Engine & Equipment

Best 10 Car Oil Filters

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plugged oil filter

When you are choosing a car filter, you’re likely to see a sea of tips which sometimes contradict each other. After some time of researching the Web, you will quickly realize that when it comes to getting a new oil filter, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Your car model, the climate in the area you drive, and personal preferences should all be taken into account.

Mentioning that, you should do your best to make a thought-out purchasing decision. To help you understand what the characteristics of above-average car filters are and compare the selection of models on the web, we created this full shopping guide – feel free to use it as a frame of reference when narrowing down a list of potential units to get. 

Why You Should Get an Oil Filter?

A car oil directly determines how well and for how long an engine will run. Although getting a filter and cleaning it every once in a while must feel like hell of hustle, the long term benefits outweigh the trouble of maintenance. There are the reasons you should pay attention to how clear your car oil is. 

  • The car engine will run smoothly. Cleaner oil helps drivers ensure no debris or dust particles pile up on the engine surface. Filtering car oil improves lubrication and engine responsivity. Thus, you will be prolonging the lifespan of the engine. 
  • Reducing engine emissions. If your car puts out too many exhaust particles, dirty car oil is likely to blame. By getting a car oil filter, improve your and your family’s well-being.
  • Higher gas consumption efficiency. Failing to filter car oil leads to lower adhesion and lubrication – thus, the fuel is not used to the utmost extent. Experienced drivers aim for the highest lubrication possible to lower engine friction – as a result, gas mileage will be higher as well. 
  • Protecting the connective shafts and rods of the vehicle. Other than maximizing the durability and the lifespan of the engine, oil filtering protects shafts and rods from cluttering. Thus, by using clean car oil, vehicle owners ensure that exhaust valves can open and close smoothly.

How Does an Oil Filter Work?

Let’s dive into the technicalities of a vehicle filter. In most autos, a filter is located next to the oil pump. This device consists of two parts – a filtering component and a base plate that’s connected to the engine block and a filter mounting post. 

oil filer assembly

A base plate is a part that lets car oil in and outside the filter. Then, it moves down the filter paper straight to the filtering tube. The final destination for fully filtered car oil is the main oil gallery. 

Let’s briefly examine the main components of a car filter:

  • O-ring that seals the filter tube and closes the head of the engine off from the base plate;
  • Base plate servers to mount the model with no oil deflections;
  • End caps. Located on both ends of an oil filter, they improve the adhesion and provide rigidity to the media component. 
  • Protective valves prevent filtered the oil from leaking through the tube. 

Related post: How much oil does my car take?

Types of Car Oil Filters

Although the basic working framework is alike for all car filters, there are specific modifications you drivers typically choose from, such as the following ones:

1. Full-flow

Full-flow filters clear the oil out entirely, while other modifications may provide only partial filtering. These models are expensive – however, they are your go-to choice for driving when it’s cold outside. Full-flow filters prevent oils from becoming rigid and ensure the fluidity of the flow. 

2. Secondary filters

This type of filter is limited in functionality and is typically used to support a full-flow model. The thing is, secondary oil filters only process up to 10% of the entire oil volume. Used as a standalone, a secondary filter will make no difference in engine performance quality. As a complementary device, they perform quite well and manage to capture substances full-flow filters typically miss out on. 

3. Spin-on filters

Spin-on filters are a subtype of full-flow modifications. Such models include a steel base and a paper-made cover for filtering. These filters are known for simplicity and DIY nature – they are easy to install and replace. On the other hand, you should expect high durability from the model. 

4. Cartridge filters

It’s another type of full-flow filters. Cartridge filters are not easy to maintain since you need to replace the cartridge regularly. However, some drivers praise them for easy mounting. Choosing a cartridge filter is an environment-friendly choice as well – it has no metal components, hence it is better suited for recycling. 

5. Magnetic filters

Magnetic filters are the secondary ones – thus, they are used to support an existing full-flow unit. Most car owners use these models for cleaning out metal particles – magnetic filters perform extremely well this way. However, if you want to remove dust and organic particles, look for a different modification. 

Magnetic filters are known for high longevity and low maintenance. Once you mount it, the model can run without fail for many years. 

4 Tips on Choosing Car Oil Filters

When it comes to choosing a car oil filter, there are dozens of misconceptions. To be confident that you’re getting it right, take the following tips into account when researching the market. 

  • Bigger is not better. Although a manufacturer might want to trick you into choosing whatever model that fits the engine head, there is more to calculating proper filter dimensions. For instance, you should make sure the exhaust valves and media fit a new filter like a glove. 
  • Avoid loose mounting. If your filter doesn’t fit tight in the vehicle, better replace it for a new one. Loose mounting accounts for the bulk of oil leaks. There are plenty of ways to test if a filter is mounted efficiently – ask the seller to help you out. 
  • Look for a durable filter. Essentially, it implies choosing models with pressure-relief valves, protective outer castings made from durable metal, and rust-resistance. This way, you will spare yourself the trouble of having to replace and remount a model from scratch. 
  • Try to get a warranty from a seller. It’s hard to know if a filter is good for the car until you try using it. Go with risk-free purchases only. Ideally, you want to opt for models with 2-3 year warranties – this way, you can return a filter in case it doesn’t perform the way you expected it to. 

Best 10 Car Oil Filters – Review

Before you make a decision on which oil filter to purchase, it’s useful to know which models are trending on the car markets, why drivers appreciate particular filters and what stands behind their pros and cons. Since the majority of motorists don’t have the luxury of testing batches of models before settling with one, it makes sense to read online reviews. 

To bring more clarity into your selection process, we tested and reviewed popular car filters.

