Increasing oil-drain intervals have become a driving force in the sale of premium oil filters.
As automakers work to reduce cost of ownership by extending oil changes far beyond the 5,000 km range that was once common, they’re putting greater strains on the oil, filters, and even the engine itself.
Discerning vehicle owners will understand that while the owner’s handbook may suggest the oil can circulate for 10,000 km or more, a cheap oil filter will no longer be up to the job. Suggesting a premium oil filter, designed for today’s longer oil-change intervals, is not only defensible, it’s probably the most cost-effective way of protecting an expensive engine.
Aftermarket suppliers now provide a wide range of quality filters that are more durable and provide better filtration capacities to meet today’s extended drain intervals.
A standard oil filter is fine if it’s going to be changed after a relatively short time, but more cars come factory filled with synthetic or semi-synthetic oil, which last much longer. This requires the materials and performance built into premium filters to go those distances.
Without an equally robust filter, vehicles won’t see the full advantages of a higher quality oil. It is, to put it bluntly, a mistake to use a standard filter with synthetic oil.
Each filter has a finite capacity to collect debris before it goes into bypass mode, and the standar oil filters are only effective for somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 kilometres. If they’re left in the engine after that, they just go into bypass mode.
In other words, they’re not filtering out the debris.
Today’s complex engines require a filter that can capture particles in the 10- to 20-micron size. Removing them from circulation is really the key to making those engines last a long time.
The filtration capacity of inexpensive filters is usually in the low 80% range. In comparison, for a few more dollars, a quality brand-name filter is in the 96 to 99% filtration range, and manufacturers offer a selection of filters that range in capacity from 10,000 to 20,000 kilometres and can hold up to two or three times the amount of dirt before going into bypass.
There have been striking advances in engine oil life calculators. The earliest versions were simply mileage based. The newer indicators monitor engine conditions, including temperature, fuel consumption, engine speed, load, and trip length. Modern oil-change calculations are based on how a customer drives, not set mileage recommendations. As a result, when a vehicle comes in with the oil-change light illuminated, the vehicle demonstrably requires new oil… and with it a new premium filter to ensure continued engine protection.
Raising awareness of the demands on the modern engine will make premium filter sales easier.
Their true value is in their ability to give customers added confidence in their vehicles.
A premium filter is the best choice for consumers looking to get the most out of their investment.