Not everyone is a car buff, which can sometimes make it difficult to make the best decision about parts and support for your vehicle. When the automotive technician starts asking you questions or recommending products, it can seem like they’re speaking another language. One common part that can seem intimidating is the oil filter. Mechanics might offer a Busch oil filter, or a Motorcraft filter, or any other array of brands. The key to picking the right oil filter is not only to know what your car needs, but also know what the filter does.

How Do Oil Filters Work

The main job of an oil filter is to keep unwanted particles out of the oil in a car. These particles are typically tiny and solid, such as dust specks or dirt pieces. Solid contaminants can lower fuel efficiency and even cause damage to other parts of the car’s machinery. Oil filters separate these particles from the oil a car uses to operate, extending the life of the oil, car, and fuel efficiency.

Choosing a Filter

There are many factors to consider when choosing an oil filter. The first is what type of filter you want. Most cars come pre-fitted with a full-flow filter, but you can also install a bypass filter, which cuts the engine out of the filtering process. How much dirt a filter can hold is also important, because it can indicate how long you are able to use it without needing to change it out. Finally, consider the design and material the filter uses to trap particles. Some filters are designed to work better with certain engine types, and some use materials specially crafted to capture more particles and keep your car running smoother longer.

Choosing an oil filter can be a difficult decision, but if you understand what a filter does and consider the features, you can pick the best oil filter for your car.