Motorcraft FL Car Oil Filter

The model does a good job of filtering dust particles, metal residue, carbon debris, sand, and other substances that might be cluttering the engine and compromising its performance. The unit is equipped with pressure-release valves that help ensure no contaminated oil will mix with the filtered one. 

The unit is rust-protected thanks to iron castings on the base plates. It is known for its high durability and manages to resist rusting impressively. 

ProsCons
• Ease of maintenance
• Reasonable cost
• Improves gas mileage
• Prevents the motor from running dry
• Doesn’t fit common vehicle models
• No rubber seal in the packaging
• Wears out after long-distance rides
Bosch Oil Filter 3323

The model boasts the FILTECH filtration technology that is supposed to take the filtration precision to the next level. Indeed, this Bosch model is a cut above many others in terms of filtering power. A filter is thick and sturdy and gives off a reliable first impression. The flipside is that it’s challenging to mount – you will have to put in a couple of hours. 

The Bosch filter uses a steel cover to prevent the model from rusting. Also, there’s a lot of lubricant in the gasket os the engine will run considerably smoother.

ProsCons
• Steel-protected base plates
• Compatibility with most car models
• Rust-resistance
• High lubrication level
• Small filter diameter
• No canister gaskets
• The seal surface is not even
FRAM Oil Filter (with a grip)

This oil filter is universally praised for high media durability. It’s almost impossible to find such a sturdy modification on the market. The filter is protected by a double layer of polypropene and cellulose. 

The model is well-suited to long rides. Its pressure-protecting valve ensures the durability of the filter for over 15 thousand miles. The base-plate has a specific slip-protective texture that helps ensure that the model is mounted securely. 

ProsCons
• Filters all particles larger than 20 microns
in diameter
• Sturdy design
• Pressure-relief valves
• Double-layer media
• Low durability of filtering paper
• Low filtering capability
• Lack of packaging sturdiness
Royal Purple Oil Filter

This model is relatively expensive. However, if you choose to pay extra, you will not be disappointed with what you get – the filter is made of micro-glass and is capable of filtering out almost any dust, residue, or contaminating substance there could be inside the oil. 

The ends of the filtering cap are tightly sealed, ensuring high leak protection. The tube itself is quite wide, there will be no flow restriction. 

ProsCons
• Withstands cold and hot climates well;
• Equipped with anti-drain valves;
• High lubrication level. 
• Low vehicle compatibility
• More expensive than most models
• The canister is a little thicker than the standard goes
Ford Racing Oil Filter

The model is designed to fit specifically Ford models. The filter has an impressive high- and low-temperature resistance. 

Also, Ford Racing Filter has a heavy-gauge canister that grants the model a high lifespan. The filter has built-in anti-leakage protective valves. You will not struggle to mount and remove it thanks to a non-sticking seal gasket. 

ProsCons
• High bypass pressure
• Fits Ford models perfectly
• Warranty and insurance
• Larger than standard filters
• High cost
• Fits only Ford racing car models
ACDelco Oil Filter

It’s a cheap and small filter that offers no-hassle maintenance and easy installation to make up for relatively low filtering capacity. The manufacturer managed to increase the diameter of the filtering tube to remove as many flow constrictions as possible. There’s a no-metallic cartridge drivers can use to store oil. 

The filter increase lubrication inside the vehicle by adding a lubricative gasket to the model. 

ProsCons
• Sturdy material
• Easy to mount
• Compact size
• Short filter tubes
• Weak base plate
• Does not fit large-dimension vehicles
K&N Suzuki Filter

This Suzuki filter is designed to clean all types of oils. The model has high oil permeability and allows the engine to run smoothly. To increase the capacity and the durability of the filter, the manufacturer added sturdy pleated media. According to online reviews, the K&N filter adapts to irregular oil changes impressively well. 

ProsCons
• Fits Suzuki vehicles like a glove
• High durability
• High-quality filter paper
• Installation challenges
• Oil leaks are common
• Heavier than most filters
Mobil M1-212 Oil Filter

The filter ensures high engine durability, thanks to its fiber media design. The model boasts a high filtering capacity – it’s capable of holding up to 28 grams of contaminating substances. It’s operating pressure limits are high – ver six times over the limit for most units. The Mobil filter offers high leak protection and ensures there are no dry starts. 

ProsCons
• Equipped with drain-back valves
• Large filter media area
• Easy to mount
• Poor filter build materials
• Engine seal swelling is common
• Unfit for high-mileage vehicles
Ecogard Spin-On Oil Engine

Ecogard offers a filter with a 5,000-mile mileage. The unit’s filtering precision is impressive – it manages to successfully capture carbon particles, metal, dust, sand, and other potentially harmful substances. The filter is equipped with an anti-leakage back valve – as a result, it does a good job and prevents dry starts, moreover, it  protects the engine from damage.

ProsCons
• Compatible with a high number of vehicles
• Trouble-free installation process
• Extends the lifespan of the engine
exponentially 
• Smaller than standard filters
• Extensive shipping time
• Doesn’t filter fully synthetic oil properly
ALDelco PF463

The filter is small yet it packs a punch when it comes to filtering capacity. ALDelco models are one of the most reliable oil filter models out there. You will not have to deal with mounting and maintenance issues. Compatibility is pretty much the only thing to ensure – due to the filter’s compact size, it is too short for SUVs and trucks. 

ProsCons
• Recyclable
• Superior filter protection
• Compactness
• Short for large vehicle models
• Relatively low filtering capacity
• Packaging issues, can come dented

Conclusion

Choosing a car oil filter is challenging since the vehicle model, dimensions, and driving conditions are hard to adapt to a one-size-fits-all decision-making approach. By researching the pros and cons of the most popular models on the market, you will be able to make an informed purchase and get a durable and high-performing car oil filter. Hopefully, this review of the ten most popular oil filters has come in handy during the selection process.