When Should You Change Your Oil Filter?

October 18, 2021 11:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Changing your vehicle’s oil filter is one of the most critical tasks involved with car maintenance. As such, replacing an oil filter isn’t a do-it-yourself job—unless you’re a professional mechanic. Why is changing your oil filter so important, and how often should you do it? Here are the basic facts you need to know.

What does an oil filter do?

An oil filter’s primary job is to screen combustion contaminants, including dirt and carbon deposit, from the oil that lubricates a car engine’s internal components. Oil filters catch any debris and contaminants before they can travel to the engine, preventing the excessive internal engine wear and tear that can lead to expensive engine problems.

Why do oil filters need changing?

Just like nearly all components of a vehicle, oil filters need to be changed on a regular basis to keep the car’s engine running smoothly. Oil filters trap billions of contaminant particles and carbon dust, quickly becoming clogged. A clogged filter prevents clean oil from passing through the filter, which in turn causes contaminants to build up in the engine. Replacing the filter regularly is key to maintaining the performance of your engine and keeping contaminants out.

How often should you change your oil filter?

In the past, drivers generally had to change their oil filters every 3,000 miles, but that figure doesn’t hold true for today’s high-performance engines. While each vehicle is different, most car manufacturers recommend an oil filter change after every 7,500 miles or more of driving. It’s usually best to refer to your owner’s manual for specific recommendations on changing your oil and filter.

The way you drive also plays a big role in the need for oil filter changes. Do you mostly make short trips or do a lot of city driving? Usually, these types of driving habits require more frequent oil filter changes. Other factors that play a role include towing a trailer, driving in extreme temperatures or driving in the mountains. Each of these scenarios can necessitate filter changes more often.

Are there any signs that warn drivers when oil filter replacement is necessary?

Unfortunately, oil filters are permanently sealed, which means drivers can’t tell whether a filter needs to be replaced just by a visual inspection alone. There’s also no instrument or gauge warning light to tell you when it’s time for replacement. Most drivers don’t know when a filter is in need of replacement since the common warning signs typically are internal engine issues. While it’s best to contact your preferred car maintenance technician to determine whether your filter needs to be replaced, here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Premature engine wear and tear
  • Reduction in oil pressure
  • Internal engine damage
  • Reduction in engine lubrication

If you’re concerned about the performance of your engine, changing the oil filter may make a world of difference. Contact Ice Cold Auto Repair to handle oil filter replacement and all other car maintenance tasks. Our reliable repair technicians perform oil filter changes on a daily basis, offering fast, friendly and affordable service for every client.

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