10 Best Oil Filters for Car of 2020 – Top Rated Oil Filter Reviews

Engine oil is a key part of your car’s engine. It prevents overheating, reduces friction, and slows wear and tear, which extends the lifespan of your engine. It also neutralizes acid by-products, seals your pistons, and lubricates engine parts to stop gunk from building up and causing clogs.

Because lots of foreign materials float around in the oil, you need the best oil filter you can afford. It keeps your engine oil cleaner for longer, allowing your engine to run efficiently. So how can you be sure what brand of oil filter to buy? Let’s find out together.

OUR TOP PICK
Motorcraft FL-820-S Oil Filter
Motorcraft FL-820-S Oil Filter

  • It has a silicone anti-drain valve to prevent the back-spillage of dirty oil.
  • The valve also minimizes clogging and maintains flow pressure in cold weather.
  • The steel case is rust-proof and easy to maneuver.

 

The Best Oil Filter for Your Car In 2020

1. Motorcraft FL-820-S Oil Filter Our Top Pick 

Motorcraft FL-820-S Oil Filter

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The Motorcraft oil filter is effective against a wide variety of contaminants. These include sand, metals, dust, and carbon. It helps you keep abrasive materials away from your engine parts. The filter housing has a silicone valve that serves two purposes. One, it acts as a back-stop which prevents dirty oil from flowing back into the chamber and mixing with clean oil.

Two, it works as a pressurizer, maintaining the flow of oil within your engine. This is especially helpful when the weather is cold and temperatures are low. These conditions thicken your engine oil, making it ooze and drag. The valve forces this thickened oil through the filtration membranes and ensuring effective oil cleaning under less-than-ideal conditions.

This filter has a sturdy steel case that can withstand the vibrations involved in regular driving. It has an ‘ironed’ flute design that ensures a snug fit and effortless removal when it’s time for a filter change. It’s also coated in rust-free paint to avoid moisture damage. The filter weighs 14.4 ounces and has a 4-inch diameter and 3.9-inch depth. Its exterior is painted chrome.

For a lubricating oil that has a high level of filtration, Motorcraft is a good selection. Its steel casing resists rust and mechanical damage while its silicone valve reduces clogging.

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2. K&N Motorcycle Oil Filter

K&N Motorcycle Oil Filter

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Ease of installation and removal may not seem like an important feature. After all, you can always ask your mechanic to do it for you. But considering you’ll change your oil filter three or four times a year, it helps if you can do it yourself. K&N is ideal for home changing. Its 17mm nut can be unscrewed using a standard wrench, and heavy-duty casing comes n chrome or black.

This oil filter is specifically designed for motorcycles, so you have easy access to the housing. But it can also be used on cars, SUVs, and ATVs. If you’re mounting it on a race bike, safety wire attachment is a nice touch, and it’s pre-drilled for faster installation. The relief bypass valve at the top prevents clogs and facilitates cold starts in wintry weather or chilly mornings.

The anti-drain valve at the bottom separates filtered and unfiltered oil. It does this by preventing the dirty oil from flowing back into the clean. This also reduces dry starts. To keep the filter water-tight, its metal base plate, and a pre-lubricated gasket seal. The housing is attached to the filter using a loaded tension spring to absorb road shock and extend its lifespan.

The filter uses pleated membranes made from a synthetic blend of absorbent fibers. The fibers are infused with resin. They effectively capture 99.9% of foreign matter. The filter is on the smaller side, weighing just 8.8oz and measuring 3.2 inches deep and 2.9 inches in diameter. It’s a spin-on filter with a cross-drilled harness, making it easier to install, remove, and replace.

K&N oil filters work well for power sports, particularly bike racing. But you can use them domestically as well. They’re great for quick starts on cold mornings and misty evenings.

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3. Ford Racing HD Racing Oil Filter

Ford Racing HD Racing Oil Filter

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When a product has ‘racing’ in its name, you know it will give you extra speed and endurance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in your everyday car. And of course, if you’re a heavy-duty driver, it can be helpful to buy in bulk. This particular Ford oil filter is packed by the dozen, so if you change your filter four times a year, this set will last you three at least.

It’s a bit bigger, with a diameter of 4.1 inches and a depth of 4.5 inches. It fits a wide sizing range, from 3.7 to 5.4, and is compatible with 2V, 3V, and 4V fittings. The filter has a pleated membrane made from a blend of organic cellulose and synthetic polymer which offer 50% more filtration.

Because this oil filter is commonly used for racing purposes, you may need to buy a separate oil cooler to keep your engine temperatures manageable. But if you’re using it in your regular car or bike, it can keep the car comfortably cool. Also, while this package ships as a 12-pack, you can buy a single unit to see if it works for you. After all, you’re unlikely to resell the spare eleven.

