How Does an Oil Filter Work?


Quick Answer

As the pump turns and circulates the lubricant around the engine, the oil flows in and out of the filter. The filter then uses a special material made from microscopic cellulose fibers that help keep the oil free from any contaminants as it recirculates through the engine.

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How Does an Oil Filter Work?
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Full Answer

There are several different types of oil filter brands available on the market. Each brand offers different levels of filter protection to help maintain engine performance. The oil filter is made from a tapping plate, antidrainback valve, medium, center steel tube, relief valve, end disk and retainer. Of the seven components that make up a oil filter, the most important parts to look for are the antidrainback valve and medium.

The medium used on each filter depends according to its level of performance offered by the brand. Higher-level performance filters used a special medium that contain more synthetic fibers. These fibers remove debris and contaminates from 5 to 30 microns in size.

The antidrainback valve, commonly called a gasket, ensures none of the oil will leak out when the engine is off. The gasket needs to be good quality in order to withstand the high heat environments and vibrations. Lower-quality gaskets can become brittle and crack over time, which can cause drops in oil pressure and leaks.

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