Table of Contents
- View The Best Oil Filter Brand Below
- 1. Motorcraft
- 2. Royal Purple
- 3. ACDelco
- 4. Bosch
- 5. Mann-filter
- 6. FRAM
- 7. Mobil 1
- 8. K&N
- 9. Wix Filters
- 10. Purolator
- Oil Filter Brand Buyer’s Guide
- How Do Oil Filters Work?
- How Often Do Oil Filters Need to Be Replaced?
- How Do I Know if My Oil Filter Needs to be Replaced?
- What Different Types of Oil Filters are There?
- Who Makes the Best Oil Filters?
- How Do I Replace My Oil Filter?
- Are Fram Oil Filters Any Good?
- What is Synthetic Engine Oil?
- What Does OEM Mean?
- How is Engine Oil Graded?
- What does this mean?
- How Do I Select an Oil Filter?
Oil filters are vital components of your car. Without one of these oil filters, your engine oil would turn bad much quicker, so it’s essential to find the best oil filter you can for your vehicle. Not doing this would result in poorer lubrication and cooling of the engine in your car, which, if left unchecked, could result in total and catastrophic failure. It’s not possible to drive a car without an oil filter.
It’s possible to change your filter with little to no experience; the process of an oil and filter change is not difficult. However, if this is something you’re doing yourself, or if you are buying the components for a mechanic to use for you, you want to be sure that the oil filter you are using is high-quality and durable.
Of course, it’s not possible to just pick ten random oil filters and talk about their individual qualities. This would not work because every different car uses a different kind of oil filter. There is no “one size fits all”. Many cars use similar oil filters but, again, this is very subjective.
Instead of this, then, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best oil filter brands, along with examples of some of their products.
We hope you find this introductory guide to oil filters helpful and that you can use it to pick the best oil filter for your needs.
View The Best Oil Filter Brand Below
Motorcraft FL-2016 Oil Filter
Motorcraft is a company that has been around for many, many years. It is nowadays Ford’s brand name for aftermarket parts. and therefore, you can be sure that all Motorcraft parts, including this oil filter, have been made to OEM standards.
The FL-2016 we have listed here comes with an anti-drain back valve. This oil filter is also able to capture more contaminants due to its efficient filter media. As well as this, you will get everything else you would expect from a high-quality OEM-specification oil filter. You can use it with confidence, expecting it to do a great job of removing the very large majority of contaminants.
+ Top quality OEM Ford product
+ Efficient filter media
+ High rating on Amazon.com
Why We Like It – We chose to add this oil filter to our list because of its high-praise recommendations and efficiency.
2. Royal Purple
In 1986, John Williams founded Royal Purple, naming the company after a customer who said that he had never seen purple oil before. It produces synthetic engine oil, among other things (such as oil filters). In 2004, the company acquired a trademark to be the only company permitted to sell lubricants in purple containers.
The Royal Purple oil filter we have listed here will filter 25-micron contaminants at a 99% filtration efficiency. It also has a high-performance silicone anti-drain back valve.
+ Filters 25-micron contaminants at 99% efficiency
+ Heavy duty rubber base gasket
+ High-strength filter housing
Why We Like It – Royal Purple has been added as the premium option on our list because of the company’s great reputation and high quality products.
ACDelco PF52E Professional Engine Oil Filter
ACDelco’s parent company is General Motors. General Motors also owns Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac, so if you own one of these vehicles, it might be a good idea to check out their oil filter range, such as the example included here.
ACDelco can be traced back to Albert Champion (AC), a Frenchman who set up business in America. After the investors of his previous spark plug manufacturing company (Champion Ignition Company) threw him out, he set up another company, the AC Spark Plug Company. This was backed by Buick. After various owners and companies, the ACDelco name we know and recognize today came about when United Motors Service was renamed United Delco Division in 1971. Shortly after this, the company merged with what was then known as the AC Spark Plug Division, and the ACDelco name was born.
The listed oil filter here will do a good job for you and is worth checking out.
+ Smaller size yet increased amount of filter material
+ 10x more open area inside to improve the flow
+ Lubricity gasket
Why We Like It – We chose this product from ACDelco because it is easy to install and get rid of, following local authority guidelines.
Bosch regularly manufactures their oil filters to have the same OE top fixing shape as the original oil filter on the car, making sure it fits as correctly as possible. They produce all sorts of oil filters for various brands. The model we have chosen to list above is specifically made for some types of Honda and Acura cars.
