Do You Change the Engine Oil Filter at Every Service?

Every four-stroke engine is equipped with an engine oil filter. Question is, do you change it during every oil service?

We brought this up as there are owners who say they only do so during every alternate service or it depends on the type of use oil they use i.e. mineral, semi-synthetic, fully-synthetic.

Let us take a look at what the oil filter does before we proceed further.

The functions of the engine oil filter:

As its name suggests, the filter traps impurities and foreign agents in the engine oil. It does so that these foreign objects are not circulated around the engine together with the oil.

Oil is pumped through the filter and the filtered oil exits it to continue circulating around the engine.

The sources of impurities and foreign objects include:
  1. Metal shavings due to surface interactions of moving parts. Some of these shavings may be very fine or even microscopic for the eyes to detect.
  2. Carbon, soot, acidic compounds resulting from combustion of fuel. This is one reason why the oil turns dark.
  3. Fine dust that made its way through the air filter.
What happens if the filter is not replaced?
  • An old filter will get clogged from too much dirt, impurities, and foreign objects.
  • Consequently, oil flow gets blocked from flowing through the filter.
  • Loss of engine power since there is not enough lubrication.
  • Some of the impurities end up being sent around the engine, resulting in accelerated wear.

When to replace the filter?

It is best to adhere to the recommended intervals set by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Besides, the old oil left in the old filter will corrupt the new oil, resulting in less protection for your engine and the new oil breaking down quicker.

Conversely, the oil and filter must be changed regardless of mileage if you take your bike out for an extreme excursion, such as a race, trackday, or off-road riding.

Do not overlook the importance of the oil filter. And do use a genuine filter. It does not cost as much as an engine rebuild.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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