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The Lifeline of Your Car: Understanding the Importance of Oil Filters

BY: Dario DiGiuseppe
Mechanic is preparing an oil filter change

Your vehicle has a wide range of components and fluids that are meant to be disposable and need to be replaced. The fluids in your car, such as the oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid, should be replaced regularly, and waiting too long between replacements can cause serious engine damage.

Other components, like the brake pads and headlight bulbs, also need regular replacements to keep the car in good working order. The oil filter is one of the most important replaceable components, and failing to install a new oil filter could result in expensive engine problems.

The oil filter is responsible for cleaning the oil as it moves through your car and keeping your engine free of dirt and debris for optimal performance. While you don’t have to replace the oil filter every time you change your oil, it is a good idea to do it as often as possible.

Knowing what an oil filter does and why you should replace it regularly will help you prioritize it to improve your vehicle’s lifespan – reducing engine wear and even improving fuel economy

How Oil Filters Work: A Technical Overview

Your engine picks up a lot of dirt and road dust as you drive your car. No matter how well you maintain your vehicle and keep it clean, this dirt will still make its way into the engine, which is transferred to the oil as it moves throughout the block.

Without engine oil filtration to remove all these impurities, the debris would stick to the engine’s interior components and cause serious oil flow issues. An oil filter prevents sticking, overheating, and premature wear on many of the moving parts in the powertrain.

The oil pump in your engine moves the oil throughout the car and gets it into the engine block to lubricate all the moving parts. However, before that oil makes it to the engine, it is passed through the oil filter. This small, cylindrical component is attached to the underside of your vehicle and has filtering materials that are designed to catch dirt, dust, and other debris.

The oil is passed through this filter material under pressure and then moved into the engine block after cleaning it. With this filter, the oil that goes into your engine is as clean as possible and will properly lubricate all the parts so they can move smoothly.

The Impact of Oil Filters on Engine Health

An oil filter change is as essential to the health of your vehicle’s engine as regular oil changes are. As debris runs through the filter, it will catch and hold it in the filter material as the oil cycles through.

A clean oil filter will clear the oil more effectively and ensure the oil going into the car’s engine block is as clean as possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about parts seizing up or wearing out prematurely because contaminants get past the oil filter and into the engine compartment.

Clean motor oil will be much more effective than oil full of debris and dirt and keep all the moving parts in your engine lubricated. This improves fuel efficiency, increases power output, and gives your engine much better longevity in the long run. If you want to be sure that you are getting the best possible engine performance out of your vehicle, regularly changing your oil filter is one of the best things you can do.

The Consequences of Neglecting Oil Filter Maintenance

While most people know how important it is to change the oil in a car, changing the filter is often neglected. This can result in serious issues, so the filter should not be forgotten when going through your vehicle’s maintenance checklist.

A dirty oil filter will contaminate any new oil put into the vehicle, and those contaminants will be pushed into the engine block along with the oil. When this happens, the oil will not be able to lubricate the moving parts effectively, and this can result in too much friction when the engine is running. This can make the engine overheat easily, and in some cases, it can even cause warping that will be incredibly expensive to fix.

Dirty oil filters can also let contaminants into the small intake areas within the engine block. Over time, these intakes and valves can get completely blocked and gummed up with debris. Once they are closed off, they are incredibly hard to clean out, and most of the time, the engine will need to be completely removed to clean them.

By making sure you replace your oil filter regularly, you can avoid these costly repairs and keep your vehicle running smoothly for a long time.

Best Practices for Oil Filter Maintenance and Replacement

For the most part, when an oil filter is installed on your car, you don’t have to do anything to it. It will do its job and keep the oil in your car clean as long as it is clean enough and you watch your driving habits. After a while, though, the dirt and debris in the filter material will start to build up and come loose. It will then make its way into the new oil, and the filter will stop cleaning the oil that goes into the engine. Replacing the oil filter keeps the oil clean and keeps your engine free of contaminants.

You should change your oil filter every other time you get your oil changed. This means that if you change your oil every 3,000 miles, your oil filter should be changed every 6,000 miles.

Some people change the filter every time their oil is changed, and many professional shops will do it with every oil change they do. If you want to be certain how often you should change your oil filter, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and see what the manufacturer recommends.

The Interplay Between Oil Filters and Extended Warranties

Keeping your car in good condition depends on a combination of staying on top of maintenance and making repairs as soon as they come up. By changing your oil filter regularly, you can avoid some of the most expensive repairs your vehicle might need and keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly. However, it is even more important to address small issues as soon as possible before they become larger, more costly problems.

When your car was new, it most likely came with a warranty from the manufacturer. These factory warranties are designed to protect you from repairs that come up due to issues at the factory or design problems. Once this warranty is up, though, you are responsible for any repairs that need to happen.

If you want to keep protecting your vehicle, you can get an extended warranty from a third-party provider, more accurately called a vehicle service contract (VSC). VSCs will help you pay for repairs, and some even include maintenance coverage so you can be sure to stay on top of your vehicle’s oil filter replacements and other upkeep needs.

Prioritize Oil Filter Health for Vehicle Longevity With Endurance

Keeping up on your vehicle’s maintenance is your best bet if you want to make the most of it over the years. Changing automotive oil and oil filters will help keep your engine in good condition and prevent serious issues that can be incredibly expensive. With a high-quality extended warranty in place, you can get the help you need when problems arise and save money at the shop no matter what breakdowns or auto repairs happen.

Endurance has many different plans available for drivers and cars of all types. Starting at just $99 per month, you can get a customized VSC for your vehicle, whether you have a high-end luxury vehicle or an older car with high mileage.

With plans ranging from basic powertrain protection to near bumper-to-bumper coverage, there is something for almost everyone. Endurance also has plans for vehicles that other third-party providers can’t or won’t cover, including Canadian Gray Market vehicles, cars with a rebuilt or salvage title, and vehicles used for commercial purposes like rideshare or delivery drivers like Uber and Doordash.

Endurance plans also come with many useful standard benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance, towing, rental car coverage, and trip interruption protection. Plus, for a small activation fee, you can also access Elite Benefits, which includes extra perks like tire repairs, key fob replacement, and up to $1,000 in total loss coverage.

To experience peace of mind for yourself, contact our dedicated customer service team at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote. Alternatively, take advantage of our online store for an instant price preview so you can shop confidently.

You can also find more auto-expert resources on the Endurance blog. Explore FAQs, warranty provider comparisons, DIY maintenance tips, and more.

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