Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and that oil picks up little bits of fuel, dirt, and dust as it lubricates and cools moving parts. Driving with dirty oil can cause engine parts to wear and cost you money, so changing your oil and oil filter at recommended intervals is not negotiable. The purpose of motor oil is not just to lubricate and cool moving parts, but also to keep them clean. To do that effectively, your engine should have the best oil filter for your car — and not all filters are created equal.
How do you pick the best one? That depends on a number of factors.
Your parents — and their parents — followed the original equipment (OE) recommendations for the time and always changed their oil and filter every 3,000 miles. But that was then, and this is now. If you have a newer car or truck, your owner’s manual might put your oil change interval much higher at 7,500 miles or even 10,000 or more. Be sure you know your OE’s recommendation about how often you should change your oil and filter.
What, How and Where You Drive
According to Edward Covington, Chief Engineer, Vice President of Quality for NAPA Filters, deciding on the best oil filter today is not like it was in the past. “Choosing from an array of filter options depends on evaluating several factors,” he said. “It really depends on your vehicle and your driving patterns. In other words, what, how and where you drive.”
Before you set foot in the store, you need to know the year, make, model and mileage of your vehicle as well as the oil viscosity you need. Make sure you also follow the OE recommendation for conventional, synthetic blend or full synthetic oil.
NAPA Filters Brand Manager Paul Kortman agrees that it’s important to choose your oil filter based on how and where you drive. “The best filter brands incorporate designs and materials tailored to different driving styles. For example, our NAPASilver™ Filters are designed for people who rely on their vehicles for daily travel, under normal driving conditions. Choosing a NAPASilver™ filter offers basic protection when used with conventional oil and a traditional change interval.”
If you drive a high-performance car, whether it’s a domestic or an import, be sure to check part numbers and choose the oil filter meant for your car’s high-performance life cycle.
When should you choose a higher-performance filter? It depends on your driving patterns. If you often encounter stop and go traffic, take short trips, rely on interstate travel or face conditions such as driving in higher than 90-degree weather, you should choose a NAPAGold™ filter. “Designed for use with conventional, synthetic blends or full synthetic oils, gold-premium filters offer the best combination of capacity and efficiency, and filter out 50 percent more dirt than economy filters,” Covington said.
If you tow, often sit idling in traffic, drive in the mountains, or face harsh road conditions or harsh temperatures, move up to a NAPA Platinum™ premium filter. “These high-performing filters resist premature plugging, offer extreme hot and cold sealing and are designed specifically for use with full synthetic oils.” Covington said.
Now that you know how to choose the best oil filter, continue to do the best thing for your car and the environment. Take your used oil and filters to an environmentally approved disposal site. Or, you can take your vehicle to your local NAPA AUTO CARE CENTER, where they can change your filter, oil and other fluids for you.
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons