How Do You Choose the Correct Oil Filter?


Quick Answer

Choose the correct oil filter for a car by determining the type and size of oil filter needed and evaluating the filter before purchasing. Although many oil filters look the same, they have different part numbers and sizes depending on the make, year and model of a vehicle.

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Full Answer

In most vehicles, primary oil filters come standard. These types of filters allow all of the engine oil to pass through them during use. Primary oil filters have the ability to filter large volumes of oil with limited restrictions, letting the oil flow freely. Secondary oil filters are typically found on diesel engines, but also work on most gasoline engines. Magnetic filters have small magnets inside their canisters that attract small pieces of metal and rust. Depending on the vehicle model, they are installable on the filter canister.

Finding the right size oil filter is crucial; a wrong size filter will not seat properly, which causes leaks. The owner's manual of the car provides the correct size and type of oil filter required. If the car is still under warranty, use the manufacturer's recommended filter. Before purchasing a filter, inspect it, and keep in mind that metal parts are more durable than plastic parts.

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