Are All Oil Filters the Same Size? – Get the Right Filter For your Car

To optimize your vehicle’s performance, you must consider the oil filter. The function of the oil filter is to remove all traces of contaminants and dirt from the oil your engine depends on.

There are so many moving parts in a car’s engine. Over time, its oil becomes exposed to some performance declining contaminants. These include both organic and inorganic compounds.

Therefore if these substances become too much in the engine oil, the engine’s performance will reduce. Thus we need to ensure that you have the right oil filter for your machine. Not only that, it must be of high quality.

Furthermore, if the oil filter is mismatched compared to the engine requirements, it will cause leaks that may eventually cause severe engine damage.

Are Oil Filter Sizes Universal?

Oil filter sizes are not universal. They vary considerably according to your engine’s dimensions and the model of your car.

The mileage and oil consumption are also important factors that help determine the difference in oil filters. Furthermore, the type of filter material in the product is also a distinguishing feature.

The diameter and length of the filter also differ. Therefore you cannot use one particular filter for every car engine.Are All Oil Filters The Same Size

There are often specific instructions for selecting the oil filters for each vehicle, and the manufacturers provide the details to the owner regarding these specifications.

The manufacturers do not make these filters to be used for oil brands so that you can use any oil for your engine.

You can easily find these filters in nearby stores. However, you must know the oil filter dimensions for your car before making your purchase.

Afterward, you must assess the quality of the oil filter, another factor that varies significantly among the filters.

Furthermore, if you cannot find a suitable filter, you should contact your vehicle manufacturer via their official website, and they will assist you in the best possible way.

How Do I Know What Size of Oil Filter I Need?

Car brands use different oil filters for their engines. However, you may find two or more cars with engines that use similar oil filter sizes.

For example, the filters in the sedans are not similar to the ones you will find in SUVs or hybrid vehicles. Therefore it is best to select the oil filter according to the vehicle’s specifications.Size Of Oil Filter

The vehicles with powerful engines need more engine oil to work efficiently, which are sensitive engines; therefore, contaminants in the oil could cause engine problems.

The system in these high-powered cars consistently needs to filter oil before sending it to the engine.

However, vehicles with regular engines with much lower capacities use oil at a standard rate; therefore, the strain on the oil filter in such vehicles is not too much.

To find the appropriate size of an oil filter for your car, you will have to assess your engine and the interior structure.

Experts recommend using the filter micron rating to determine which oil filter is most suitable for your vehicle’s oil usage and mileage. The measurement plays a significant role in selecting the best oil filter according to the engine.

The rating also provides a range that allows you to analyze your oil filter’s ability to separate dirt and other contaminants from the oil circulating in the engine.

These are the features to look for when searching for a suitable oil filter that matches your car’s engine:

Filter Micron Size

The micron size makes it possible for the oil filter to repel contaminants. Doing so stops dirt from entering the motor oil and disturbing the engine.

The makers grade the sizes based on the size of particles that may or may not pass through the filter. In this filter, one micron represents a millimeter. If a filter is around three microns, it will prevent all the particles of size three microns or more from passing through it.

The particles of this size are not even visible to the naked eye. However, most microbes and contaminants fall within this size range.

Filter Thread and Gasket

You must also examine the gasket size and filter thread. It is also another primary difference among the filters in various automobiles.

The gasket helps to keep the filter stable. Within the filter can, a web material is responsible for filtration. The oil pump transfers the oil through the perforated holes into the filter.

You must ensure the filter thread is adequate to hold the filter to the engine, even when passing rough patches on the road.

The Filter Medium

The type of synthetic material in the filter is also necessary to ensure optimal functioning. This feature can help you find a suitable filter for your vehicle by assessing the requirements of the car.

If you end up using the wrong filter for your automobile, you may experience avoidable car trouble. The oil may start leaking, or the filter may not be stable.


If you intend to replace the oil filter, you will have to assess its dimensions to know the range that can help you find a new filter.

Measure the screw hole, filter thread, and gasket. Also, calculate the length and diameter of the entire filter. To measure the thread, use the rating that the society of automotive engineers recommends.

