Let’s Talk About Your Car’s Oil Filter

While many drivers understand the benefits of regular oil changes for their cars, only a handful understand what’s involved. This means the words “oil filter” and “drain plug” may sound like a foreign language, and that’s ok! When it comes to your engine’s oil filter, simply remember that these parts play a key role in keeping your engine clean and promoting engine longevity.

Let's take a look at your vehicle's oil filter as we answer some of our most frequently asked questions and find out how this small, handheld part plays a key role in making sure your engine stays clean.

All About Oil Filters and How They Function

auto mechanic holding oil filterYour oil filter is a specialized filter that's designed to capture tiny particles that may be trapped in your engine's oil. Made up primarily of microscopic cellulose, this filter is capable of staying submerged in your engine's oil flow without disintegrating or dissolving. Your oil filter is quite tough, as it can withstand the high temperatures that oil can reach while remaining delicate enough to capture any fine particles, such as carbon, that may be trapped in your oil.

As the oil is pumped through your engine, it picks up contaminants, such as carbon, that could increase friction and the operating temperatures in your engine. The oil is then pumped through your oil filter, where these contaminants are trapped before being pumped back into your oil pan, where it waits to circulate through your engine again.

Does an Oil Filter Need to Be Changed?

Your oil filter is good at its job. However, the longer your engine runs, the more contaminants your oil filter will pick up. Once your oil filter is full of contaminants and can no longer trap any more, these contaminants, carbon deposits, and metal shavings remain in your engine's oil where they circulate and can cause harm to your engine.

It is standard practice to change your oil filter during an oil change service. This service keeps your oil at its cleanest and prevents your oil filter from losing its efficacy.

When Should You Have Your Oil Filter Changed?

How often your oil filter will need to be changed will depend on how often your oil needs to be changed. Here are our general recommendations for changing your vehicle’s oil and oil filter, depending on the type of oil your vehicle uses:

  • Conventional oil: 3,000 to 5,000 miles
  • Synthetic blend oil: 5,000 to 7,500 miles
  • Full synthetic oil: 7,500 to 10,000 miles

It's important to note that these are our general recommendations for oil change services. You can find your specific manufacturer’s recommendations for your car’s oil change intervals located in your owner's manual. Additionally, the frequency of your specific vehicle's oil change will further vary based on your own driving habits, along with your driving environment.

Why Are Oil Change Intervals Different?

Some drivers wonder why the frequency of their car’s oil changes depends on the type of oil they use. This is because different types of oil offer different types of protection. In addition, different oils behave differently as time goes on. For example, as conventional oil ages and picks up contaminants, its chemical properties can change, and it can turn into sludge. This sludge can solidify around the hot moving parts in your engine and effectively reduce your engine's overall life span. Vehicles that use conventional oil can indeed last for hundreds of thousands of miles; however, they will need oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Full synthetic oil features modified properties and is designed to withstand high temperatures along with the oxidative stress that conventional oil cannot handle. Because of its chemically modified nature, full synthetic oil can resist turning into sludge, and does not have the tendency to leave behind residue, so it offers interval changes of 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Additionally, synthetic oil tends to be thinner than conventional oil, so it can travel better through your oil filter to trap contaminants.

Are All Oil Filters The Same?

No. Various vehicles use different-sized oil filters, depending on their engine needs. At Parra Car Care, we service all makes and models of vehicles, and we carry high-quality replacement oil filters for your particular vehicle. So when you schedule an oil change at Parra Car Care, you don't have to bring your own oil filter — we've got you covered!

Get a Quality Oil Change at Parra Car Care

At Parra Car Care, we want your vehicle to last for the long haul, which is why we feature ASE-certified mechanics who are experts at changing your car's oil and filter. We can quickly and accurately handle your vehicle's maintenance needs so you can get back on the road and do what matters most to you. Whether you come to us to for an oil change service, or you need honest automotive repair services, there's no better place in Euless and North Richland Hills, TX, to trust than Parra Car Care. Not only do we strive to provide incredible automotive services, but we also aim to provide insightful education so you can better understand your vehicle.

Not only do we strive to offer you high-quality service at an unbeatable value, but we also seek to extend your savings with our auto repair and service coupons. Check out our current specials and see how much you can save while taking care of your vehicle's maintenance needs.

Schedule service at Parra Car Care today and trust the professionals to keep your car serviced and maintained.