6 Best Oil Filters for Your Car
Need to do an oil and filter change on your vehicle? Wondering which oil filter to buy? Learn about six great filters and why we recommend them.
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Choosing an Oil Filter
Modern vehicles are dependent on many small, crucial parts to run properly, some of which eventually stop working and need to be replaced. The oil filter is one such part, with experts recommending replacement every six months, or 3,000 to 5,000 miles driven. You may also choose to use a high-mileage filter depending on the age of your car.
Designed to remove small particles of metal and other debris from your vehicle’s motor oil, filters help keep the oil clean so it can work optimally as a coolant and lubricant while the vehicle is running.
When the time comes to buy and install a new filter, the first thing to know is what type your vehicle needs; check your owner’s manual or do a Google search it if you’re unsure. But there’s more to oil filters than type. Quality varies considerably, although not necessarily in ways that are obvious.
Learn about six great oil filters so next time you need to change yours, you’ll know what to buy. Remember: Because most oil filters are vehicle-specific, make sure a particular product is designed to work with your vehicle before buying.
Best Draw Back Protection: Bosch 3330
Many partially spent oil filters sometimes allow dirty, unfiltered oil back into the engine. This problem is known as “draw back,” and this Bosch oil filter is designed to solve it. This filter features an internal silicone valve specifically to stop unfiltered oil directed in by the oil pump from draining out again without proper filtration.
Easiest to Change: K&N HP-2011
Although at $11 it’s considerably more expensive than most oil filters, this one from K&N is worth it because it has a high oil flow rate and a built-in “nut” on the casing that allows it to be removed or tightened into place with an ordinary wrench.
This might not seem like a big deal, but the ability to use a standard wrench to loosen or tighten a filter is a huge advantage. Normally, changing oil filters tucked away in difficult-to-reach nooks of most vehicles requires specialized tools or impressive grip strength.
Best Budget-Friendly: Motorcraft FL-910S
At less than $4, it’s hard to beat the combination of high quality and low price offered by this Motorcraft oil filter. For the price, this filter still has lots of great features: a smooth, machined steel casing; an anti-draw back valve; and efficient internal filtering media. Amazon reviewers appreciate the terrific value. Save even more money by changing your oil yourself.
“I thought Motorcraft was for Ford use only, but I have a Toyota Sienna and this filter did the job!” said one Amazon reviewer. “This filter in the price range that it’s in is the best filter for under five bucks! I’m not cheap, but for what you get, it should cost $10.”
Best Cartridge-Style Oil Filter: Fram Tough Guard TG10158
With an impressive manufacturer claim of 10,000 miles of protection, this cartridge oil filter by Fram stands out among others of the same style. Designed to fit in a removable casing sealed by rubber gaskets, this filter kit includes all necessary gaskets. Amazon reviewers agree that the lifespan hype is warranted.
“This one worked fine when I did my first oil change,” said one reviewer. “Looks like it will last the 10,000 miles. It has all the o-rings you will need.”
Best Filtration Action: Purolator L14610
Exceptionally complete filtration is what makes this oil filter by Purolator stand out. Most high-quality filters claim 90 to 95 percent trapping of debris particles floating in the oil. This unit is rated for more than 96 percent. Even though it’s only rated for up to 5,000 miles, reviewers like this one from Amazon noted it can last considerably longer.
“I cut my last one open and it looked good as new after over 7,000 miles,” one reviewer wrote.
Best for Synthetic Oil: Fram Ultra Synthetic XG7317
More and more synthetic motor oil is being manufactured and sold these days, and filtering it efficiently for an exceptionally long time is what this Fram oil filter does best. The manufacturer claims an incredible 20,000 mile lifespan. Reviewers like this one from Amazon confirm the quality claims aren’t just hype:
“The Fram Ultra Synthetic is a superb filter. I sent in an oil sample from my 2006 GMC Duramax after 7,200 miles and about 20 months, tow duty. The particulates in the oil sample were less than 0.1 percent and at the limit of the measuring equipment. The comment from Blackstone apart from being astonished at the condition of the motor as indicated by the oil, was that the filter was doing an outstanding job.”