If the filter height is lower and there is room in the filter holder, you should get a perfectly-fit filter. Finding the perfect oil filter to enhance oil flow is essential, and the filter will last longer.

Common Differences in Filters

Factors such as filter pressure and the surface area also distinguish oil filters. The pressure builds up when the oil flow in the engine increases.

That usually happens when the filter becomes clogged with contaminants. The oil cannot pass through the filter in such cases, and the consequences are often severe.Common Differences In Oil Filters

Each filter has a pressure range that allows it to withstand the oil flow in the engine. Therefore you must assess the pressure-bearing capacity of each oil.

Oils filters with a higher ability to hold the oil tend to work better and last longer.

The surface area also plays an incredible role in the oil filter’s performance, and it determines the ability of a filter to hold the contaminants.

A greater surface area means the oil filter can work more efficiently to clean the oil. Furthermore, one must also consider the quality of the oil filter.

The substances used in manufacturing the product can either enhance the quality of the filter or make it more susceptible to oil pressure.

Types of Oil Filters

Various oil filters are available in the market. However, car owners should choose carefully because a random brand may not give good results.

Before selecting a product, it is best to ascertain the engine requirements and filter features. The following are some of the commonly used oil filters.

Primary Oil Filter

It is also known as a full-flow oil filter. It is among the popular oil filter models found in vehicles.

The filter is best used to enhance engine oil rather than motor oil. It completely purifies the oil from all traces of debris and contaminants.

Furthermore, this filter also helps ensure the best quality of oil reaches all engine parts that need proper lubrication. It also helps prevent the engine oil from freezing if you need to drive during winter.

The filter ensures that oil flows throughout the engine parts without restriction. These filters remove all the impurities before transferring the oil to the engine.

Therefore they leave no opportunity for the dirty oil to affect the engine’s performance. If you live in any region with low temperatures, you should opt for these filters.

They can effectively keep the oil liquid to enhance its flow across various engine parts.

Secondary Oil filter

These filters assist the primary filters in cleaning the oil instantly. The secondary oil filter does not provide maximum output. You cannot rely on it to completely purify the oil, and it only works on less than 10% of the oil.

Therefore it cannot bear the responsibility of cleaning both motor and engine oil. If the full flow filter accidentally allows the oil with impurities to pass through, the secondary filter activates its guard. It processes the remaining contaminated oil and eliminates all the particles.

Magnetic Oil Filter

These filters are more user-friendly as they are pretty low maintenance. You do not have to clean them or replace them consistently.

Wiping them once or twice a week is sufficient to maintain their effective functions. These filters efficiently remove all traces of metals and related compounds in the engine oil.

It can create a minor magnetic field that instantly attracts these components.

However, these filters are unsuitable if you aim to filter out the dust particles. Furthermore, they also act as a secondary filter. If you pair them with a full-flow filter, you will get excellent oil quality for your engine.

Cartridge Oil Filter

These are recyclable filters. These do not contain any metal components. Therefore, the owners can remove and clean them afterward, they can again insert these oil filters into the engine block, and the filter will resume its function.

Their function is somewhat similar to the full-flow oil filters. However, the installation process is challenging and may require an expert’s assistance. While placing them on the engine block, you must mount these filters upright.

It enables you to examine them to know if you should clean the filter. In the case of turbo engines, you will notice deposits of contaminants accumulated in the filter. Therefore cartridge filters are more appropriate for such vehicles.

Find out: Napa Gold Oil Filter Reviews

Can You Use a Different Oil Filter?

It is necessary to change your oil filters constantly. Some filters are non-recyclable and, over time, accumulate a massive amount of contaminants. Therefore you should often replace them. Cleaning filters consistently can help you enhance their life.

However, you cannot install a filter and rely on it permanently. The reusable filters also require replacement after a particular period of use. These measures ensure that your engine receives the cleanest oil to optimize performance.Can You Use A Different Oil Filter

The durability of a filter depends upon its media. The filter media is primarily responsible for holding the contaminants. If it is made of quality material, it may last for a few months.

