Noticed poor performance in your car lately? You might need a new oil filter.
Your car relies on oil to be distributed throughout the engine to continue working smoothly. It lubricates the moving parts and prevents overheating. If this oil is not kept clean (or filtered) it can result in problems like:
- Poor performance
- Dirty exhaust
- Low oil pressure
- Engine sputters
Prolonged circulation of dirty oil can also damage engine components, as small particles can begin to wear their surfaces. This can lead to very expensive repairs!
Since oil and its subsequent filtration is so important, today we want to discuss how to choose the right filter for your car.
Having problems with oil in your car? Our specialist team can assist you. Read more about how Natrad can help by replacing your oil filter.
What oil filter fits my car?
Factors that impact whether or not an oil filter will fit your car include:
- Size and capture efficiency
- Dirt holding capacity
- Pressure flow
- Design and fabrication integrity
However, oil filter selection can be tricky because without access to testing, there isn’t a lot of information out there on what differentiates a filter. We’ll go over some of the influencing factors, but it’s a good idea to talk to a Natrad technician who can help choose an appropriate filter for your needs.
How do oil filters work?
To choose an oil filter best suited to you, it may help to know how they function. Oil is needed for the engine to run smoothly, it lubricates the moving parts which prevents wear and damage from grinding surfaces.
The oil circulates the system via the oil pump. It distributes oil directly to the filter under pressure, to prevent particles from passing through before entering the main engine block. These particles can also wear the surfaces of the engine and decrease its lifespan.
Filter size and efficiency
Filter size usually refers to micron size, which is the unit of measurement for particles travelling through the oil. As we mentioned above, potential micron particles like dust or dirt may find their way into the oil. To prevent wear or hefty damage, the filter removes as many of these microns as possible. Different filters are made to different ratings. This is usually determined by the beta rating, which gives a percentage value for efficiency.
It is best to ask about this rating as it is generally not supplied with the filter. Ask your nearest Natrad workshop for more details.
Dirt holding capacity
The dirt holding capacity refers to the amount of dirt a filter can hold before it becomes clogged. It is essentially a measure of its lifespan. Generally, most filters should be changed every 5-10 thousand kilometers but some are designed to last longer.
Each filter has a pore size, also known as the ‘porosity’ that determines the size of the media openings in which the oil and particles can pass. The porosity helps indicate the dirt holding capacity of the filter. Don’t wait until you experience some these symptoms before changing the filter:
- The check engine light turning on: This is more serious as this indicates damage has likely been inflicted on the engine itself
- Overheating: This might be because parts are heating up without the correct amount of lubrication
- Oil leakage: Possibly due to filter rupture, causing the oil to leak into the oil pan and spill over
Pressure flow profiles indicate at what pressure the internal bypass valves will crack. Essentially, it describes how much pressure the filter can take in any one vehicle. Machine Lubrication estimates the differential pressure in a study here. This may illuminate how pressure impacts an oil filter’s performance, but it is generally hard to apply when looking for a new filter.
Design and fabrication
As with any automotive part, design materials are an important component for its integrity. Better materials will obviously result in better performance and lifespan. The two most common design materials are cellulose (wood pulp) and synthetic media.
This media is plugged by fibre size and is capable of absorbing water, which is a good feature when filtering oil. However, it can have inconsistent porosity and is vulnerable to fatigue and chemical degradation.
This media contains more pores per square inch and they are usually consistent in size. This allows it to have higher dirt holding capacity (as mentioned above) and is more tolerant to stress like high temperatures. Some high-performance filters may be made of a composite of cellulose and synthetic media. This blend inherits the capabilities of both media, making it more advantageous.
The material influences its other capabilities and is therefore quite important to consider. Synthetic media is usually considered best, although composites can also be highly advantageous due to their dual capabilities.
Natrad can provide help with finding an oil filter that fits your car
While there are a lot of factors that make a good oil filter, many of them are difficult for the general public to access. We explained a few influencing factors above, but realistically what you’ll want to look for is the correct size for your vehicle and the material.
By size, we refer to dimensions and as we mentioned above, synthetic or composite materials are considered the best performers. They can be a little more expensive, but ensure that fewer microns escape into your oil – saving you from expensive engine damage.
Natrad has a range of high-quality oil filters for a large variety of vehicle applications. No matter what your needs are, we’ve got you covered. Discuss your needs with a Natrad technician to determine what the best options are for your car.
If your vehicle is having oil related problems, there is a solution. Nip into Natrad and talk to our qualified team about replacing your oil filter.