Called the "lifeblood" of the engine, engine oil serves as lubrication for various moving parts. It also cleans the engine and helps maintain ideal engine temperature. Eventually, engine oil becomes contaminated with debris and combustion by-products. To prevent these contaminants from reaching the engine, your car is equipped with a filtering device-the oil filter.
The oil filter is responsible for protecting your car's engine and oil. A damaged oil filter won' filter contaminants, so engine performance will be impaired. If your car's oil filter is damaged, replace it immediately. However, looking for the right replacement oil filter can be a taxing job. This guide will give you tips on choosing the perfect oil filter.
Types of oil filter
If you're in the market for a new oil filter, you should know which type will suit your car's engine and your driving style. Below is a list of the common oil filters sold today.
- Mechanical: By using a fibrous material in a pleated design, mechanical oil filters trap oil contaminants. But over time, mechanical oil filters get clogged by debris and other particles, so they need to be cleaned often.
- Magnetic: This kind of oil filter prevents oil contamination by using small electromagnets. Though they don't have to be cleaned and removed periodically, magnetic oil filters can't filter much dirt unlike the other types.
- Centrifugal: By spinning, a centrifugal oil filter induces centrifugal force which traps contaminants. This kind of filter has two parts: the fiber material that filters debris, and the housing chamber that spins.
The perfect brand
Because of the importance of oil filters, many car parts manufacturers develop and sell oil filters. Typically, oil filters range from less than 50 USD to 200 USD. Take note that price influences oil filter quality, but this doesn't mean that the most expensive oil filter is the best. Always buy from a trustworthy brand and never buy just because of price. If you want to perfect oil filter, consider the kind of car that you have and your driving style.
OE or Aftermarket
When buying car parts, you may have to choose between original equipment (OE) replacement and aftermarket. OE replacement oil filters are made based on OEM specifications. On the other hand, aftermarket oil filters are specialized oil filters and preferred by car enthusiasts because they can filter contaminants very well. If you're having a hard time choosing between the two, remember this: aftermarket oil filters are more expensive than OE ones, but they last longer.