The Importance of Oil Changes | El Cajon, CA | West Automotive Group
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The Money-Saving Trap: How Your Oil Filter Does Its Job

How Do Oil Filters Work?

When something is described as a "trap," that's often not a good sign. In the case of your vehicle's oil filter, however, that description is not only fitting, it's exactly what you need. In fact, an oil filter's function is so important that it actually saves you lots of money over time. Better yet, this part is usually relatively inexpensive. If you'd like to know more about how your oil filter functions or if you need to have yours changed, rely on the ASE and ATRA certified technicians at West Automotive Group in El Cajon, California.

A Great Trap

An auto's oil filter removes dirt and debris from the lubricant so that those particles cannot continue circulating, damaging the engine. The oil picks up the harmful pieces, but it needs the filter to remove them. Not only does this little trap hold onto the unwanted matter, it also actually helps keep your oil in the right place so that you get the maximum effect at just the right time.

How It Does Its Job

Compared to the cost of a new vehicle or other components for service and repair, an oil filter is a minor expense. Usually, you can pick up an oil filter for most makes and models at your local auto parts store for about $10 (sometimes a little more or less) if you plan on performing your own oil change. If that's not your strength or favorite activity, you can often find a package deal--oil change with oil and filter provided--at a reasonable price.

Since the oil filter is small and compact, you might not recognize exactly how crucial it is. As your engine operates, oil travels through the smaller size holes of the component's tapping plate into the pleated synthetic filtering material. This is where the particles are actually trapped and held. On each side of the filter, end discs keep the unfiltered lubricant from flowing into the engine. Cleaned oil makes its way to the engine through the big center hole in the tapping plate, and a small amount of oil reaches the engine by way of the relief valve. This provides just enough oil for the car to get lubricant until it warms up in cold temperatures that have allowed the oil to thicken. The anti-drain back valve prevents oil from regressing back into the filter when the vehicle isn't in operation.

Replacing the Oil Filter

It's important to change both the lubricant and oil filter regularly. Without the filter, your engine would constantly be recontaminated since it filters oil about four times per mile. Let West Automotive Group help you with oil filter changes and all preventive maintenance services.

Written by West Automotive Group