December 13

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Best Oil Filter: Top 7 Picks from Engine Experts

By Liam

December 13, 2021


Out of the 25 oil filters I shortlisted, “Fram PH7317 Extra Guardis the best pick. It offers a considerably longer lifespan and is engineered to boost the vehicle’s performance.

If pressing the pedal hard isn’t giving the wheels a spin your car used to have, it's time to change the oil filter. An oil filter may not be huge in size, but it has a significant effect over the car’s performance. 

Over time, the filter gets clogged due to the synthetic oil and needs replacement. Here in this article, you'll find the best oil filters for every type of car, including sedan, hatchback, SUV, and more.

If you are in a rush, choose Fram PH7317 Extra Guard. The oil filter offers extra protection and ensures the engine gets a safe start up. Also, it has around 95% dirt-trapping efficiency.


Best Oil Filters: Reviewed and Compared 

1. Best Overall: Fram PH7317 Extra Guard

There are multiple reasons why this spin-on oil filter from Fram is the best choice. Designed to offer a 10k mile range, the filter is pretty durable and lasts longer. 

With their iconic orange finish, these filtering devices are easily distinguishable and offer an amazing balance of performance and price. 

The dirt-trap redemption efficiency of the filter is good, and you can expect your car to run without any issues. If you are using synthetic oil in the car, there’s a different oil filter from Fram. 

Talking about durability, the premium oil filter lasts longer and has an internally lubricated sealing gasket that keeps the nylon poppet relief valve working properly. 

You should choose this oil filter if you aren't into performance vehicles and want your drive to run smoothly during everyday drives. 

Features

  • Filter Type: Spin-on 
  • Range: Up to 10K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros

  • The filter has an ideal balance of dirt-holding capacity and dirt-trapping efficiency 
  • It has an internally lubricated gasket mechanism 
  • Precision coil spring reinforced with a nylon poppet 
  • It filters the oil properly up to 10k miles

Cons

  • Not for vehicles with synthetic oils 
  • It may not fit older vehicles like the Honda Accord 2007

2. Best Durable Oil Filter: Bosch 3323 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter

Bosch is one of the leading automotive brands out there, so you can expect the 3323 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter to last longer. Fabricated to meet all OEM requirements, the filter traps all dust particles.

Fabricated with a blend of synthetic and natural materials, the media offers effective filtration and enhances the lifespan of the engine. As per Bosch, this high-quality oil filter has 99% efficiency, and it can easily hold up to 14 grams of dirt and dust particles.

In addition, the metal spiral-wound center tube contributes a lot to the overall durability of the oil filter. The end caps prevent the contaminants from entering the engine. 

Furthermore, the silicone anti-drain back valve keeps the engine healthy while preventing dry starts.

When it comes to compatibility, this OEM oil filter fits well with Acura, Chrysler, Infiniti, Nissan, Dodge, and more. Lastly, Bosch recommends Castrol motor oil with this filter, so make sure to use Castrol oil if you are looking to change the oil. 

Features

  • Filter Type: Spin-on 
  • Range: Up to 5K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros 

  • It has a strong steel baseplate 
  • The gasket design provides a tight seal 
  • The filter can trap around 14 grams of dust and dirt 
  • It has high efficiency 

Cons 

  • Some users reported leaking issues  
  • The range is not that good 

3. Best Performance-Oriented Filter: K&N Premium Oil Filter

The K&N Premium Oil Filter should be your choice if you own a high-performance vehicle. Such cars need a high oil flow rate, and this is the oil filter that satisfies the requirements of the engine.

Inside this premium oil filter, there is cellulose media with optimum filtration capacity. You can expect the oil filter to offer 99% filtration capacity. Also, the 1-nut end cap offers an excellent fit, and you don’t have to worry about anything.

The construction materials include a spring metal bypass valve and a silicone drain valve to offer unmatched durability and reliability. 

As per K&N, they have tested this filter in the laboratory to ensure it offers excellent filtration strength. The heavy-duty canister helps the oil filter easily withstand regular wear and tear, making it last longer.

Lastly, you can use this oil filter with synthetic and conventional motor oils.

Features 

  • Filter Type: Cartridge  
  • Range: Up to 10K miles
  • Ideal for: Every day and performance driving

Pros 

  • Designed to maximize the oil flow rate 
  • It has wide compatibility 
  • Easy to install and remove 
  • It is a high-capacity oil filter 

Cons 

  • The after-sales service is not that good 
  • You may see a slight reduction in the mileage 

4. Best Value for Money: Motorcraft - Oil Filter (FL910S)

If you are looking for a budget oil filter, choose Motorcraft - Oil Filter (FL910S). It is a spin-on oil filter that offers maximum filtration while improving the oil flow rate. This is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury, so you can install this filter in your car without any issues.

