How Often Should You Change Your Oil Filter?

By: Lisa Harper

How often you need to change your oil filter is far from straightforward and opinions vary within the motor industry.

Most car manufacturers will recommend oil filter changes every other oil change. Whilst car part and oil manufacturers recommend oil filter changes at every oil change.

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So who’s right? The problem is both have a self-interest in the matter. Car manufacturers want to present their vehicles with competitive running costs, so by recommending an oil filter change every other oil change, they are able to reduce your predicted upkeep costs. Whereas oil and car part manufacturers need to sell their products, so are more inclined to suggest more frequent oil filter changes.

So when should you change your oil filter?

As a rule of thumb we recommend changing your oil filter every time you change your oil. This is because oil filters are relatively inexpensive so changing every oil change instead of every other is not going to break the bank. What’s more, it is likely that you’ll see more benefit from changing both at the same time and it will help keep the new oil cleaner for longer.

So that leads us to our next dilemma how often should we change the oil and as a result the oil filter?

Again we face similar problems, however our advice would be to refer to your owner’s manual and follow their recommended oil change mileage figures.

Would changing my oil filter fix other problems?

There are certain situations in which you may need to deviate from manufacturers recommended oil filter changes:

  • When the engine management light is on – whilst the engine management light may indicate a more pressing problem changing your oil filter and oil is a good place to start and in some cases will result in a complete fix of the problem. However, even if the oil filter is not the cause of the problem when the light is on it indicates the engine system isn’t working as efficiently as it should and can result in your oil filter clogging up more quickly.
  • When you’re driving under conditions which put more pressure on the engine for example during city driving conditions where you’re likely to be frequently in start/stop traffic, when towing on a regular basis and when driving in extreme weather conditions. These situations all require your engine to work harder and as a result, lead to your oil filter becoming clogged up more quickly.
  • When the oil filter and oil aren’t of the same quality – if you use long life oil then the change frequency will be decreased, but bear in mind that you need to use an oil filter that has a similar lifespan. Opting for the cheapest oil filter will just result in it becoming clogged more easily and you won’t get the full benefits of the long life oil.
  • What could happen if I don’t change my oil filter?

    Not changing your oil filter could cause your engine to overheat and eventually seize up so changing your oil filter is a cheap and quick job that is essential to prevent more expensive problems from developing.

    To round up we recommend changing your oil filter every time you change your oil and recommend oil changes be carried out in line with your car manufacturers recommended intervals. Changing your oil filter is one of the most important jobs on your car and should never be neglected.

    When you book an interim service at Stoneacre you can relax in the knowledge that we will carry out an oil and oil filter change as standard. Contact us to find out more.

    Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.