How to Compare Auto Oil Filters

Compare Oil Filters


Research the types of oil filter elements. Oil filters with paper elements and cardboard end caps are considered to be low quality. Paper filters generally filter down to 40 microns. Advanced oil filter elements can be made from paper, fiberglass and cellulose or a combination of elements and are generally effective down to 15 microns or less. Advanced filters also boast more surface area on their filter elements so they have more capacity to catch and hold debris in the oil.


Make a list of the oil filters that are recommended by your car manufacturer. You can get this information from the car dealer. You should also obtain a list of all of the filters that are compatible with the recommended filters.


Consult an oil filter cross reference guide, such as one located on DocStoc. Mark down the oil filters that are similar to those recommended by your manufacturer. Oil filter cross reference guides are located on most oil filter manufacturers' websites. For example, a cross reference guide will tell you that a Fram CH3970 Extra Guard Passenger Car Cartridge Oil Filter is similar to a Syn-Lube Hard Driver Filter.


Compare oil filters online. Use the oil filter manufacturer's product website and (if listed) note the type of filter element, the end cap material, the micron filtration as well as the single-pass test efficiency and multi-pass test efficiency.


Create a spreadsheet. Insert the various oil filter properties across the top of the spreadsheet.
Type the filter name down the left-hand column. This format will make it easier to compare the information.


Evaluate your favorite oil filters against oil filter reviews conducted by the Milwaukee School of Engineering's Russ W. Knize for additional information.


Add a column of the prices for each oil filter to determine which oil filter offers the best value.

The purpose of an oil filter is to keep dirt and debris out of your vehicle's engine. Oil filters are made of various elements and and offer varying degrees of efficiency and cost. To compare oil filters, you must understand the type of filter elements being used (paper, cellulite or synthetic), the type of end cap being used (stamped steel or cardboard), the micron filter effectiveness and the ratings versus single and multi-pass tests. Combine the results into a spreadsheet and make your comparison.