Bosch was founded as a company in Stuttgart, Germany, by Robert Bosch in 1886. It was responsible for the first commercial development of what lead to the modern spark plug and is now a globally-recognized producer of quality OEM parts for many different manufacturers.
As an example of Bosch’s oil filters, we have chosen the Bosch 3323 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter. It has a silicone anti-drain back valve and tough steel base plates and housings to prevent it from warping. Overall, this is one of the best oil filters money can buy.
Bosch recommends using Castrol with its filters. It’s also worth looking at the Bosch 3330 range.
+ Silicone anti-drain back valve
+ High lubricity gasket
+ Very high ratings on Amazon.com
Why We Like It – We had to include products from Bosch due to their great worldwide reputation for quality OEM parts.
Mann-Filter HU 816 X Metal-Free Oil Filter
Mann-Filter is also one of the world’s leading produces of, you guessed it, filters. The filters they make cover many different automotive manufacturers, and they are all made to OEM specifications.
The oil filter we have chosen to list as one of the best examples of Mann-Filter’s work shows the high build quality and high capability of holding dirt, contaminants, and particulates due to the pleated design. This is a non-metal filter designed to replace the original part perfectly.
+ Can hold a lot of dirt
+ Efficient pleating structure
+ Easy to replace with the right tools
Why We Like It – We added this product from Mann-Filter because of how well it holds and filters dirt and, therefore, how long it can last in your engine.
FRAM XG10575 Ultra Synthetic Oil Filter
FRAM is the brand which, in a sense, is responsible for making the modern oil filter what it is today. The company was founded in 1932 by Frederick Franklin and T. Edward Aldham, the name FRAM coming from the first two letters of “Franklin” and the last 2 of “Aldham”.
FRAM is a brand that is credited with producing one of the first easy-to-replace oil filters. They still produce some of the best oil filters that you can use, even 88 years on.
The FRAM oil filter we have listed above can last up to 20,000 miles, so it’s clearly built to last a long time. As one of the best oil filters you can get, it should be used with full synthetic oil for the best results.
+ Easy to change due to grip
+ Can last up to 20,000 miles
+ Removes 20-micron contaminants at 99%+ efficiency
Why We Like It – FRAM has been making oil filters for a long time. This example will last for many miles and keeps your engine consistently clean.
7. Mobil 1
Mobil 1 M1-110 / M1-110A Extended Performance Oil Filter
Mobil 1 developed the world’s first fully synthetic motor oil. Throughout time, the company has often been associated with motorsport: in 1978, it sponsored the Williams Formula One Racing Team, with Williams taking five wins the following year. In 1987, it sponsored the Benetton F1 team and Rusty Wallace’s No. 27 car in NASCAR, where, at Watkins Glen that year, he won.
After this, it continued its involvement with the Williams team in Formula 1 and also with Rusty Wallace, with multiple titles being won throughout this time. Mobil 1 also eventually became sponsors of McLaren Mercedes during its period of dominance in the late 90s.
Mobil 1 is also the trusted motor oil used by many manufacturers as the oil its new car leaves the assembly plant with.
The Mobil 1 M1-110 / M1-110A Extended Performance oil filter from this company that we’ve featured is superior to others in many ways. For example, it can hold a larger quantity of contaminants (28 grams) than most oil filters, with a 99.6% Multi-Pass Efficiency Rating.
+ 99.6% multi pass efficiency rating
+ Can hold up to 28 grams of dirt
+ Withstands nine times normal operating pressure
Why We Like It – This filter is one of the best you can get. We chose it because of its long-lasting, high-quality build, and the company’s performance heritage.
K&N Motorcycle Oil Filter
In 1969, Ken Johnson and Norm McDonald (K&N) founded the company that made motorcycles and motorcycle parts. K&N also sponsored a factory race team.
Before long, the focus of the business turned to air filters. That quality has carried through to the current day, with K&N air filters being a unique, high-quality aftermarket design that is envied the world over (although not without controversy, as always).
Currently, K&N’s headquarters are based in California, with other sites in England, the Netherlands, and China. It produces air filters, oil filters, cold air intake systems, and performance parts.
The oil filter we have chosen to showcase K&N’s high quality is this standard filter. Although it’s listed as a motorcycle oil filter, it will fit many other cars and trucks as well. As always, check that it will fit before you buy anything.