With its capability to reduce engine wear and tear, the high-quality oil filter has fine media that offers optimal filtration. Also, the large media improves the overall capacity and makes your vehicle run smoothly.

The perforated steel center tube prevents the filter’s body from collapsing under pressure, while the well-bonded end plates help keep the pleat spacing consistent.

Lastly, the fluted case end helps in removing the oil filter easily, so you don’t have to rust to the local garage to get this filter installed.

Features

  • Filter Type: Spin-on   
  • Range: Up to 5K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros 

  • It has stamped steel bypass for added performance
  • It efficiently eliminates the clogs 
  • Ideal for a range of vehicles 
  • Installing and removing the filter is easy 

Cons 

  • Low filtration as compared to other filters 
  • It does not contribute to the vehicle’s performance 

If you don’t want the dust particles to enter the engine via the motor oil, go for  ACDelco GM Original Equipment PF2232 Engine Oil Filter. This filtration device has multiple layers for excellent filtration and trapping of the dust.

Equipped with cellulose and synthetic filter media, it offers 98% filtration capacity and can easily tackle microns of 25 to 30 effortlessly. Talking about the build quality, it’s an excellent oil filter that lasts longer.

The thermosetting adhesive sealing provides a firmer fit and keeps the filter in place. As per the brand, this filter can last around 12k miles, provided you clean it properly and have newly-fed motor oil.

The tin-plated metal cap enhances durability and makes the filter withstand extreme pressure without collapsing.

If you are a rough and tough driver, you should go for this oil filter. Lastly, it is widely compatible with newer as well as older car models, including Honda, Toyota, Lincoln, and more.

Features 

  • Filter Type: Spin-on   
  • Range: Up to 10K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros 

  • The perforated holes make it durable 
  • It has a heat-treated spring that controls the bypass valve 
  • The nylon enhances the strength of the filter 
  • It has an excellent range 

Cons 

  • The media is not that efficient as some other filters 
  • The filter’s paint chips off sometimes

While searching for the best oil filters, I bumped into Baldwin BT7349 Heavy Duty Lube Spin-On Filter. This filter has garnered massive prominence among car owners because of its super-durable shell.

Painted in red, the oil filter has a perforated body that enhances its robustness and prevents the filter from collapsing. The metal bypass valve inside the filter ensures the continual flow of oil to improve the ride quality.

Furthermore, the media allows the oil to pass quickly while it traps the dust and other particles quickly. There are around 44 pleats in the media, making this oil filter an amazing option for larger vehicles.

Lastly, the robust filter can hold up against any terrain and environment. You get three filters inside the box, and you can install them in your vehicle without any professional help.

Features 

  • Filter Type: Spin-on   
  • Range: Up to 5K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros 

  • The filter has a durable casing 
  • The metal parts improve the endurance 
  • The gasket provides an extra seal
  • Using this filter will improve the engine life 

Cons

  • The filtration efficiency is low 
  • It may not fit in some old cars

Toyota isn't just famous for its phenomenal cars, but the brand offers spare parts, including the oil filter as well. If you are looking for durability, you cannot get over Toyota Genuine Parts 90915-YZZF2 Oil Filter.

The small filtering device has a plethora of benefits, including the maximum filtration capacity. As per several users, these oil filters have better filtration than most of the filters, so you can drive your car with joy.

The lifespan of this premium oil filter is not that good, but still, it can easily last around 5k miles on minimum maintenance. The filter comes pre-lubricated, and you can install it right away after unpacking it. 

As per Toyota, this durable oil filter has a wide fitment range and is compatible with almost all Toyota cars.

Features

  • Filter Type: Cartridge    
  • Range: Up to 5K miles
  • Ideal for: Everyday driving 

Pros 

  • The filter has a wide fitment range 
  • It efficiently removes the contaminants 
  • Compatible with different synthetic oils 
  • It comes pre-lubricated 

Cons 

  • The range is not as good as other oil filters 
  • It may not fit well in non-Toyota cars

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying the Best Oil Filter

Buying an oil filter may not be a big monetary investment, but it may have a serious impact on the engine's performance. So, you should understand the anatomy of the filter and use the right type in your vehicle.

Types of Oil Filters 

Cartridge 

Oil filters in the form of cartridges are making a comeback. It produces significantly less trash because of its detachable and reusable housing and changeable filter element. They somewhat require more care than spin-on, but they're less expensive to replace. And it's a lot better for the environment.

These modern cartridge-style filters may have some serious faults, like the quality of plastic can be cheap, so it is essential to buy branded filters only.

Spin-on 

The spin-on filters sprang to prominence in the mid-1950s and have remained the industry standard in automobile engine oil filtering for the past half-century.

Unfortunately, because of their simplicity of use, landfills and shop yards are clogged with discarded, non-biodegradable oil filters.

