Oil filters are categorized by part numbers. In stores that sell oil filters, catalogs are available that allow the consumer to look up a car by make and model, providing the correct filter part number.
Some filters look identical while having small, subtle differences that impact how the filter works. These differences can be in the threads on the filter or the overall size and shape. It is important to find the correct filter for the car because the wrong filter can cause problems on a car. If catalogs are not available, there are online databases for filter manufacturers where correct part numbers can be found.