Can You Skip Oil Filter Changes with Extended Life Filters?

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CaptainDan

CaptainDan

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  • #1
I've been looking at extended life oil filters and I see that some promise to function for 20,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. I'm wondering if this is true. Can these oil filters really last this long? Don't they fall apart? What if they get clogged? What happens then?
 
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Newman

Newman

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  • #2
I've heard all sides of this argument. Some say that you need to change the oil filter every single time you change your oil. My question is, what if you decide to change your oil at 3,000 miles once and then at 10,000 miles the next time? What then? No one seems to come back with any answer for that one. The funniest I've seen is this: "Well, if you use regular motor oil, then you have to change that oil more frequently and you need to change the filter too. If you use fully synthetic motor oil, then you can run the car for many more miles before changing the oil. Change your filter when you change the oil." Well, that's sort of like what I just wrote above! It's there some sort of guide to dictate these things? No one seems to know what they're talking about.

I've read some people say that you should even change your oil filter between oil changes. That's pretty crazy. In my view, being able to extend the duration of oil filter changes hinges on two factors - the size of the filter and the quality of the components contained therein. If you've got an enormous oil filter, then you certainly won't clog it, meaning you can run it longer. So any extended life oil filter you buy should be quite a bit larger than a more standard filter. Also, the components contained within the filter can't degrade to the point of breaking or wearing away. If you've got top of the line components, then you should be able to skip a filter change, especially if it's within a year's time. If you think about it, you may have only driven your car 10 miles in a given year, but your oil may have eaten away at the plastic and rubber components inside of the filter if the car sits too long. In this case, yes, you need to change the filter. If you're doing oil changes every month though, you may be able to skip some filter changes.

Another point to consider is that when you change the oil and not the filter, the filter is storing some oil that you're not able to remove. That's dirty oil and you really aren't doing a thorough job. Overall, I think you should go out and buy regular oil filters and just change it out every time you change the oil. Don't overthink it. Grab a cheap oil filter and go with it. It's the paper inside that really matters anyway and that doesn't last very long.
 
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