When you combine it with the demise of large-displacement gas-guzzlers in favor of today's smaller, higher-revving engines, it's no surprise that their popularity is dwindling.

Filtration Media 

Inside every oil filter, there is a layer of material that handles the entire filtration process. The media can either be made using cellulose, synthetic or with a combination of both materials. 

This film or media is responsible for filtering the synthetic oil, so you can say it affects the filtration efficiency of the oil filter. However, synthetic media can easily trap the tiniest of impurities and does not compromise the flow of the oil.

However, oil filters with cellulose media are cheaper. But the filtration efficiency is also less. A lot of drivers buy filters that have a blend of both materials to get an affordable option with good filtration efficiency.

Capacity 

The capacity of an oil filter indicates how well it can keep impurities out. The construction and the media are the two main aspects that influence the oil filter's effectiveness. More capacity equates to higher mileage and longer range.

When the filter reaches its maximum capacity, it won’t be able to filter the oil. Thus, you’ll experience noticeable issues in the vehicle’s performance. 

Compatibility 

Every car has different engine specifications and requirements, so it is crucial to ensure the filter is compatible with your vehicle. Most manufacturers list the vehicle compatibility on the oil filter box, so you won’t have a hard time finding a compatible filter for your ride.

Also, you can go through the owner manual to know more about which type of OEM oil filters are perfect for your vehicle.

Gasket and Baseplate 

The thick steel base plate is the part that meets the engine. Make sure to go for an oil filter that has a super durable baseplate and gasket so that it lasts longer.

Ease of Use 

Oil filters are usually easy to install, and you can even do it without any professional help. Go for a branded filtering device that comes ready to install so that you can put it in place and start driving your car right away.

Budget 

The best oil filters for cars are available at a range of prices, so it would be great to decide on a budget. Oil filters are usually not very expensive, but having a budget in mind will help you prevent overspending. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Do Oil Filters Work?

A: It is important to understand the working of an oil filter before you buy and install it. As per car experts, the oil filter is what kidneys are to humans. The sole purpose of the oil filter is to screen the impurities and prevent them from reaching the engine.

The motor oil enters through the tapping plate and then passes through the filtration media. Furthermore, the oil then reaches the bypass valve that opens up during the cold start-ups. 

The valve closes quickly once the oil pressure normalizes, and the motor oil does not get fired inside the engine.

Watch this video to know more about working on an oil filter. 

Q: How do you know if the oil filter needs replacement?

A: There are several evident signs you’ll see if the oil filter needs replacement. Ignoring these signs can hinder the vehicle’s performance, and you may experience some issues with the engine as well. 

Here are a few signs to look for in order to know the oil filter’s health. 

  • Check the engine light or the oil light in the car’s odometer.
  • If your vehicle has an oil pressure gauge, you’ll see the reading getting lower every day.
  • You may also see noticeable leaks under the car when you park it in a place for some time. 
  • The car's engine will overheat quickly, and you will not be able to rev it to full power because the engine isn't getting enough clean oil. 
Q: How long does an oil filter last?

A: It depends on several factors, such as the age of the oil, the age of the filter, and how you drive the vehicle. As per engine experts, a regular oil filter can last somewhere around 3,000-10,000 miles.

After this period, the oil filter won’t be able to supply clean oil to the engine, which can be problematic in the long run.

In a nutshell, you should replace the filter every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Or you can get in touch with a mechanic to know more about when to change the filter.

Q: Do I need professional help to install the oil filter?

A: No, you don't need a mechanic to install the oil filter if you have basic knowledge of how to access the oil filter chamber. 

Follow these steps to install a new oil filter without any hassles:

  • Lift your vehicle on a floor stand, and get under it.
  • Drain the entire motor oil by unplugging the plug, you need to be careful when removing the plug as the oil will splash out. Place a sump under the oil chamber, and make sure to empty it.
  • After removing the motor oil, access the oil filter and remove it carefully.
  • Once removed, install a new oil filter, and close the chamber.
  • Refill the oil, and run the engine to check for any abnormal sounds. 
  • Next, use a dipstick to check the levels of oil, and you are good to go. 

Conclusion 

Now that you know about the best oil filters, it’s time to make a choice. Choose a filtering device that offers maximum filtration capacity and traps the contaminants efficiently. Furthermore, it should be compatible with your vehicle and should be durable as well.

If you ask me for a recommendation, you should choose "Fram PH7317 Extra Guard”. You can also choose Motorcraft - Oil Filter (FL910S) if you need a good filter on a budget. 

About the author

A car enthusiast who loves all cars and everything about them; I enjoy buying them, collecting them, working on them, modifying them and sharing them with friends. We love classics around here because of their handling, horsepower, speed, their smells, and their sounds. I get a feeling from driving one of my cars that can't be described to anyone who doesn't get it and I hope to share that with our club members and readers

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