+ 17 mm exposed nut to aid fitting / removal
+ 99% of contaminants removed
+ High reviews on Amazon
Why We Like It – We chose to add this K&N product due to its ease of application.
9. Wix Filters
WIX Filters 57060XP Xp Spin-On Filter
WIX Filters was founded in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1939. At that time, Gaston County was one of the world’s largest cotton producers. After about 15 years, seeing that filters for vehicles needed to be simpler, the business came up with a spin-on oil filter design, one which quickly became the standard across the entire industry.
Today, it produces over 210 million filters per year, with one of the largest product ranges on the automotive aftermarket.
For an example of one of its products, we have attached a link to this oil filter. You will notice that the Spin-On name has remained to this day and used across the industry to represent this kind of oil filter.
+ High-praise reviews on Amazon
Why We Like It – We added this Wix filter to give you a good example of a classic Spin-On design.
Purolator’s brand name is a mashed-up version of the phrase “pure oil later” – and that’s exactly what its products provided. It was originally a Canadian company, founded in Eastern Canada as Trans Canada Couriers, Ltd. In 1967, a company called Puralator from Fayetteville, North Carolina, purchased it, before in 1992 it fell back into Canadian hands when Canada Post acquired it for $55 million. It’s still owned by Canada Post today, with its head office in Mississauga, Ontario. Canada Post currently owns a 91% stake in the company.
The Purolator filter we have featured is an impressive standard filter. It will remove up to 13 grams of dirt with an efficiency rating of 96.5%.
+ Multi-fiber media
+ Internally lubricated nitrile gasket
+ Anti-drain back valve
Why We Like It – This Purolator product will remove enough dirt and debris to keep your engine running smoothly, featuring everything you need from one of these filters.
Oil Filter Brand Buyer’s Guide
How Do Oil Filters Work?
Think of the oil filter in your vehicle as the kidneys of your body—they’re a small, rarely-thought about part, yet vital. Just as the kidneys filter toxins out of your blood, oil filters for cars remove debris, particulates, and metal shards from the engine oil. These need to be taken out of the oil because otherwise, they might damage your engine, or even completely ruin it. This is a bit like how the kidneys remove toxins from your blood to protect the rest of your body.
Motor oil enters the oil filter through the tapping plate – this is a round plate with one central hole and lots of little holes dotted around it. The oil enters the filter through the little holes in the tapping plate. It then passes through the filter media (this filter media is usually some kind of sturdy paper or cotton filter, arranged in a pleated cylinder – for example, see the oil filter from Mann-Filter listed above) and returns to the engine through the big central hole.
There are a couple more parts of the oil filter that affect the engine. For example, the anti-drain back valve is a valve that will close when the engine is not running. This anti-drain back valve stops the engine oil from running back into the engine when it’s stationary. The relief valve is also an important part – this valve bypasses the filter and only opens on cold mornings when it’s more difficult for the engine to start.
This valve puts some unfiltered oil straight into the engine to help it out on cold mornings. You will also find two end discs (one on each end) of the oil filter, made of either metal or fiber: these prevent the motor oil from escaping from the filter and getting into the engine without having been filtered.
How Often Do Oil Filters Need to Be Replaced?
It depends on what your vehicle manufacturer recommends. However most would advise you to replace your oil filter every 3,000 miles – 10,000 miles. It’s usually recommended to change the oil filter whenever you change the oil itself. This will give you the cleanest and most efficient engine possible. It also makes a lot of sense because to change oil filters you need to drain the engine oil out of the car anyway.
Once the oil has been drained from the vehicle, you should never put this used oil back in.
It’s best to make sure you know when your oil and oil filter were last replaced. If you can’t remember the last time you had an oil and oil filter change done, it’s probably time to get one.
It’s always recommended to get your regular services done at a recognized dealer. Doing this will mean that the vehicle’s service history will be legitimate and complete, meaning your vehicle is more likely to sell once you’re done with it. It will also keep the warranty valid.
If you wanted to do an oil and filter change early, however, and not as a regularly scheduled service but rather just a maintenance thing, this is possible. For more information on this, scroll down to the “How Do I Replace My Oil Filter?” section.
How Do I Know if My Oil Filter Needs to be Replaced?
It’s always best to know what to be on the lookout for, to make sure you know the signs that might indicate when you need to change your oil filter.