You don’t have to choose between biodegradable and synthetic membranes. When you buy K&N, you get a solid blend of both. And being a racing filter, it works great at high temperatures.

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4. Bosch 3330 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter

Bosch 3330 Premium FILTECH Oil Filter

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The average driver knows how to use a dipstick to check their engine oil levels. But do you know when to change it? Some say every 3,000 miles, others say every three months. Bosch Premium Filter can hold up to 14g of dirt, which is a bit harder to measure, so try checking your oil color instead. When it’s clean, it looks like honey. So when it’s thick and black, change your filter.

Each time you change your filter, you should change the oil too. But no matter how hot or dirty your oil gets, your Bosch oil filter won’t warp or dent, thanks to its heavy gauge casing. The filter is designed using FILTECH technology. It has a pleated filtration membrane with a high volume of micro-glass for heightened absorbency and a 99.9% efficiency rating.

The gasket at the bottom of the filter housing is well pre-lubed and tightly sealed to reduce incidental leaking. But despite its solid build and secure attachment, it’s easy to remove when it’s time for an oil change. The filter works best with Castrol engine oil. It’s compatible with car brands including Mazda, Audi, Lexus, and Volkswagen. Double-check your car model though.

This Bosch filter has an anti-drain valve made of silicone. The valve is good for preventing back-flow and maintain the pressure and flow of your engine oil, even when the weather is harsh and the oil pipes are clogged. The filter measures 3.5 inches by 3.2 inches by 3.1 inches, so it’s a compact model. The filter measures 8.8 ounces and has a chrome casing.

When you can’t decide what filtration media you’d prefer, buy a Bosch. It blends cellulose, polymer, and micro-glass fibers to offer you a membrane that’s 42% larger and 30% thicker.

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5. Mobil 1 M1-110 / M1-110A Extended Performance Oil Filter

Mobil 1 M1-110 / M1-110A Extended Performance Oil Filter

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Some vehicle manufacturers insist that the drain valve on oil filters be made of silicone. This is easy to ensure when the car leaves the assembly chain, but not so do-able with spares. If your manual requires silicone valves, double-check your oil filter to avoid voiding your warranty. You should check your Mobil filter as well since not all have silicone in their valves.

Regardless of valve construction, the Mobil filter has extra-long life, holding up to 28g of dirt. That’s double the market average if 14g. This multi-pass filter gets rid of 99.6% of contaminants. It’s an extreme pressure filter, surviving nine times the standard pressure. The filter performs effectively even at 615 Pascals for every square inch, it lowers the likelihood of dry starts.

You should also double-check the installation method since some Mobils are spinners and others are cartridges, so you need the right fit for your car. These filters can work with any oil, but they’re especially effective when they’re fed with their in-house branded Mobil 1 oil, whether you opt for standard oil or extended performance engine oil. The filter weighs 4 ounces.

Mobil 1 filters promise superior performance and doubles life spans. But they’re narrow units measuring 4 inches by 3 inches by 2.8 inches, so be careful of your car’s fit.

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6. Toyota Genuine Parts 04152-YZZA1 Oil Filter

Toyota Genuine Parts 04152-YZZA1 Oil Filter

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In many parts of the world, the car in front is always a Toyota. It’s among the best-selling brands on the planet, so spares are easily available. But it also means counterfeits flood the market. Genuine Toyota oil filters can block contaminants up to 1/100 of a millimeter. It’s a universal fit, so you can combine it with air filters from other car manufacturers and brands.

The filter weighs 3.2 ounces and measures 4.1 inches by 3.1 inches by 3.1 inches. When you order this filter, it comes without its housing, so you’ll have to retain and clean the case of the filter you’re replacing. On the upside, since it has no casing, it’s significantly cheaper than competing oil filters. Every Toyota 04152 comes with a 1-year unlimited mileage warranty.

This is helpful because many sellers advise you to change your filter after a given number of miles. Toyota’s warranty stays valid for 12 months, regardless of how much (or little) you’ve driven that year. In reality, the warranty extends to 12,000 miles per year. That said, Toyota recommends swapping out your filter after 6 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Toyota oil filters offer superior performance and a wide range of car compatibility. But only buy it from a reliable vendor to be sure it’s genuine Toyota 04152-YZZA1.

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7. Royal Purple 10-2835 Extended Life Premium Oil Filter

Royal Purple 10-2835 Extended Life Premium Oil Filter

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At first glance, Royal Purple oil filters make the same promises as other brands. They have the silicone anti-drain valve to prevent dry starts, the super-strong housing to withstand rough road conditions, and the heavy-duty rubber seal to avoid leaks. But it does have a few extra features.

