How to Choose the Right Oil Filter
February 11, 2021
Have you ever heard the popular idiom “too many cooks in the kitchen” before? Well, that’s what it can feel like when choosing replacement parts for your vehicle like an oil filter. The first recommendation you get may come from a friend. Then you remember to check the owner’s manual and it says otherwise. Finally, you get to the store and a worker tells you that your car requires a different oil filter again. It’s enough to drive you insane – or right to this blog about choosing the right oil filter. Since you’re here now, let’s dive into this topic.
What are Oil Filters?
Filters allow for gases or liquids to pass through one side of an opening to the other while keeping contaminants out. Think of the air filter in a furnace, which prevents dust and other nasty particles from recirculating back through the home. Oil filters have a similar purpose but protect engines from deteriorating oil instead.
Why Do I Need to Change the Oil?
There’s a good reason why your car needs an oil change (and a new filter) every so often –engines break down oil as they use it. New engine oil is thin and a rich gold in color, but months later it becomes a dark sludge that is thick and sticky. That’s because oil works hard inside of an engine while the car is in motion, lubricating and cleaning all of its moving parts. Oil and filters can only last so long, every 3,000 miles or about 3 months, preventing dirt and metallic particles from cycling back throughout the engine.
Which Oil Filter Should I Choose?
Let’s say that you’re standing in front of hundreds of filters on a shelf to choose from right now. It’s hard not to be intimidated as they all look very similar to each other. Take a closer look at each box and you’ll begin to see a few minor differences. Specifically, numbers and letters like S4967XL, S1122, and so on. These are unique identifiers for oil filters that the store, and owner’s manual, will recommend for your vehicle. Trust the owner’s manual above all else. You may hear about cheaper options that work the same, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best ones for you.
What Happens if I Choose Wrong?
If you grab just any old filter off the shelf, you could experience one of three scenarios:
- You get home to change the oil only to find out that the filter is too big and doesn’t fit in your engine. Looks like you’re going back to the store.
- The engine starts leaking every time you start it up since it’s too small to produce an effective seal. Time to buy more oil to top off your engine, plus a new filter.
- The oil filter falls out completely and oil spills out rapidly when you start your engine. This could cause serious damage if you don’t notice it right away. Better call a tow truck and mechanic.
Basically, choosing wrong will cost you precious time and money.
Where Can I Buy the Right Oil?
So you’ve selected the right oil filter and you’re feeling really good about yourself. That’s when you realize you still haven’t picked out the oil itself. Luckily for you, HSO recently shared a post surrounding the importance of an oil change in winter. This piece touches on how to choose the right oil when it’s cold outside.
Obviously, HSO knows a thing or two about lubricants like oil. That’s why we carry the best brands for automobiles, trucks, and off-road equipment. We’re talking about VP Lubricants, Phillips 66, Pennzoil, Streett, and Valvoline. Contact us online or at 1-800-467-5044 to make your purchase.