The Important Things to Know About Oil Filters

oil filters for automobile

Oil filter is engineered to remove noxious waste from engine oil, transmission oil, lubricating oil and hydraulic oil. This is used in various types of machinery which includes and arouses our interest in the usage of oil filter in internal-combustion engine in every motor vehicle.  There are different types of vehicles which have a hydraulic system and are often equipped with some type of oil filter. The best example for this one is the vehicle types which have automatic transmissions and power steering.

To be able to discuss properly all the basic things that needs to be understood in the field of oil filters, this article will mainly focus  and tackle on the Automotive Engine Oil Filter application which utilizes and demonstrates the motor oil filtration. One thing more that needs to be remembered is the fact that regardless of the end use of the oil filter or the type of fluid being filtered, same concepts applies.

How Does Motor Oil Works:

So, how does motor oil works? Obviously, motor oil functions in numerous and important ways. These following are the common functions of motor oil.

  1. It helps in the transfer of heat. Thus, the cooling of the engine is easier.
  2. It also seats the piston-ring and includes cylinder bore surface.
  3. It serves as the absorbent of all the contaminants. Thus, reducing the harmful contaminants that may cause engine damage and poor performance.
  4. It also suspends all the wear particles. It keeps your engine working and performing great for a longer period.
  5. Motor oil also helps in the suspension of the soot which results to combustion.

It should be put into consideration that a lot of these contaminants are suspended the motor oil makeup. And it causes wear and poor performance of the engine.
The motor oil will eventually saturate with the waste particles and will cause some parts of the engine to wear. This is the basic reason why oil filters are needed in the modern engines.

Oil Filter Kinds and Character

  1. Mechanical Oil Filters

This type of Oil Filters employs a specific element which consists of bulky materials to trap and isolate suspended contaminants. As these wastes materials builds up on the filtration medium, oil is restricted. This needs then a regular replacement of the bulky filter element.

  1. Cartridge and Spin-on Filters

Cartridge and spin-on filters can be seen in the early engine oils  which has permanent housing and contains a filter element or cartridge that is usually replaceable. This housing is mounted directly on the engine. There are also cases when it is remotely located with the supply and return pipes connected to the engine. The Spin-on filters are also very common during the 1950’s which has a self-contained housing is very notable in this type of filter which can be unscrewed, discarded and replaced. This has set the trend of changing the filters easier compared to the previous years. This has been the most common type of filter installed by automakers.

  1. Magnetic Oil Filters

Magnetic Oil Filters uses a permanent magnet which is expected to capture the particles commonly known as ferromagnetic. The advantage of magnetic filtration is that it helps in maintaining the filter and it only requires cleaning or wiping out the particles from the magnet’s surface.  The automatic transmission present in most vehicles have magnet in the pan intended for the fluid which will then isolate the magnetic particles and will prolong the life of the fluid filter. Although there is still an ongoing debate as to the efficacy of the magnet being attach to the outside part of the oil filter or the magnetic drain, there are still a lot of automakers who still makes such kind of system. They believe that this type of filters aid in capturing the metallic particles.

  1. Sedimentation

Sedimentation type of oil filters allows the heavier particles to settle at the bottom of the container through the concept of gravity.

  1. Centrifugal Oil Filter

This is a rotary sedimentation device which uses the centrifugal force instead of gravity to separate the contaminants from the oil. The housing of this filter needs to be regularly cleaned since the particles will be accumulated and will then stop the drum rotation which will cause for the unfiltered oil to recirculate.

  1. High Efficiency Oil Filters

This is a type of bypass filter which allows the extension of oil drain intervals. They have pore sizes of 3 micrometers which reduces engine wear.

The Placement of Filter in an Oil System

The level of cleanliness of the oil is very important in the decision making part in replacing the oil since it also affects the cost. The optimum target of cleanliness should be determined since it will play a vital part in the contamination control program. Since the time that it has been determined, a lot of automakers and engineers had a hard time deciding as to where the filter should be located since it requires a lot of things that needs to be considered. These factors that needs to be considered in the placement of the filter includes the purpose of the filter whether for protection or contamination control, the accessibility of the filter for maintenance and the performance of the unit itself.


Therefore, oil filter plays an important role in keeping your vehicle’s engine performs at its best. If changing oil is not your thing, you should ask an expert to do it for you. But it is beneficial on your part if you know about its placement, and learn how to change it in case of emergency. It is important to know about basic maintenance of you vehicle, like oil filter change to reduce engine  wear, save you for more cost  and possible damage.


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