It fits a wider range of cars than standard oil filters. Everything from Toyotas and Jettas to Jeeps and Jaguars. It can filter both natural and synthetic oil, but it works best with artificial lubricants, reaching a threshold of 15,000 miles before the filter needs replacing. Your oil may need to be changed out a few times within that interval though, so keep checking the dipstick.

It’s also not a very fine filter. The Royal Purple membrane has 100% synthetic micro-glass filtration fibers, but it can only block out particles up to 25 microns. For best results, use your filter with Royal Purple engine oil, though you can use it with any motor oil brand.

This filter weighs 12.8 ounces. Its dimensions are 3.1 inches diameter and 3.6 inches depth. The casing is painted its trademark purple to avoid rust and moisture damage. The gasket seal is made from nitrile rubber for extra sealing protection and added lubrication.

Your eyes will probably fly to Royal Purple on the shelf because it’s such a distinct design choice. And while it performs the same services as other oil filters, it lasts 3 times longer than average.

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8. Fram XG10575 Ultra Synthetic Spin-On Oil Filter

Fram XG10575 Ultra Synthetic Spin-On Oil Filter

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What makes Fram filters different from other oil filters? Well, they’re designed specifically to work with synthetic motor oil, so they have a few extra features. Instead of a single pleated membrane, Fram uses a triple-layered pleat. The pleats are made of two layers of micro-glass sandwiching a layer of steel mesh. This gives the filter more absorbency and conductivity.

Meaning it soaks up to three times as much dirt as competitors while performing better at extreme temperatures. It maintains its performance in high heat and flows better at sub-zero, so it maintains its effectiveness across a large range of climates. These tweaks extend the life of your oil filter, allowing it to hit a peak of 20,000 miles before you need to replace it.

The mileage is less if you use regular motor oil, but not by much. Fram uses silicone anti-drain valves and its relief valves are made of nylon reinforced with fiberglass. They’re effective I dirt up to 20 microns. These components maintain that extended duration between oil changes. The valves can last a million-plus cycles without deteriorating or losing their pliancy.

It’s easy to install and replace Fram filters. Their SureGrip no-slip housing is convenient, and their extended lifespans mean you only have to change them once a year, maybe less!

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9. Mann-Filter HU 925/4 X Metal-Free Oil Filter

Mann-Filter HU 925/4 X Metal-Free Oil Filter

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The name might make you giggle – or it may swing you towards an automatic purchase. Either way, Mann oil filters have their upsides. Their carefully calibrated pleats capture more dirt than the average oil filter. The filter’s bypass secondary filter is helpful in cold weather when oil is thicker and more viscous. The bypass valve only kicks in when needed.

Mann is a German-made brand, and its tough Spartan housing is ideal for tough driving conditions. It’s a lightweight filter at 0.16 oz, and it measures 4.4 inches deep and 3.1 inches in diameter. Apart from standard oil filter components, Mann oil filters ship with a copper washer. It serves as a handy replacement to the washer on your existing oil filter.

While this is a replacement part, it’s so carefully engineered that you can barely tell it apart from the OEM part (Original Equipment Manufacturer). It’s a spinner so it’s easy to install. All you need is a wrench, a drainage pan, gloves, and clothes you don’t mind soiling with oil. So when you need aftermarket parts with the quality of originals, consider buying a Mann oil filter.

Mann filters provide superior separation, high absorbency, and low-ripping pleats. Plus, they have the reputation of German engineering behind them, so they’re always a smart buy.

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10. ACDelco PF2232 Professional Engine Oil Filter

ACDelco PF2232 Professional Engine Oil Filter

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Some filters only pass the oil through them once. Others put the oil through several filtration stages. ACDelco Duraguard is the latter. Its multipass filtration system offers 98% efficacy on particles up to 25 or 30 microns. That may sound large, but it’s 1/3rd the thickness of a single human hair strand. The filtration media used in Duraguard is made from cellulose.

Part of the function of an oil filter is to cool down your engine oil by drawing heat away. This means both your engine parts and your engine oil will be hot. ACDelco uses thermal gum seals to take advantage of this heat, using it to strengthen the adhesive seals in the filter casing and filtration pleats. The hotter it gets, the tighter they grip, the better they work.

If the engine oil retains a pressure of 51 PSI or lower, Duraguard can hit engine pulses of 5 times the market average. This ensures stronger performance and longer filter life. The materials used to make the filter housing are both recycles and recyclable, so you can be sure your oil filter is green. It facilitates constant flow and pace for enhanced filtration services.

