Is It Necessary to Change the Oil Filter at Every Oil Change?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertIs It Necessary to Change the Oil Filter at Every Oil Change?
Karen Rodriguez asked 6 months ago
I recently came across a forum discussion where someone there raised some concerns about a workshop not changing the oil filter during an oil change. This sparked quite a heated debate, with many supporting the need for changing the filter every time. However, my own car's owner's manual suggests changing the oil filter only with every alternate oil change. I'm now wondering if I should be changing the filter with every oil change instead. What are the best practices in this regard - can you help?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 6 months ago
Hi there, Karen! This is a common question among car owners, and it's great that you're seeking clarity. The practice of changing the oil filter can vary depending on a few factors:
  1. Manufacturer's Recommendation: Always start by checking your owner's manual. Some manufacturers indeed suggest changing the oil filter with every alternate oil change. However, this recommendation often depends on the specific model and its engine design.
  2. Cost vs. Benefit Analysis: Oil filters are relatively inexpensive compared to potential engine repairs. Changing the filter every oil change can be seen as an affordable way to ensure better engine health.
  3. Driving Conditions: If you often drive in harsh conditions (like dusty environments, frequent short trips, or heavy traffic), it’s safer to change the filter with every oil change. These conditions can lead to quicker accumulation of contaminants.
  4. Oil Change Interval: Modern cars with longer oil change intervals (e.g., 10,000 miles or more) should definitely have the filter replaced each time. Older models with shorter intervals (like 3,000 miles) might not require as frequent changes.
  5. Quality of Oil Filter: Higher quality filters can sometimes last through two oil changes, but it's crucial to ensure they are designed for extended use.
  6. Peace of Mind: Many drivers and mechanics prefer changing the oil filter every time for peace of mind. It ensures maximum cleanliness and efficiency of the oil system.
In summary, while following your vehicle’s manual is advisable, opting for more frequent oil filter changes can be a proactive step towards maintaining your engine's health, especially under demanding driving conditions or with extended oil change intervals. Hope that answers your question! Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team