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Are All Oil Filter Parts The Same?

Plain and simple, oil is the life blood of your engine, when it comes to truck spare parts all oil filters are not the same. As oil circulates around your engine it picks up dirt and contaminants and that can damage your engine, which if left can ultimately kill your engine.

In the early days of the internal combustion engine, they didn’t use oil filters which meant engines required frequent oil changes. Eventually the first full-flow oil filtration system was developed. This allowed oil to flow through the filter before it reached the critical working components inside the engine.

Oil enters the oil filter through a series of small holes on the outer edge of the base flange, where it is directed through the filter, exiting through the large centre hole. Today most oil filters are equipped with an anti-drain back valve, this valve holds oil inside the filter to prevent dry engine starts (where the engine is started with no oil).

Early oil filters were based on a replaceable element that fitted inside a metal housing, when you changed the filter, you changed the housing and discarded the element, cleaned the housing and added a new filter. By the mid-20th century, spin-on filters became popular – this was where the filter element and cartridge were self-contained. You removed the works, discarded it and screwed on a new filter during the oil change process.

Today there has been a move back towards earlier designs where oil is filtered through an element contained inside separate housing. Of course, todays vehicles require far less oil changes than those of the past.

Today there are a range of oil filters available but remember – not all oil filters are created equally – you get what you pay for.

Is there a difference between the different filters – standard, high performance, race filters and synthetic filters – yes, there is.


You need to consider your engine, for example when it comes to a race car – they seldom experience a *cold start*, oil is changed frequently, and the oil used is thicker. Racing filters are designed to work with these thicker oils, and some race filters are not fitted with drain back valves.

Filter media is different again, with some filters engineered with synthetic filter media, rather than pleated paper-based media. The synthetic media is believed to be able to capture small contaminants over a longer period of time, and some synthetic filters have special blends of rubber used for gaskets and drain back valves. The reason for this, as with filter media, they have been designed to last longer, with some filters having larger and longer bodies than conventional filters giving them more capacity.

There are many variables found inside oil filters – so what is the right truck spare part for you? It depends, you need to read and study the different specifications of each filter to determine the oil filter that’s right for your needs, and, for your truck. If your truck is newer you should also consider your warranty, use that as a guide and choose an oil filter recommended by your truck manufacturer. Not all filters are seen as compatible by your vehicle manufacturer and this is important when it comes to your warranty.

You may also want to consider the pros and cons of using high grade synthetic oil and a top of the range oil filter in an old truck, likewise it doesn’t make sense to use cheap oil and a cheap filter in a top of the range truck. In the end, choosing a filter is just like choosing oil – pick the one that’s best for your truck, and your budget.

Filter facts

  • Filters are not created equal – the intended application for a given oil filter has a big impact on the design and engineering component.
  • In an engine, oil enters the filter at the filter pad, from here it circulates through the series of smaller holes in the outer area of the filter. Oil is then forced through the filter element – from the outside in and then towards the centre of the filter.
  • When a filter does its job, internal engine components such as the valvetrain, camshaft and connecting rods are protected from any contaminants that can cause damage to your engine. These components are expensive, so it is important to pick the right oil and the right oil filter to promote your engines life.

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