Q: How Does an Oil Filter Function?

asked by on November 25, 2015

How does an oil filter function?

An oil filter is a long, rectangular paper element that is folded into numerous pleats. The two ends of the pleated element are sealed together and the filter placed around a perforated metal tube inside a filter can. The perforated metal tube provides support for the filter and allows a path for the oil to flow out of the element. An attachment is sealed to the top of the filter can. This plate directs oil into and out of the filter.

When the filter is attached to the engine, the oil flows out of the oil pump and into the oil filter, where the oil flows from the exterior side of the element through the paper to the interior side of the element and then exits from the middle of the filter attachment plate.

Oil filters are designed to last anywhere from 5000 miles to 7500 miles before requiring replacement. Proper maintenance is the key to your engine living a long and happy life. If you need help having this done, a technician from YourMechanic can conduct an oil and filter change for you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Grease viscosity

Just like with motor oils, different operating environments require different characteristics of different grease products. For example, some characteristics of the grease to consider are the temperature tolerance and the "shear" qualities. Do tolerances get tighter with operating temperatures? What...

Car shakes and stutters during acceleration - 2001 Toyota Echo

As I was reading this I was thinking spark plugs, but you said there was a couple CENTIMETERS of translucent yellow oil? I can't even imagine what must be happening inside the engine to completely cover spark plugs. I would...

car shut off no water or oil in car now won't start

There are multiple reasons why your Dodge Durango may have stopped running. The water in the oil is typically a problem with a blown head gasket, but most of the time a car will stop running completely when there is...

Related articles

Do I Need to Change My Motor Oil for Hot or Cold Weather?
Outside temperature can change how motor oil works. Multiviscosity motor oil makes it easy to keep your car running efficiently all year around.
How Do Oil Filters Work?
At At the most basic level, oil filters serve the purpose of preventing contaminants, such as dirt and debris, from reaching the oil in your vehicle. This is important because grit and grime in your oil can damage engine surfaces...
Can I Use Synthetic Motor Oil in My Brand New Car?
Changing oil on time will help protect your engine from damage. Synthetic motor oil will likely work, and may actually be required, in your new car.