How does an engine oil filter work

In order to understand how exactly an oil filter works, one must understand its physical structure and components. 

An oil filter is made up of a metal can with a sealing gasket which allows it to be sealed tightly against the engine’s surface. The base plate of the gasket has numerous small holes around the area that is just inside the gasket. 

The central hole is threaded to the oil filter system on the engine block. Now, inside the metal can is where the filtering material is placed. This material is generally made from synthetic fibers. 

The engine’s oil pump moves the oil directly to the filter. The oil enters through the holes on the base plate and the dirty oil passes through the filter. 

The filter then removes any pollutants or contaminants present in the oil before it moves back out of the central hole and enters the engine again. 

What does an oil filter do?

As the name suggests, an oil filter is the component that is responsible for keeping the engine oil clean. 

Due to the filters present in the oil filters, the engine oil is able to enter and pass through them, while undergoing a filtration process that allows it to become clean once it leaves the filter. 

This filters out any outside pollutants, particles or contaminants and ensures only clean oil passes through the engine.

Why are oil filters important?

The engine is probably the most essential component of any vehicle. The functioning of the car or bike is dependent on the health of its engine. 

That being said, it is easy to see why engine oil is also an important part of maintaining a vehicle. The engine oil is responsible for keeping the engine functioning smoothly. 

It lubricates the internal moving parts of the engine and eliminates problems caused by friction. It also protects the engine from wear and tear, rust, corrosion and any outside pollutants. 

However, over time, even the engine oil can accumulate contaminants of its own, which can hamper how well it protects the engine, thus putting the whole internal system of the vehicle at risk. 

Why does engine oil need to remain clean?

Motor oil, as mentioned before, is integral to the health of the engine. If left on its own, over time, engine oil can become saturated with tiny, hard particles that collect and can contribute to the wear and tear of the engine.

Furthermore, dirty oil can also wear out parts of the oil pump and damage the bearing surfaces in the engine. This is why it is essential that engine oil remains clean. That is where oil filters come in.

How to choose a good oil filter?

Since oil filters carry out an essential task of keeping the engine oil clean and the engine safe from pollutants, choosing a correct filter is of utmost importance. 

While most filters have the same components and work in similar ways, there are many small differences in the sizes and designs which can be important to note. 

It is best to consult the owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle, in order to understand the specifications of the particular model

An ill fitting oil filter could fall off, leak or cause damage to other parts and thus could become a liability. Vehicle owners should also consult experienced mechanics, auto dealers or spare parts catalogs to choose the best filter.

How much should you spend on an oil filter?

In India, the price of an oil filter ranges from 150 to 750 INR. The price of oil filters differs depending upon your vehicle and its requirements. 

However,  if you buy a cheap oil filter, you could face issues. The light gauge metal, loose filter material and poor quality gaskets that can be used in cheap oil filters can cause more harm than good

Vehicle owners should try to get original parts that have been sourced from legitimate sources.  This will ensure that the filter lasts longer and works efficiently due to its high quality parts. 

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