If the oil filter is malfunctioning, two possible things may be happening to the engine in terms of its oil. In the first of these possibilities, you may find the oil is not reaching the engine is sufficient quantity. This could be due to a leak around the filter (or elsewhere in the oil system). Or it could be due to a large build-up of contaminants in the filter that are preventing the oil from being circulated through the engine in sufficient quantities.
The second possibility is that the filter material has malfunctioned (for example, it may have ripped or collapsed). If this has happened, then it would result in unfiltered oil being sent round the engine. This might make a build-up of contaminants in other parts of the engine and damage being caused there.
These are some signs you should look out for that could indicate that your oil filter has stopped working effectively. You should note, however, that these could all be caused by many other different things too – they do not necessarily indicate that your oil filter is the problem.
- The check engine light may come on, or the check oil light if your car has one.
- If your car has an oil pressure gauge on the dashboard, this may read lower than usual.
- Noticeable leaks under the car may form. If you leave the car stationary on level ground for a little while, you may notice a small (or large) puddle of oil developing. Don’t get down under the car to have a look, whatever you do. Engine. Oil. Is. Hot.
- Your engine will likely start to overheat if the filter goes. On almost all cars, you will see either an oil temperature gauge (less likely unless you are in a modified car) or an engine temperature gauge. The engine temperature gauge measures the temperature of the coolant in the engine. Although the coolant is the main system responsible for regulating the temperature of the engine, the oil plays a significant part too. This is because it both lubricates the moving parts (reducing friction and therefore reducing heat) and also removing a smaller, yet still significant portion of heat from the components. If the oil filter is preventing oil from flowing through the system, the engine will, therefore, become hotter due to increased friction and reduced heat removal.
For all of these possible symptoms, changing your oil filter is not certain to fix the problem. We would say it’s not even particularly likely. More often than not, oil problems reside around the head gasket or cylinder rings. However, it is always possible that the filter could be the issue – and changing your filter will be much cheaper than fixing one of those bigger things!
Also, if you have driven the number of miles recommended before getting an oil filter replacement, you should do this. It’s always better to replace your oil filter before it breaks rather than have to fix the problems that this malfunction might cause. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your oil filter between every 3,000 miles and 10,000 miles.
Either way, you should always replace your oil filter after a maximum of 15,000 miles, as it is extremely unlikely for the filter to be still performing at maximum efficiency. By this time, contaminants will have built up and will be affecting your car’s health.
If you are in any doubt, as always, see a professional who is more likely to be able to diagnose your car accurately.
What Different Types of Oil Filters are There?
When looking around for a new oil filter, you will find that there are many different types. The main types of oil filters are:
- Canister oil filters – these come as a pre-made steel canister that is tightened onto the engine. If this filter is mounted upright in the engine, you often do not need to drain the oil to change it. These oil filters often require specialist “oil filter tools” to replace.
- Spin-on oil filters – You’ll get a canister with a paper filter element inside. These oil filters are easy for DIYers to use since they require minimal tools to replace.
There are other types of oil filters, too – an example of this might be a magnetic oil filter – but they are not as common.
Oil filters can be divided into two categories: it may be a full-flow oil filter or a secondary oil filter. A full-flow (or “primary”) oil filter is the main filter in the car, removing dirt, debris, and contaminants. Some manufacturers also install a secondary oil filter. This is designed to collect the small number of contaminants that the primary filter might have missed. A secondary oil filter can help extend the lifespan of the engine oil.
Who Makes the Best Oil Filters?
In terms of reputation, Bosch and Mann-Filter are regularly used, particularly in Europe. However, all of the brands that we have listed in our list above produce quality, OEM products, and all of them can certainly be trusted.
How Do I Replace My Oil Filter?
We would only recommend changing your own oil filter if you’re certain you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to cause yourself any more problems by not installing the filter correctly or not refilling the engine with the oil!
You can only change the oil and filter in your car when the vehicle is stationary and off. Whatever you do, do not leave the engine running. It’s best if the engine is slightly (slightly!) warm, not hot – this makes the oil a bit less thick so that it will run out of the bottom of the car better.
You should wear protective gloves and coveralls, and potentially a mask and goggles to protect your lungs and eyes.
