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Car oil filter: design, types, selection guide

Table of content

  1. Oil filter functions
  2. Types of oil filters
  3. The oil filter design
  4. Operation features of the oil filter
  5. How to choose a high quality oil filter
    1. Why isn't it worth skimping on the quality of consumables?
    2. The most popular oil filter mannufacturers
    3. Conclusion
    4. Everything you need to know about the oil filter
    5. Top products related to this topic

The engine reliability and service life directly depend on the quality of the oil filter. To choose a good quality part, you need to understand how it is designed. So further we will discuss the principles of the oil filter performance and its characteristic features that should be taken into consideration at its choice.

Oil filter functions

The oil filter is designed to clean engine oil. Together they perform the following functions:

  • withdraw heat from the engine components surfaces, which get hot due to friction;
  • clean the engine from dust, soot, metal particles, that appear in the process of its work;
  • create oil film, that prevents friction of contacting surfaces;
  • reduce noise of engine operation.

Types of oil filters

Full-flow. It passes the whole oil flow coming from the engine. An important component of such filter type is a bypass valve that controls pressure in the engine lubrication system. If the pressure level exceeds the permissible values (for example, when the filter element is clogged), the valve will open the access of dirty oil to the engine units. The valve operation prevents damage to lubrication system seals and gaskets, and protects the engine from faults caused by low or lack of lubricant on the surface of its components.

Bypass. It provides more refined oil filtration. The engine lubrication system in this case consists of two circuits. In one circuit dirty oil freely circulates among the engine components, in the other circuit a little amount of oil is recurrently filtrated. Eventualy the filter cleans all the oil circulating in the system. More time is needed to clean the oil of impurities. Using a bypass filter helps to keep the pressure in the system on a certain level even if the filter is clogged or the bypass valve has failed.

In combined engine lubrication systems both the fullflow and bypass filters are used. Filters can also have a one piece or assembled housing. the assembled ones are cheaper in maintenance: you can replace only the filter element in them.

The oil filter design

The part has a metal casing that houses two valves and a filter element. The anti drainback valve prevents the oil backflow when the engine is not working. The bypass valve provides the oil flow into the engine at the full filter fail and in cases when the filter is clogged, the oil viscosity has increased, the anti drainback valve is jammed. The filter element is made of special paper.

Lube oil filter design

Operation features of the oil filter

The oil filter is used in quite adverse conditions. It is constantly exposed to: temperature changes, caused by the engine performance; chemicals generated with the oil hot temperature. So the paper, from which the filter element is made, must be resistant to thermal and chemical impact and provide steady going filtration of oils with different viscosity. The oil filters are recommended to change every 7 000 - 10 000 km. Don't neglect these recommendations: using filters that have exceeded their life limit, as well as buying substandard consumables, is fraught with an engine failure.

Oil filter

How to choose a high quality oil filter

1. Pay attention to the purification efficiency of the filter paper: it must comply with technical characteristics of your car. In passenger car engines the filter must provide oil filtration from 5 micron particles. Well purified oil extends the useful life of the engine and its components. But remember that the hire is purification level, the lower is the filter pass-through capacity.

2. Inspect the filter housing. The valves and seals must provide its sufficient integrity.

3. Carefully examine information about the manufacturer. As a rule, the companies that produce high quality filters always specify their corporate details on the package, including the country of origin and the customer support phone number.

4. When purchasing the item online, use only trusted online stores. Usually they offer expert help and quality warranty.

Why isn't it worth skimping on the quality of consumables?

  1. Thick paper is used in low quality filters. Its useful life is quite brief.
  2. The bypass valve of substandard filters opens at low pressure and dirty oil gets back into the engine.
  3. If the anti drainback valve is not tight enough, the oil drains into the crankcase. At the engine start the low oil pressure warning light on the instrument panel flashes.
  4. Particles of a poor quality filter element can clog the engine oil channels.

Conclusion

Select an oil filter carefully, with no haste. Before purchasing the part it is necessary to read the technical specifications of your vehicle: even the best quality filter is not immune from premature wear if it is used in inappropriate conditions. Shop only in trusted stores, take into account our recommendations, and your car will serve you faultlessly.

A useful video on this topic:

Everything you need to know about the oil filter

 

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