The bright blue color of ACDelco’s Duraguard is soothing and cooling, just like this oil filter’s performance. It measures 5.6 inches and 4 inches in diameter, the largest oil filter we’ve looked at so far. It’s also fairly heavy at 1.1 pounds. It has an unlimited mileage warranty of 2 years.

ACDelco produces quality aftermarket components. But their packaging is less than premium. It looks cheaply boxed, and it can sometimes dent in transit. But it’s a top-quality filter.

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Buying Guide

Oil filters are often taken for granted. But if you buy the wrong one, you’re doing your engine a disservice, pun intended. Plus, you’ll spend far more on car maintenance. So can you identify the best oil filter for your vehicle? Let’s explore some key criteria.

Length

Most filters contain two levels of filtration media. Level One extracts contaminants that are 25 to 30 microns. Level two captures foreign objects that are 5 to 10 microns. Dirty oil seeps into the filter can from the sides while clean oil flows back through the central spiral.

The longer your oil silts in the filtration chamber, the cleaner your oil will be. So the longer your filter can, the better your results. Oil flows in and out at high pressure, so the length of your filter tube extends the duration of your filtration process. As long as it doesn’t affect the fit.

On that note, think about the size of your filter as well. How much oil can it handle per second, minute, or hour? How fast can this oil flow before it clogs, and how thick or thin does the oil have to avoid damaging your filter? Can the housing fit the filter clot in your car? Does your car manual or manufacturer specify a particular make, brand, or dimension of oil filter?

Filtration Type

The method used to filter can be a bone of contention. Common filtration options include micro-glass, magnets, centrifuges, cartridges, sedimentation, spin-ons, and mechanical filtration. Mechanical filters use waste-cotton or pleated paper as their filtration medium. These kinds of filters need regular changing because their bulky cellulose or cardboard centers fill up quickly.

If you buy a cartridge or spin-on filter, the housing remains constant. You’ll just change the filter material. This material is often a synthetic fiber pleated into a central spindle. Magnetic filters are only effective against ferrous contaminants and other metal-based wastes. They don’t need much maintenance – just scrape off the metallic build-up. Then you have sediment filters.

These gravity bed oil filters use gravity to draw dirt particles to the bottom, while centrifugal filters use super-quick rotary motion to fling unwanted particles to the sides of the filtration chamber. The sides of the chamber need cleaning to get rid of the build-up. Finally, high-efficiency (HE) filters use a bypass membrane oil-drain system that passes oil through pores to clean it.

Type of Oil

Is your car oil conventional, organic, synthetic, or diesel? They all have different viscosity and aren’t equally susceptible to foreign matter. The type of oil you use might also be dictated by the weather conditions in your neighborhood or the typical strain on your engine. Not all filtration media works on all oil types. For instance, diesel may require a secondary magnetic filter.

Do your research and verify the type of filter suitable for the kind of oil in your car. You can also consider mileage. Oil filters are generally replaced after three to six months. Longer-lasting filters cost more, but depending on how often you drive (and how dirty your driving conditions are), it could be worth the expense. So do you want a 5,000-mile filter or a 20,000-mile one?

Efficiency Levels

Primary filters need to keep out 95% of contaminants while secondary ones can get away with 5% blockage. Primary full-flow filters have an anti-clogging valve, but they don’t work if the oil flow is too low or too slow. They clean all the oil in your engine. Secondary bypass filters clean portions of your oil – generally 1% to 10% of your oil, before mixing it up with the rest.

Thermal filters use heat to dematerialize unwanted contaminants. But you need electricity to heat the filter. Plus, while burning away foreign materials, usable fuel evaporates too. Meaning thermal filters will reduce your fuel efficiency and lower your mileage. Another way to reduce wastage is to buy a filter with a back-filter valve to prevent oil from draining backward.

Maintenance comes into it as well, and this largely depends on filtration media. Magnetic filters don’t need to be changed, but they need to be scraped clean. Cellulose filters need changing ever 3,000 miles and clean 40% of dirt. Synthetic filters have 50% efficiency and have to be changed after 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Micro-glass filters are HE and can last unchanged for 2 to 5 years.

No More Boiling Oil!

In our opinion, the best oil filter to keep your engine from overheating is Motorcraft FL-820-S:

  • It has a silicone anti-drain valve to prevent the back-spillage of dirty oil.
  • The valve also minimizes clogging and maintains flow pressure in cold weather.
  • The steel case is rust-proof and easy to maneuver.

What brand of oil and oil filter is in your car right now? Show us your oil cans in the comments!