To change your filter, you are going to need your new oil filter. You are also going to need some new engine oil in sufficient quantity to refill the engine. You will find the engine oil specification and quantity detailed in your owner’s handbook. As well as this, you are going to need a container to catch all the old oil. There are special oil pans available for this, but you could use any old, low-sided bucket-kind-of-thing. Bear in mind that you can’t use this pan for anything else other than to hold oil after you’ve used it so it will be effectively ruined.
Locate the oil filter on your vehicle. Before taking the oil filter off, you will need to drain the oil from the engine at the sump. Get the correctly sized socket to do this carefully. The oil will drop out as soon as the sump plug is removed, so be sure to move your hand out the way before it gets splashed with oil. Motor oil is very bad for your skin. Put the oil pan underneath the sump before doing this to catch all the oil. To help the oil drain, it can help to remove the oil cap on the top of the engine – this increases the airflow through the system, helping as much oil out as possible.
You must not allow any oil to enter the drains around your house, or wherever you are working. Motor oil is terribly destructive to the eco-systems that depend on fresh water (which is most of them), and you can be fined a lot of money if you are found out.
When the oil has drained, remove the oil filter, and replace it. Put the new filter in, slightly lubricating the new seal with oil, and tighten it to the required torque. Too much will damage it, and too little will cause a leak.
You should then get back under the car, remove the oil pan, and replace the sump plug, also torquing that up to the required tightness. After this, refill the engine with oil to the exact amount specified in the handbook and replace the oil cap.
Run the engine to check for any abnormal sounds. It will sound a little funny for the first second or two as the oil is processed through the system but should settle down after that. Then use the dipstick to check the oil level. It should be between the indicated minimum and maximum levels.
If everything is okay, replace the dipstick and away you go.
And there’s your oil and filter change.
If you encounter any problems, please seek professional help! And, if you’re at all unsure in the first place, it’s best to just not attempt this by yourself.
Are Fram Oil Filters Any Good?
FRAM is one of the best names in the automotive industry, and the filters that come from this company are top quality. In short, yes, they are very good.
What is Synthetic Engine Oil?
Synthetic engine oil is what it sounds like – man-made oil. Synthetic engine oil, compared to conventional oil, is better in every way for you, your vehicle, and the environment. You can wait longer between changes; synthetic oil provides better lubrication; you will get better mileage; the engine will not drag as much; you will have fewer emissions; and so on. If you have the option, it’s always best to go for synthetic oil. Or, if it’s available, the best oil you can get is the fully synthetic type.
What Does OEM Mean?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Any parts that have been made to “OEM” standards have been made to the same specifications as the original part for the car. This means that it is almost certain to fit (provided existing parts have not warped over time in your vehicle, of course).
How is Engine Oil Graded?
You might see something along the lines of 5W30 (one of the most common oil grades) written on the side of oil canisters.
What does this mean?
Each vehicle manufacturer produces their car to run off a specific grade of oil.
The “5W30” refers to the viscosity of the oil. The more viscous oil is, the thicker it is.
The first number is how easily oil flows in cold temperatures. The second number is how easily the oil flows under normal operating temperatures. The lower these numbers are, the easier the oil will flow. Many older cars use more viscous oil – for example, perhaps 10W40. Newer cars are more likely to use something in the range of 0W20 to 5W30.
Consult your vehicle handbook to see what grade of oil your car takes.
How Do I Select an Oil Filter?
Use an online tool to make sure that the oil filter you are thinking about purchasing fits your vehicle. Not every filter fits every car, and if you force one on that doesn’t fit, you are likely to develop a leak or malfunction.
You should then consider the efficiency rating, the number of contaminants it can hold, and the quality of the bypass valve (make sure it’s metal rather than plastic). On top of this, some oil filter brand products will state approximately how long the filter will last. That’s definitely information worth bearing in mind.
Once you have found what you think is the best oil filter for your car – and you are sure that it fits – it’s time to buy.
Don’t be afraid to ask a professional mechanic to fit your filter for you.
When you are searching for the best oil filter, it’s a good idea to bear in mind the reputation of the brand.
Never put in an oil filter from someone you’ve never heard of before or can’t find anything about on the internet. Oil filters have to be made to precise specifications to fit your vehicle and, if they don’t, can cause you an awful lot of problems, such as leaks and the build-up of contaminants.
We hope this guide has helped you to narrow down your options as you search for the best oil filter you can use for your vehicle.
Thank you for reading.