Engine oil is essential to the smooth running of a vehicle’s engine. As such, anything that helps it make its way through the different engine chambers becomes equally essential. One such thing is the oil filter. An oil filter is crucial to ensuring that the engine oil provides proper lubrication. That’s why it’s always advisable to get an oil filter replacement regularly. You can do so at a Newton KS Chevy dealership with certified mechanics who have years of experience handling such car issues.

What Does an Oil Change Include?

An oil change is an essential part of regular car maintenance. This means it must be carried out on time to avoid issues. Usually, changing the oil and the oil filter are done together during each maintenance session. There are instances when the oil filter may still be viable. In such cases, you can simply top off the engine oil. However, doing this while ignoring the oil filter could have negative consequences for your engine. An old oil filter will have clogged-up dirt and other such particles. Adding new engine oil without replacing the old filter simply means the new oil will have to go through the old filter, thereby bringing with it clogged-up dirt. Needless to say, this is bad news for the car engine.

That’s why an oil change goes hand in hand with an oil filter change.

A typical oil change involves draining all the old engine oil and replacing it with a fresh amount. Similarly, the old oil filter is replaced by a new one. Sometimes, chassis lubrication is performed too. Chassis lubrication is not part of an oil filter change per se. However, it is crucial to the overall functioning of the oil filter and engine oil. Chassis lubrication involves maintenance of the access points like tie-rods through which the engine oil finds its way into the vehicle’s mechanical system. As such, many auto shops offer it as part of an oil filter change procedure.

Frequency of an Oil Filter Change

It’s always best to consult a vehicle manufacturer’s manual if you’re not sure about how often you should change an oil filter. Most oil filters are changed at about the 10,000 km mileage mark. This is for cars with a petrol engine. Diesel engine vehicles typically get their oil filter changes every 15,000 km.

Frequent oil filter change means:

1)Reducing Wear And Tear in Engine Parts

Even the best oil filters will eventually accumulate dirt particles. It is not advisable to wait until the oil filter is completely blocked. This will make it difficult for engine oil to flow into the engine. Most modern filters are designed with this fact in mind. This means that it is unlikely that your vehicle will experience complete engine failure due to a dirty oil filter. Usually, there is a bypass valve to help avoid such catastrophic engine failures. However, this bypass valve also allows contaminants into the engine along with engine oil. These contaminants tend to accelerate your engine’s wear and tear.

2) Reducing Maintenance Costs

By having regular oil filter changes, you can reduce your car’s maintenance costs. Having an oil filter change together with an engine oil change in the same maintenance session prevents the need for scheduling separate sessions for each, thereby reducing costs. Additionally, regular oil filter changes are cheaper in the long run. A clogged-up oil filter could lead to engine failure due to dirt finding its way into the engine chambers. This could lead to costly repairs or replacements.

3) Avoiding New Oil Contamination

The reason for changing both the oil filter and the engine oil during the same maintenance session is to ensure that the new oil stays free from contamination, at least initially. Putting new engine oil to run through a dirty filter is wasted work. This is because the new oil will become dirty very quickly due to the unchanged oil filter.

Sometimes, you may need to change your oil filter much sooner than the manufacturer’s timeline dictates. Several factors could lead to this. For example:

i)Continuous Driving in Severe Conditions

Certain driving behaviors and conditions are unfavorable to the general state of your car’s oil filter. For instance, vehicles that usually tow bulky goods regularly will have added physical stress. This stress is transmitted to the engine. The engine’s parts, including the oil filter, have to work harder to compensate for this added bulk. Similarly, daily driving through stop-and-go traffic and extreme weather conditions will harm a car’s oil filter, thereby necessitating its change much sooner.

ii) An Illuminated Service Engine Light

Sometimes, the car itself gives you a warning about the dire state of the oil filter. There are numerous reasons why a car’s service engine light will start signaling. While it could indicate a serious engine issue, it could just be an indication that there is a significant buildup of grime and dirt within a car engine’s chambers. It’s best to rule out the latter option. A preemptive oil filter change is cheaper compared to taking your car to an auto shop for full diagnostics and repairs.

Sometimes, this service engine light illumination occurs in a new car. Most owners tend to ignore it, believing that a brand-new vehicle will not have oil filter issues. It’s best to always look into oil filter issues, even if you recently purchased the car. This helps you address engine troubles before they get worse.

Cost of an Oil Filter Change

If you’re the do-it-yourself type with the necessary experience, an oil filter change will cost you nothing other than the purchase of the oil filter itself. However, we recommend it be done by a professional mechanic. A typical oil filter change at a neighborhood auto shop can go for as little as $20. However, always be wary of incessant advertisements that quote extremely low figures. This is because there is a tendency for such auto shops to indicate a low price that’s actually higher, also known as “low-balling.” You’ll only find this out when you bring your vehicle for the oil filter change. Because an oil filter and the engine oil are inextricably linked, engine oil cost will affect that of an oil filter. Synthetic oils are usually more efficient but more expensive. As such, expect the cost of an oil filter change to be higher if your vehicle uses synthetic engine oils.

All in all, consider changing your oil filter if there is any indication of engine malfunction. At the very least, take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic for an inspection as soon as possible.

By Manali