Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Does the Viscosity of Your Oil Affect the Filter You Should Use?

oil filter

Most people who drive a vehicle know that an engine needs oil to operate smoothly. Oil lubricates the various surfaces and components of the engine’s system to help it run as efficiently as possible. Not everyone, however, knows that the type of oil running through your engine can make a difference. Different viscosities, or thickness, are better for certain vehicles or driving conditions, affecting every part of the engine’s system. The various viscosities of oil also match best with particular kinds of oil filters. Here are some general guidelines for matching the appropriate oil filter with the right oil viscosity:

  • Choose the best oil viscosity for your vehicle first, then make a decision about the filter. Refer to your car or truck’s owner’s manual for the optimal thickness of oil for your engine system before anything else because the type of oil you use is more important than the filter itself. Any oil filter will work for a while; it just may wear more quickly with different oil viscosities.

  • With thinner oil viscosity, you can use a lower grade oil filter. Since the oil is relatively thin, you don’t have to worry about it having difficulty passing through the filter medium; although there is really no harm in having a higher grade filter, either. Choose a standard grade with either a paper-pleated or synthetic filter medium. In other words, virtually anything goes in the situation, so you might as well opt for a cheaper route.

  • With thicker oil viscosity, especially when running your vehicle in cold temperatures, you should choose a better grade oil filter to withstand the increased filtering demands. That’s because the oil doesn’t pass through the oil filter as easily and wears it out more quickly. In this case, a high-performance filter with a stronger synthetic medium (as opposed to folded paper) is the better choice.

  • Some vehicles are in a class of their own, such as race cars. If you’re the proud owner of a McLaren 650 or Lamborghini Aventador, for instance, your vehicle has very particular needs when it comes to the right oil viscosity and oil filter to perform at high levels. Such cars usually require a lower viscosity, or thinner, oil and specialized race filters.

So, the lower the oil viscosity, the lower the rating of the oil filter is advised, and vice versa. Consult your car or truck’s owner’s manual for the recommended viscosity, then choose the right oil filter for the job. If there is any doubt on which is the best oil viscosity or oil filter for your vehicle, our highly qualified mechanics will carefully consider the make and model of your vehicle as well as any driving conditions or environments that may have an effect before recommending the right oil viscosity and filter for your situation. For your convenience, our mechanics can change out your oil to the best type and outfit your system with the most appropriate oil filter as well.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...


Related questions

Q: When Should I Replace My Oil Filter?

Consistently changing a vehicle’s oil filter is as important as changing its oil. While some drivers, such as those who do deliveries or other frequent driving, may require oil filter changes more often. The general rule of thumb for replacement...

Q: Left off oil cap for 2 days 50 miles. No oil splatter on engine that I can see

Thanks for writing in about your 2012 Chevy Equinox. You should have no issues as long as the oil is still full and there are no leaks. If the oil smell comes back or you are in need of an...

Q: Leak from oil filter.

If the oil just started leaking it is possible that it would be coming from the oil filter if the filter became loose. I would suggest having a technician come out and look over the car and determine what type...