How Do You Know It's Time To Change Your Car's Oil Filter?

Posted by Western Filters on 16 / 2 / 2024

Engine oil is vital for your car's moving parts, as it helps lubricate those mechanical parts, keeping them cool and free from debris. The oil absorbs dirt, metal fragments, and combustion by-products, which it carries to the oil filter, where they are captured and kept from the remainder of the car engine.

As time passes, foreign materials can build up, preventing even the most effective car oil filter kits from doing their job. When this occurs, the oil system's built-in filter bypass mechanism takes charge, ignoring the clogged filter. Consequently, the engine's moving parts may encounter heated oil contaminated with foreign substances and dirt, a situation you want to avoid.

When foreign material contaminates the oil due to a dirty, clogged car oil filter, it fails to reach essential engine components needed for lubrication. Consequently, metal-to-metal contact between moving parts accelerates wear and tear, potentially leading to overheating and component mix-up, which can stop the engine from functioning.

Changing the car oil filter at proper intervals can avert this problem and avoid pricey engine replacement.

Why You Need to Change Car Oil Filters Regularly?

It's crucial to change your car's oil filter whenever you replace the engine oil to maintain engine efficiency and longevity. This maintenance task is essential for the proper filtration of contaminants and for preserving engine health.

Here are the Steps to Change Your Car's Oil Filter:

1. Prepare for the Task

  • Put a drain pan underneath the oil drain plug.
  • Ensure the engine is off and the car is on a level surface with the parking brake engaged.
  • Wait if the engine is hot for half an hour before starting the process.

2. Drain the Oil

  • Unscrew the oil drain plug counterclockwise to allow the oil to drain. The oil will start flowing as soon as you remove these, so pull back your hand quickly after unscrewing the cap.
  • Use disposable gloves to avoid contact with oil.

3. Replace the Oil Drain Plug

  • Once the oil has completely drained, carefully re-screw the oil drain plug without cross-threading it.

4. Locate the Oil Filter

  • You'll find the oil filter on the engine block. If you cannot easily spot it, refer to the owner's manual for guidance.

5. Position the Drain Pan

  • Place the drain pan directly under the oil filter to catch spills. Take some old newspapers or paper bags and place them under and around the drain pan to catch errant drops of oil.

6. Remove the Oil Filter

  • Grab the filter, twist it, and remove it by hand. Alternatively, you can use an oil filter removal tool and turn it counterclockwise if you find it stuck.
  • Expect additional oil to drain out upon removal.

7. Clean the Filter's Surface

  • Using a clean cloth, you can wipe off the mounting surface.

8. Lubricate the Gasket

  • Before installing the new filter, lubricate the gasket or rubber O-ring with fresh motor oil. This step ensures a snug fit for the new filter without the risk of over-tightening, thereby minimising friction.

9. Install the New Oil Filter

  • It is recommended to hand-tighten the new car oil filter until it is snug against the engine block and avoid excessive force. Refrain from over-tightening it.

10. Add Fresh Engine Oil

  • Use a clean funnel to pour the correct new oil into the engine.

11. Check for Leaks

  • After completing the task, monitor the oil level, oil filter, and drain plug for any signs of leaks in the following days.

Frequency of Car Oil Filter Change

How often should you change your car's oil filter? While it is a simple question, opinions on the matter can vary. Typically, automobile manufacturers suggest replacing oil filters alongside engine oil changes. There's a consensus among manufacturers that engine oil and its components should be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 kilometres. Some mechanics recommend frequent engine oil and oil filter changes, mainly if your car is driven in harsh conditions or extreme temperatures or regularly hauls heavy loads.

Identifying a malfunctioning oil filter can be challenging, so it's wise to replace it regularly as a preventative measure. However, if your engine behaves strangely, overheats, experiences low oil pressure, or leaks oil, it's likely time to inspect or replace the oil filter. A general guideline is to replace car oil filters every 3 to 6 months. Remember that the frequency of oil filter changes also depends on the type of engine oil and oil filter you use. Always refer to the car manufacturer's recommendations for proper oil filter servicing intervals.

Maintaining Your Car's Oil Filter

Similar to your car's air, fuel, and cabin air filters, it's essential to periodically replace oil filters to ensure your car's efficient operation.

Reach out to us at Western Filters

Western Filters has broadened its product lineup to include various automotive parts and accessories. Our expansive selection includes high-quality filters for various SUVs, four-wheel drives, utes, cars, machinery, trucks, tractors, and other equipment. We offer premium brands at highly competitive prices. Enquire at Western Filters for premium automotive and industrial air, fuel, and oil filters from the choicest brands. Call us on (02) 9831 1715.

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