by Pat Goss
The single most expensive part of any automobile is typically going to be the engine. Yet with all of that expense involved, people still try to get away with the cheapest that they can as far as maintaining it. Oil filters are a good example. Why would you buy an expensive oil filter to protect that expensive engine? Or at least that seems to be the mental attitude of a lot of people.
Well you should. You should buy a good quality filter. If there are questions buy the filter from the dealer use the one that came with the car. Now that 2-dollar filter that you buy, it may not have all of the protection your engine needs. It may not have the right filter, the paper inside it. It may not have enough of it. The construction of it may be inexpensive.
And here is the big thing. Most filters these days have check valves in them, and the primary one is an anti-drain back valve. That anti-drain back valve prevents the oil from being syphoned out of the filter when the engine is shut off. Now when that happens the car, the engine starts with no oil, because the oil pump has to fill the filter, then the oil circulates to the moving parts of the engine and that can add years of damage in just a single start. So you want to make sure that the filter you use is quality. Pay a couple bucks more. And if there’s any question, buy it from the dealer.
Now one of the things you’re going to notice if you do your own work, our old tried and true filter like this are going away in favor of these. This is the new type of filter. All that you replace is the internals of it. And the thing that you’ll find very quickly, the nut or whatever type device is used to unscrew this cap, you’d better have the right tool or you will screw up the cap. Also, make sure that your replacement filter comes with all of the appropriate O-rings, seals and gaskets.
Alright, now over here we can see a typical engine, oil filter, oil pump. Oil pump pumps the oil up through the oil filter and out to the engine, that’s the way this system works. But now if you’re going to do your own oil change, you may have to remove a piece of plastic from underneath the car, something like this. Two things with that, don’t throw it away it’s there for a reason. It can affect the operating temperature of the engine, and it can have a huge effect on fuel economy on some cars, so be careful about doing that. Also, when you put it back on don’t overtighten it. Don’t use an impact tool on it because you’ll damage the fasteners and it will fall off.
And if you have a question or a comment how about dropping me a line right here at MotorWeek.