Like choosing which synthetic motor oil brand works for your vehicle best, finding the best oil filter for your car is not an easy task.
If you go to an auto-parts dealer and tell them your car’s make and model, they will give you a filter that fits. And that’s great.
The problem is that it doesn't necessarily provide an answer to our question: Is it the BEST oil filter for your car?
Most likely, the answer is no.
It could just be what the carmaker chose for your engine’s compatibility but not necessarily what can optimize its performance.
Another option you might be thinking of is to check online for products with five-star reviews from everyday drivers.
You can even pick ones made by a premium manufacturer and come at a premium price, but how can you make sure it’s the best for YOUR needs?
After all, the type of oil filter you choose should be compatible with your driving environment.
To help you make the right choice, we’ll take a look at several premium oil filter brands that not only meet but exceed industry standards.
We’ll also talk briefly about when to change your car’s oil filters and the factors to consider when choosing the right formula.
Oil Filter Comparison Chart
|TOP PICK!||1. Mobil 1 M1 Extended Performance
||Filtration Efficiency: 99% @25 microns||Capacity: n/a||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Runner Up||2. Royal Purple Extended Life
||Filtration Efficiency: 99.9% @20 microns||Capacity: 12g||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Budget Choice||3. Bosch Premium FILTECH
||Filtration Efficiency: 99.6%||Capacity: 28g||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|4. K&N Pro Series
||Filtration Efficiency: n/a||Capacity: 14g||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|5. Motorcraft FL Oil Filters
||Filtration Efficiency: 93%||Capacity: 14g||VIEW ON AMAZON|
Oil Filter Reviews
1. Mobil 1 M1 Extended Performance
If you’ve read our selection of the best synthetic motor oils, you will have seen that we don’t list any Mobil 1. There are better options out there. However, when it comes to oil filters, Mobil 1 stands out from the crowd, and there is no doubt about it being the best oil filter you can get your hands on.
Let's have a look at its features:
Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter is well-built, both in and out.
The shell withstands nine times more than the normal system operating pressure, up to 615 pascals per square inch, which is crazy.
It incorporates a premium silicone anti-drain back valve to prevent dry starts by eliminating internal leakage.
The inner filter holds double the contaminants compared with the competition, with a total of 28.0 grams.
The Mobil 1 Extended Performance filter is highly efficient, rating 99.6 Multi-Pass Efficiency, thanks to its advanced synthetic fiber blend media.
This is a filter that will perform at the highest standards in the industry, ensuring proper lubrication of the engine.
Wanna see what’s inside? Check this video out:
- #1 Best Seller
- 99.6% Filtering Efficiency
- Up to 28g of Capacity
- Quality of materials
- None Whatsoever
2. Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filters
Royal Purple concentrates its efforts on producing high-performance oil filters and motor oil. Their Extended Life series is absolutely superb, with the only downside being more expensive than that of Mobil 1. Some believe this is justified, though. Let's jump into the review.
The Royal Purple Oil Filter incorporates micro-glass media that is 100% synthetic and removes particles with up to 99% filtration efficiency.
We see that number is minutely close to the numbers of Mobil 1 Extended Performance filters. It also incorporates a silicone anti-drain back valve to prevent dry starts.
The rubber base gasket is sturdily made and ensures leak-free sealing. The housing (outer shell) is ultra-strong, made to endure the highest inner pressures.
This is a filter especially recommended for turbocharged engines.
- 99% Filter Efficiency
- Quality of Materials
- Recommended for Turbocharged engines
- Silicone anti-drain valve
- More expensive than Mobil 1 or Bosch
3. Bosch Premium FILTECH Oil Filter
Bosch is the world’s largest supplier of automotive components. One will hardly ever go wrong with Bosch (unless you are like me, who can’t seem to work well with their spark plugs). The FILTECH is their premium line of oil filters, and it is high-performance oriented.
This German-made filter comes with exclusive FILTECH media technology that filters out more harmful contaminants for greater engine protection.
Similar to other oil filters in this list, it has an anti-drain back silicone valve to prevent dry starts.
By now, it would be safe to assume that this is a standard in high-performance oil filters.
- German Engineering, American Made
- 99% Particle Filtration
- 42% More Media Surface
- Outstanding Price-Quality ratio
- Over 10 different models, covering almost every car made
- High-density synthetic blend media
- Only 14 Grams of Capacity, 50% less than Mobil1.
