Different Types of Oil Filters

A Guide to the Different Types of Oil Filters

Did you know that many vehicles can last 10,000 miles before needing an oil change? When changing your vehicle’s oil, it’s important to know about the many types of oil filters. But what makes the many oil filter options different from each other?

If you’re looking for a new oil filter, we’re happy to help. Read on to learn about the different types of oil filters for your vehicle.


The most common oil filter is the primary oil filter. Most car engine manufacturers will use these filters, also called “full flow filters.”

These oil filters filter 100% of your engine’s motor oil. They’re exceptionally efficient in keeping the engine lubricated and have few flow restrictions.

In short, these oil filters are effective at doing everything at once. They also often have special systems that will redirect oil in case of a clog. That way, your engine is perpetually lubricated.


Another common option is the secondary oil filter. These oil filters work on a smaller amount of oil than a primary oil filter. Roughly estimated, a secondary oil filter will clean about 1-10% of the motor oil.

These work independently of the primary oil filters. As a result, you’ll need to replace motor oil less frequently. While few vehicles have them baseline, you can have them installed at a modest price.


Conventional oil filters are another tertiary oil filter. These are a form of secondary filters that work through cellulose membranes.

As a result, they filter out smaller contaminants. However, that requires them to be replaced more often.

Thermal Chamber

Thermal chamber oil filters are useful for removing impurities and raising temperatures. By raising the temperature, thermal chambers will eradicate contaminants to refine the oil.

In turn, the oil filters consume electricity. They’re great at extending the life of oil but can raise your gas bill from extra power consumption.


A spinner filter is also referred to as a “centrifugal oil filter”. These filters use a spinning motion to trap and contain oil contaminants.

Spinners have a housing chamber and a filtering membrane. When it’s clogged, you only need to replace the membrane. The housing chamber stays usable, making these cheaper to replace but needing more frequent replacements.

You can learn more about the variations of spinner filters with this oil filter FAQ. There’s plenty of information about these rarer filters that make them an intriguing option!

Different Types of Oil Filters

Understanding the different types of oil filters can help you make a better informed decision when working on vehicle maintenance. Having the best filter for your car can make it so that your vehicle care is more effective and less frequent.

Do your best to install a new oil filter frequently so your oil isn’t clogged with contaminants. Finding the right oil filter may take some time, but don’t be afraid to talk with professionals!

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