How Often Do Oil Filters Need to Be Replaced?

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Depending on who you ask, you can get a wide variety of answers to the seemingly straightforward question of how often you should replace oil filters in vehicles. Car manufacturers often suggest changing oil filters every other time you have your oil changed. Most parts and oil manufacturers, however, say to replace oil filters with every oil change, which should occur every 3,000 miles or three months (whichever comes first).

Since automobile manufacturers want to present the lowest maintenance costs possible with their products and oil or parts manufacturers make profits on the units they sell, it seems this discrepancy in answers has roots in potential financial gain. So, here are our experienced mechanics’ guidelines for proper oil filter maintenance and replacement:

  • Replace oil filters with every oil change. While we agree with oil companies’ advice to change oil filters when you change the oil, there’s a difference in opinion on how often this should occur. Unless you’re driving an antique vehicle with an almost prehistoric engine system that doesn’t filter debris as efficiently, the 3,000-mile rule is a myth. Every vehicle is a little different, but the average amount of miles to wait is closer to about 7,500. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper oil filter maintenance for your vehicle.

  • If the Service Engine light is on, you may need an oil filter replacement ahead of schedule. While a lot of things can trigger the Service Engine light to come on, it’s a good idea to rule out the simpler potential causes before plunking a lot of money down for diagnostics and repairs. When that light is illuminated, it indicates the engine system isn’t working as well as it should, which can also be accompanied by a lot more grime and debris being in circulation. This can clog your oil filter more quickly than usual.

  • If you regularly drive in more severe conditions, such as in stop-and-go traffic, towing heavy loads, or in extreme temperatures, you may need to replace your oil and oil filter more often. Such conditions cause your engine’s system to work harder, which – in turn – requires more frequent maintenance of its components, including the oil filter.

The oil filter is an important part of your engine system’s operation. It removes grit and grime from your oil, which prevents such contaminants from entering the engine itself when oil circulates and lubricates its parts. Oil filters are relatively inexpensive, which is why most people recommend oil filter replacement with every oil change as a preventative measure.

If there is any doubt as to how often you should change oil filters, feel free to call one of our mechanics for a consultation. He or she will review the needs of your particular vehicle, taking into account any other circumstances that may necessitate more frequent replacement, and make recommendations for optimal maintenance.


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Derrick

10 years of experience
73 reviews
Derrick
10 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Oil Change - Vallejo, California
Great service! Derrick showed up on time and performed the service quickly with no mess. Will be booking him again in the future.
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 - Oil Change - San Pablo, California
Derrick arrived early (after checking first) and was very thorough . He showed before and parts and was very courteous.

Joseph

19 years of experience
487 reviews
Joseph
19 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Oil Change - Salt Lake City, Utah
Honestly, Joseph is the best! We've used YM several times, but Joseph's been our mechanic since moving to Utah, and he's the best mechanic we've ever gotten from YourMechanic, hands down.
Porsche Cayenne - Oil Change - West Jordan, Utah
Joseph is an awesome mechanic! He is very friendly and willing to take the time to explain how everything works.

William

18 years of experience
45 reviews
William
18 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Oil Change - Gilbert, Arizona
Fantastic service. Very professional, knowledgeable and courteous. Will definitely use again and request William specifically. Thank you for everything.
Ford Escape - Oil Change - Apache Junction, Arizona
Friendly, thorough and efficient, and finished the job quickly, even in the heat. Definitely recommend.

Chris

21 years of experience
1786 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Oil Change - Mission Viejo, California
Chris is outstanding in all aspects. We always select him to service our vehicles. He's always prompt, friendly, and more importantly HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING! Thanks Chris!
Lexus SC430 - Oil Change - Laguna Niguel, California
Chris's delivered excellent service and arrived ahead of schedule. I would want to book Chriss for my next service appointment.

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