4. K&N Pro Series
K&N Pro Series Oil Filters have been specially designed to improve engine performance by reducing oil filter restriction. The Pro Series oil filters provide outstanding filtration and engine protection throughout their service life. Let’s see some features.
Some of its outstanding features include a high-flow filter designed to improve performance.
This sacrifices the incredible filtration numbers we’ve seen in the top 3 filters to get better oil flow.
For turbocharged, big engines, this may be the smartest choice because it is also a cheaper oil filter.Its average capacity is 14 grams, which is above average and similar to what Mobil 1 or Royal Purple offers.
- Higher oil flow than the competition.
- Cheap oil filter
- Made in China
- 50% less capacity compared with the best
5. Motorcraft FL Oil Filters
Motorcraft Silicone Valve Oil Filters are designed and tested to meet OE specifications for durability and reliability under extreme conditions.They are built for high-performance vehicles and are made from high-quality materials. They offer high resistance to ensure lasting durability. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the be
Motorcraft is the OEM for Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. It comes with a pressure relief valve that prevents cuts in the oil flow when the filter gets clogged.
This feature also ensures good oil flow when the car is placed under extremely cold conditions, where the oil viscosity is too high.
The capacity is around 12 grams. While still a good figure, it’s not as impressive as we have seen from its competitors.
The outer shell is extremely hard and is meant for long-life performance.
- 93% Filter Efficiency
- Original EOM for Ford Lincoln and Mercury
- Among the cheapest oil filters
- Low Filtering Efficiency for the smallest particles (55%)
- Less than 50% Capacity vs #1
Oil Filter Buyer's Guide
Before you decide which of these five filters you think is best for your car, it would be wise to check the condition of your current oil filter.
In the following guide, we are going to cover the essential factors to consider when we pick an oil filter for our car.
It also includes some basic recommendations for proper maintenance and extra information on how filters are done.
Specifically, you’ll find out how they work, as well as why some filters are fantastic and others could just be a waste of money.
We hope that this guide will answer all your questions and doubts regarding oil filters.
1. What is an oil filter?
A filter is in general terms a device meant to accumulate foreign bodies such as dirt, water or metal particles and prevent them from flowing freely throughout a circuit, potentially causing severe damage to other components such compressors, pipelines or injectors to name a few.
A filter, in general terms, is a device meant to accumulate foreign bodies such as dirt, water, or metal particles and prevent them from flowing freely throughout a circuit.
In turn, it helps prevent potential severe damage to other components in the engine, such as compressors, pipelines, or injectors.
In a car, the oil filter plays an essential role.
Motor or engine oil lubricates the engine, which ensures all moving parts are working nicely and smoothly.
It also cools them down and keeps them lubricated to minimize friction, which ultimately produces metal wear, loss of performance, and mechanical failure.
The main job of an oil filter is to keep the oil clean from harmful agents, such as atmospheric dirt, combustion by-products (soot, acid, and water), and metal particles.
That said, as much as you need to shell out money for your car’s maintenance and regular oil change (and filter replacement), you need a cost-effective filter that suits your budget and your needs.
2. How are oil filters made and how do they work?
This video covers this topic in a great way. It’s only a couple of minutes long so check it out!
For those who are less interested in the specifics of oil filters and are eager to get their hands on top-quality oil filters, let’s move forward.
For those who are less interested in the specifics of oil filters and more in the actual how-to-buy-the-best-filter, let’s move forward.
3. What are the two main types of oil filters?
The two main types of oil filters are primary and secondary, which you can then further divide into subtypes.
Primary oil filters
Primary oil filters are those that come with a full flow filtration system.
As the name suggests, this type of filter has the ability to completely sift through your car’s motor oil and free it from its contaminants.
This usually results in better filtration and better engine performance. However, keep in mind that changes in temperature affect its efficiency.
For instance, extremely cold temperatures can make motor oil thicker, making filtration slower and more challenging.
Often, this results in a decrease in performance and even engine damage.
There are two common types of primary oil filters: cartridge oil filters and spin-on oil filters.
Cartridge oil filter
Also referred to as the eco oil filter, a cartridge oil filter is a recyclable type of oil filter.
It has no metal components and can be inspected even without draining your engine oil.
Spin-on oil filter
On the other hand, a spin-on filter is a non-recyclable oil filter that comes in the form of a steel canister equipped with a type of paper filter.
As such, it cannot be considered eco-friendly. However, it is still commonly preferred by vehicle owners due to its convenience.
