate filter that attaches to a cap in the filter housing. Either style will clean your engine’s oil when installed properly. Both should be replaced with every oil change to ensure your engine continues to perform its best. Check your owner’s manual to learn more about the oil filter type that’s best for your vehicle.