How Often Change Oil Filter? By Miles or Months?

Naomi O'Colman

How Often Change Oil Filter

How Often Change Oil Filter

The car oil filter has the function of filtering the engine oil. The car’s oil filter will filter the contaminants, like sand and gravel, before they get to the engine. So the question is how often to change the oil filter so that the car performance is at its optimum.

In short, you should change the oil filter every 6000 miles or as per your car manufacturer’s recommendation. It is better to know when to change oil filter so that you don’t end up with a rough running engine.

How often change oil filter?

The answer to this question is clearly stated in the owner’s manual. In most automobiles, the oil filter is replaced every time the car is serviced. A good rule of thumb is to replace the oil filter every 6,000 miles or once a year. Periodic replacement will help ensure the vehicle operates smoothly, without causing unnecessary damage.

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After a period of use, the amount of dirt and oil residue generated will cause the oil filter to be scaled. If not replaced in time, it will lead to a clogged oil filter, reducing the ability of the oil to lubricate the engine.

[DIY] How to Change Oil Filter Yourself

Follow these steps to change the oil filter:

  1. Remove the engine cover.
  2. Pull the dipstick out of the filter housing. This will tell you how much oil the car originally used. If you are doing routine maintenance, you should use only what is left in the old oil—1/4 to 1/2 quart. If you see that there is more than that, put in another quart of oil and replace the filter. Wipe the crud off the filter housing with a lint-free rag.
  3. Unbolt and unplug the oil filter. Make sure you wear gloves because it can be messy (and messy is a bad thing in an engine bay).
  4. Take out the old filter. If you have never changed your own oil filter before, try to get the hang of it on an old one. It’s not so hard to do, but you must make sure that you hold it in place while unscrewing. Even an oily old filter is likely to come off.
  5. Cut off the ends of the new oil filter straps. Note that there is usually a slot in the oil filter for an Allen wrench, but this does not mean you can leave it behind. If you don’t have one and need to loosen the nut, slide a screwdriver under the nut.
  6. Put on the new filter and tighten it with the 5/16-inch wrench (or socket with ratchet). When you tighten the filter, make sure that the rubber gasket makes full contact with the engine housing and that you screw in evenly to avoid breaking the seal.
  7. When you have finished, wipe the excess oil off using a clean rag. Replace any bolts and wires and then slide on the engine cover.
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Other factors affect oil filter change frequency

  • Car oil filters are usually changed every time the vehicle is serviced. They are important because they help remove dirt and contaminants that would otherwise work their way into the engine and cause damage.
  • The main reason car owners change their oil filter is because they notice a drop in performance or increased noise. If you see these signs, it’s best to change the oil filter to ensure your car runs at its peak performance level.

The frequency of oil filter change may also be affected by the following:

Driving conditions

If you drive your car often during extreme weather, your car will tend to build more contaminants that affect the oil filter. This is particularly true if you regularly drive on rough or unpaved roads. It’s best to check with your owner’s manual for the appropriate frequency for oil changes and other routine maintenance tasks.

Engine type

Car engines are usually designed to use a certain type of oil. The engine manufacturer may specify what kind of oil you can use, and which additives or other additives that are usually not needed in the engine. The owner’s manual will tell you what types of oils you can use, but if you’re unsure, ask your dealer or mechanic.


Oil has a lifespan; its quality decreases over time from heat, stress, and wear. As the oil ages, its performance diminishes. It also becomes harder to clean out gunk and debris from the engine. If you are concerned about the longevity of your oil, ask your dealer or mechanic about modifying it so it lasts an extra 5 years.

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Maintenance schedule

A regular maintenance schedule is important for maintaining the health and longevity of your car’s engine. Some cars are better equipped than others with maintenance schedules that require you to change oil filters more frequently.

Vehicle’s mileage

The frequency of oil filter change also depends on how frequently you drive your car. If you drive long distance, this puts more stress on your car engine. A good rule is to always add a quart of oil for every 5,000 miles you travel. It is not a bad idea to check the oil filter while you are doing other tasks to save time. After all, if you’re due for an oil change, you can as well do a few checks at the same time.


#1 Do oil filters expire?

The answer is yes if things went wrong. In fact, if you don’t check for air bubbles in the filter every once in a while, then it will become completely clogged by old or dry oil.

#2 Can you wash an oil filter?

It is recommended that you do not wash the oil filter if it is dirty and any unnecessary contaminants may be removed or aerosolized by washing.

Once you have cleaned the oil filter, then it should be rinsed clean in water for about 10 minutes and let to dry completely before re-installation.

#3 How long does an oil filter last?

According to the manufacturer of the filter and the oil that it uses, there is a life span of about 120,000 miles. The more items that are used in your car engine, the less likely your oil filter is to last for more than 120,000 miles.

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Your car is exposed to different temperature and humidity conditions that make its oil filter go bad or not work properly. You can also expose your oil filter to excessive heat by leaving it exposed to direct sunlight for a long time period.

Final Words

It is important to change the oil filter in your car periodically, suggesting every 10,000km, because if this doesn’t happen, then all the contaminants will stay in your car engine and put it into a bad state.

We should say that changing oil filters is not a hard task, but if you don’t have any experience, it is recommended to ask for professional help. This way you will be sure that you are doing it right. Replacing the oil filter yourself may save some money and time. A handy person can do it in 20 minutes or less.