In order to ensure that your vehicle is functioning properly and to the best of its ability, it’s important to take a proactive approach to take care of your car. What does that mean? For one, it means being aware of when you have to complete maintenance updates.
One aspect of car maintenance that is important to pay attention to is your vehicle’s oil filter. Your oil filter might seem small, but it’s an essential part that your car needs to function correctly.
Knowing when to replace your oil filter is crucial, but it can be confusing to know exactly when’s the right time to do it. Luckily, we have answers to that question and beyond.
What is an Oil Filter?
If you’re not already familiar with an oil filter, learning a bit about it and what it does can make knowing when to change one significantly easier. An oil filter is a part of your car created to help remove contaminants from the vehicle’s engine oil. These contaminants can accumulate as the oil works to maintain the engine’s cleanliness. This makes sure that the contaminants are trapped in time to not get through the filter and trapped inside of the engine. If they did get through, this could cause significant engine wear and tear, or even damage.
That’s not all your vehicle’s oil filter does, however; it also is responsible for ensuring that your oil is in the right place in the car at the right time. Your car is simply unable to perform well if it doesn’t have clean motor oil, but at the same time, motor oil is unable to perform correctly unless the oil filter is working properly. That being said, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly when you need to change it.
Why is a Properly Functioning Oil Filter Important?
Think of your engine as the heart of your car. Without your engine properly functioning, your vehicle would simply be unsuitable for use. An oil filter is something like an armor of protection against sneaky contaminants that attempt to make their way into the inside of the car’s engine.
Did you know that an oil filter has a limited capacity for debris and contaminants? Well, it’s true. After the filter reaches its capacity, it’s essentially useless until it is changed. If there is excess pressure, the bypass valve can even open. This can be problematic because unfiltered oil can find its way right into the engine lubrication system of the car.
These particles can ultimately destroy bearings, rings, journals, and possibly even get stuck in the chain tensioners or lifters. As is the case with most car-related situations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Working to change your oil filter before it becomes an issue is a more reliable way to make sure you don’t run into any issues. Changing the oil filter before these issues become feasible is the only way to avoid them.
How Can I Tell My Car’s Oil Filter Needs a Change?
Because of the nature of an oil filter, it’s impossible to know if it needs to be replaced by a visual inspection. This is because this filter is a permanently-sealed metal piece. Unfortunately, there’s not a warning light or gauge that will pop up to notify you that you should change your oil filter.
You might be wondering how you can tell if your car requires an oil filter without these warning signs. This will require a bit of diligence on the vehicle owner’s part. Every time that you drive 3,000 miles on your car - the usual recommended amount of time to get an oil change - your oil has actually gone through the filter over 10,000 times. What does that mean? It’s time to look into replacing the oil filter.
Of course, every car is different. If you want an estimate specific to your vehicle, you can read up about it in your owner’s manual. Once you find out how frequently your oil filter needs to be changed, jot down a note in your agenda or a reminder on your phone. By doing this, you’ll make sure you catch any potential issues before they become a problem. If you’re looking for a more general overview, it is a good idea to consider changing the oil filter every time you get an oil change itself.
The reason it’s important to do this is to guarantee that the functions of this important part of the car are working correctly. There are also some symptoms that you can watch out for. These may suggest that your car’s oil and oil filter require replacement, so be sure to pay attention to what your vehicle is trying to tell you.
- If your car is having acceleration problems
- Experiencing low oil pressure
- Exhaust has changed color
- Metallic noises coming from under the hood of the car
Again, by being proactive, you can completely avoid any of these issues from becoming a problem.
How to Change a Car’s Oil Filter
Now that you know how important a car’s oil filter is, you might want to look into changing it. Of course, you can always bring your vehicle into the shop, but that can be time-consuming, inconvenient, and costly. Alternately, some people opt to simply change the car’s oil filter themselves. If you’re looking to complete the process, it’s not impossible.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have all the right tools required to properly change the car’s oil filter. This means that you have:
- The correct amount and grade of motor oil
- An oil filter that you’re planning on using for the replacement
- Socket wrench
- Oil filter wrench
- Funnel (Will help facilitate the process)
- Oil pan or bucket (this will be used to catch the motor oil that comes out of the car)
- Newspapers and rags
Since people often decide to change their oil filter when they’re changing their oil, it’s a good idea to do the two together. We’ll walk you through how to tackle that now.
The first thing that you need to do is complete the process of draining your car’s oil. Before you begin to do this, it’s a great idea to start the car and run it for a couple of minutes. Another idea is to take it out for a drive around your neighborhood. This allows the motor oil to warm up, which will help it drain out of the car smoothly.
Make sure that the environment you’re completing the oil filter change in is a safe, level grounded one. A driveway or garage is ideal. Once you’re underneath the car, find the oil pan and the drain plug. You will possibly have to jack up the car to reach under it; be sure that you use a jack stand and never put yourself under a car that’s only held up by a simple jack. This can be extremely dangerous.
Once you’ve located the drain plug, put the oil pan underneath so the oil will have somewhere to go. You now can loosen the drain plug using the socket wrench. Turn it counterclockwise.
Once the plug is loose, you can remove it slowly, allowing the oil to drain out. Be careful, though! The oil can be hot and burn you. Once it slows down and it’s just dripping out, you can then reinstall the drain plug and tighten it using a wrench.
Now it’s time for the main part: replacing the oil filter itself. Be sure that you’re keeping the oil drain pan under the car so it can capture what leaks out. Look for the oil filter, and once you’ve spotted it, use the filter wrench to loosen it. You’ll have to turn it counterclockwise until you can finally remove the filter itself using your hand. Be careful!
Before you begin to install the new filter, be sure to apply a small amount of motor oil to the new gasket you’re placing in the car. This will work to prevent the gasket from potentially cracking or sticking - or even causing an oil leak in the vehicle. Once you’ve done that, you install and tighten the filter into place by hand.
The next part of the task is to add in the new oil. Before you put any oil into your car, you should be sure that you’re using the right grade and amount. This will be specified in the owner’s manual, so consult that first.
Pour the oil into the tank using a funnel to avoid spilling. Once that’s done, you can replace the oil cap and simply wipe away any of the oil that might have spilled in the meanwhile. It’s time to turn on your car’s engine and run it for approximately a minute; this will help the new oil circulate properly.
One of the final steps is checking the car’s oil level. You should turn off your car and remove/clean the vehicle’s dipstick. Then, insert and take it out again. This time, you should check to ensure the oil has the right reading. Simply screw the cap back on; success!
Finally, you have to clean up the remnants of a job well done. Be sure that you dispose of the motor oil correctly, which can often be done at a service station. Lastly, you should write down when you did the oil and filter change; this will help you when you have to change it again.
The best way to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t run into any oil filter issues is to be diligent about being sure that you’re changing it at the correct time. Every car is different, so to know exactly when you should be changing your oil filter, you’ll definitely want to consult the owner manual.
Taking care of your vehicle means taking care of the engine, and not ignoring when you hear a noise. The oil filter obviously is one part of the car that does a lot for the vehicle’s health. There are plenty of ways to make a positive contribution to your vehicle’s health, and another one of them is by using Shine Armor’s Performance Booster Oil Additive.
This enhancer is a breakthrough because it features a nanoparticle-based solution for gas and diesel engines alike. In addition, it takes the properties of the host oil to the next level while also preventing rust, oxidation, and reducing regular friction. Adding this product into your car’s maintenance routine can make a huge difference.
Take ownership of the well-being of your car today by changing your oil filter at the right time, and using this additive. Your wheels will be grateful!