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Q: When Should I Replace My Oil Filter?

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When should I replace my oil filter?

A: Consistently changing a vehicle’s oil filte...

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 is that an oil filter should be changed with a new one at the routine oil change, from 3000 to 7500 miles. As automotive technology has advanced and parts have reduced in price, oil filters have become cheaper and more convenient to replace with regular routine maintenance.

Most oil changes will consist of new oil and a new oil filter. A new, clean oil filter is important for many reasons. Oil filters remove grit and grime from the oil in the engine. When the oil pump performs its duty of pushing the oil back into the engine, it is now pushing clean, filtered oil, thanks to the oil filter. Just as the human body has kidneys that filter blood, on the vehicle, the oil filter acts as the kidneys, filtering out all the dirt, grime, and other bad stuff found in the engine oil, keeping those contaminants stored in the oil filter. Unfortunately our cars do not have a bladder to go to the bathroom to pass this waste. For this reason, oil filters need to be replaced often to keep our engines running clean and lasting long.

Since oil filters are to be replaced with the engine oil, it is natural to expect to change both every 5000 miles. A great resource for information on specific vehicle’s oil filter replacement schedule, is to check the vehicle owner's manual. If a car is driven considerably heavy, in stop and go traffic, or while weighed down with a heavy load, then changing the oil and the oil filter sooner rather than later is highly recommended. Staying on top of routine oil filter changes will help keep a vehicle’s engine running efficiently.

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