Secondary oil filters
Secondary oil filters function as a support to your vehicle’s primary filter, catching any impurities that the primary oil filter might have missed.
As such, you can consider it as a second layer of protection.
Please note that while it is a common part of a full flow filtration system, secondary oil filters act independently of the primary filter. In other words, your vehicle will be able to function without it.
It is also because of this factor that not all vehicles come with a secondary oil filter. If this is the case with your car, you can always get one installed if you want.
Secondary oil filters are also referred to as bypass filters. There are, again, two common types: spinner oil filter and the magnetic oil filter.
Spinner oil filters
Spinner oil filters are those that make use of centrifugal force to get rid of contaminants in your vehicle’s motor oil.
Magnetic oil filters
On the other hand, a magnetic oil filter is a type of filtration system used to rid your motor oil of metallic contaminants.
These impurities can easily accumulate. Hence, you will need to get it professionally cleaned on a regular basis to ensure optimal engine performance.
4. How to pick the right oil filter for your car?
Learning about the top oil filters from the best brands is not enough to figure out which compatible oil filters work best for your car.
You’ve read each filter review, so you probably have seen that we link to the manufacturer search tool to see what fits your car.
This is essential.
There are few things more frustrating than having your car up in the jack all bled out, oil filter in hand, ready to screw it in...just to discover that the new filter simply doesn’t fit.
It is a situation that many have faced dozens of times, and we want to save you the headache.
Here is a quick tutorial for buying your compatible oil filters:
Step 1: Go to Autozone.
Input the Make, Model, Year, and Engine of your car and click “Add Vehicle.” Autozone’s search engine will then display something like this:
Then, Click at “Oil Filter” and you will see something like this next image:
Those are the filters that fit your car.
The encircled “Part Number” is the information we are going to use for the next step.
Step 2: Select the BEST brand.
Go back to the top and check our reviews of the best brands of oil filters.
Pick your favorite brand from the ones that fit. We have sorted them out by rank, #1 being the best. In our example, for the Honda Civic, we would select Bosch filters.
Step 3: Buy the best oil filter.
Click your brand of choice and it will bring you to its Amazon’s catalog.
With the Part Number from Step 1 (in our example, part nº 3323), select the right filter.
Then simply proceed to buy it from Amazon as you would do with any other item.
For a double check, you can always add your car's data at Amazon's “My Garage” and Amazon will tell you if it fits.
Autozone IS MORE ACCURATE.
Sometimes amazon will say “it does not fit” and it does indeed.
Double-checking is a must before you purchase anything. For oil filters, you simply input your car’s data (year, make, model, engine, version), and My Garage will scan the compatibility for you.
5. How often should you change your oil filter?
Every time you change your car’s oil, you should change the filter. Thus, knowing the oil types that your cars work on is essential.
Most oil filters can withstand longer miles than conventional motor oils. However, new oil would get contaminated by the harmful particles retained inside an old filter if you don’t change it.
If your car is running on conventional oil, 3,000 miles is the recommended mark.
That said, if you run with blend synthetic or full synthetic oil, this might not necessarily be the case.
To know when is the right time to change synthetic oil, check this out.
What Fram oil filter do I need?
None. Fram oil filters are some of the cheapest, lowest quality available choice of oil filters in the market.
They may perhaps do the job for conventional oils with low mileage between oil changes, but they are definitely not good for synthetic oils.
Their capacity is low, and the filter is a little less more than a piece of paper. Even if they rank lower than most in the cost of oil filters, we do not recommend them.
What is the best oil filter for synthetic oil?
You really want to go with a high-quality oil filter if you are using an expensive synthetic oil. Our recommendations for oil filter brands are RP, Mobil 1, and Bosch.
What oil filter do I need?You may read our guide to find the right oil filter for your car here.
A good oil filter must have impressive cleaning efficiency, filtration, dependability, and overall premium quality.
These factors ensure you get to keep your car in its best working condition. The price of the oil filter also comes into play since you’ll need to change it every couple of months.
Other factors to check include the quality of the filter media, the total capacity of the filter, the by-pass pressure, structural integrity, and particle capture efficiency. You will understand all of these if you take the time to get to know your car.
That said, Gear4wheels recommends Royal Purple, Mobil 1, and Bosch as the most cost-effective options on this list.
In fact, the majority of drivers in the automotive industry swear by the quality of these oil brands.