However, if you live in a region with lots of dirt and dust, you might have to replace your filter earlier than the designated time.

Over time if your filter stops working, the bypass valve gives in to the oil pressure from the engine and lets contaminants pass through. As a result, the engine receives the oil but has many pollutants.

In some cases, the filters become so loaded that they can only remove larger-sized particles measuring about 20 microns. However, a recent study suggests that contaminants less than 10 microns are more harmful to car engines.

Get To Know The Difference: Synthetic Blend Oil vs. Regular Oil

When Is the Best Time To Change the Oil Filter?

You can use the frequency of your oil change to know when it is best to change the filter. For example, if you change the oil every 3000 miles, you should replace the filter after the 6000 miles.

Also, you can use the mileage cycle to determine when you need to change the oil filter. Using the mileage cycle is easier if your car model is of the year 2000 or higher.

For such vehicles, the experts recommend an oil change every 7,000 miles. Therefore, you can install a new filter whenever you observe that the meter reads between 12,000 to 14,000 miles.

Sometimes, you can rely on the vehicle’s indicators to know when you should take it for an oil filter replacement. Therefore if you notice a service engine indicator, instantly examine your oil filter.

Also, note that the check engine light usually indicates that dirt or contaminants have clogged your oil filter.

See Also: Royal Purple Oil Filters Review

Benefits of Replacing Oil Filters

The following are fundamental reasons you should have a new oil filter installed after a period.

It Prevents Wear and Tear

Changing the oil filter at the right time will prevent it from malfunctioning. If you do not change a clogged filter, the pressure from the bypass valve can adversely impact the oil filter, causing it to malfunction.

As a result, your engine may not function efficiently. Consequently, the contaminated oil leaks may damage the main bearing or the surrounding rods.

Increased Lubrication

Your engine functions better when the oil filter is working perfectly. This is because the engine parts are properly lubricated.

When the contaminants invade the oil filter, they block the inflow of oil. Therefore the bypass valve activates to transmit the oil. However, it does not enter all the regions of the engine. As a result, certain parts become rusted and malfunction due to friction.

Avoid Expensive Engine Repairs

A good oil filter keeps your engine working perfectly, so you avoid expensive repairs. If your oil filter does not function as it should, the engine will receive dirty oil.

The contaminants contain certain metals that can get into specific regions and act as a precursor for rusting, leading to expensive repairs.

Why Are Some Oil Filters Longer Than Others?

With time the size of oil filters has reduced considerably. The oil filters in earlier vehicles were thrice as large as those available in the market these days.

The size keeps getting smaller to accommodate the area in the filter compartment. Most cars have a more miniature filter holder due to the modern design of the engine.

Therefore larger filters are not practical for such automobiles. However, these smaller filters are capable of performing similar functions quite efficiently.

Furthermore, the larger filter has a higher surface area. As a result, it can remove more contaminants than a smaller one within the same period.

However, both sizes of oil filters, large or small, can keep the oil pressure low in the engine, reducing the chances of damage.

Drawbacks of Using the Long Oil Filter

The larger-sized oil filter may impede the functioning of the bypass filter, and you may experience some inconveniences during the cold seasons.

The biggest con of installing an extended filter is that they are more susceptible to damage. The rocks on rough roads can instantly damage them on impact. As a result, you will have to replace the filter more often than expected.

On the other hand, you can use the longer oil filter for a longer time before replacement.


There are several oil filters available in the market. However, the ones suitable for your vehicle depend upon the dimensions of the filter holder in your car.

Once you replace the filter, you should note the next vehicle is servicing appointment date to change it again. If you fail to do so, it will accumulate a load of debris and dirt that will inhibit the optimal function of the car’s engine.

You can thoroughly clean the reusable filter. But if your car has a metallic filter, you will have to replace it as they are not recyclable.

Thus to avoid all the stress, you should establish a relationship with a renowned mechanic who knows the parts of your car and can do replacements quickly when you bring the car in for general servicing.

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