The Humble Oil Filter
An oil filter is a filter designed to remove contaminants from engine oil.
Where it began…
Early car engines did not use oil filters as the low quality of oil that was available meant that very frequent oil changes were required. When the first oil filters made they generally consisted of a mess screen placed at the oil pump intake.
Early engine oil filters were of cartridge (or replaceable element) construction, in which a permanent housing contains a replaceable filter element or cartridge. The housing is mounted either directly on the engine or remotely with supply and return pipes connecting it to the engine. In the mid-1950s, the spin-on oil filter design was introduced. This was a self-contained housing and element assembly which was to be unscrewed from its mount, discarded, and replaced with a new one. This made filter changes more convenient and potentially less messy, and quickly came to be the dominant type of oil filter installed by the world’s car manufacturers.
Oil filters are usually found on the engine block with the oil filter being designed to protect your car engine by trapping any large and potentially damaging particles in the oil. It’s vital that your filter is kept clean, as a clogged filter can quickly prevent your engine form being properly lubricated.
So when should you change your oil?
The advice is to replace oil filters regularly with many manufacturers recommending a change every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. But if you are not sure you can always check your handbook and if you can’t find that you can give us a call and we can advise you.
It is essential that the oil filter is replaced with every oil change. If you do not change the filter each time, you are automatically starting off with at least one litre of contaminated used oil mixed in with the fresh oil in your oil sump.