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In Ashburn, people who book through CarAdvise save $14 on average for Oil Filter Replacement. Lock in this price now.

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National average cost of a Oil Filter Replacement
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What is an oil filter and how does it work?

An oil filter is a type of filter installed on your engine to trap contaminants in the oil that lubricates engine components. The oil filter traps contaminants that would otherwise cause premature wear and tear inside the engine and lead to costly repairs. The filter itself is a cylindrical container that mounts to the side or front of your engine. There are two basic types of filter, the canister filter and the cartridge filter. Spin-off canister filters are the most common. They are self-contained units that resemble a metal can and are found in a variety of sizes depending on your vehicle make and model. A series of small holes forms a circle around the edges of one end of the canister to allow oil to enter the filter. Inside the canister is a porous filter medium where the impurities are trapped. A rubber seal closes off the filter against the engine to prevent leaks. A cartridge filter features a permanent cylindrical housing affixed to the engine. The housing can be removed from its mount to expose the cartridge filter element inside. Only the filter element and rubber gasket are replaced.

How do I know if my car needs a new oil filter?

An oil filter is typically replaced at the same time the oil is changed in your engine. Your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation, therefore, is the first and most important indication that you need a new oil filter. Every manufacturer designates a specific interval between oil changes. That recommendation will vary depending on the make and model. The specific interval between oil changes is laid out in your vehicle owner’s manual or maintenance schedule. Most vehicles today also feature a maintenance reminder on the digital display to let you know it is time to schedule an oil and filter change. You can also ask a reputable repair shop for the manufacturer’s recommendation.

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How is this service performed

How is a Oil Filter Replacement done?

To change the oil filter on your vehicle, a technician will first need to determine which filter is appropriate for your engine. Every make and model has a specific oil filter that matches the engine. Since the filter is usually replaced in conjunction with an oil change service, a technician will take the following steps to complete the repair

  • Remove the oil cap to allow free flow of old oil from your engine
  • Safely lift and support your vehicle off of the ground to access the oil pan beneath the engine
  • Remove the drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan and drain the old oil into a collection pan
  • Unscrew the oil filter canister and dispose of properly (canister style)
  • Unscrew the cartridge housing retainer and remove the housing (cartridge style)
  • Lightly lubricate the rubber seal and screw the new filter onto its mount until it is hand tight OR
  • Place a new cartridge element onto the mount along with a fresh gasket and replace the housing (cartridge style)
  • Replace the drain plug once the oil has stopped draining
  • Lower the vehicle and pour the correct amount of oil - around 5 quarts for most engines - into the fill spout in the engine compartment
  • Reinstall the oil cap
  • Start your engine and allow it to run for several seconds
  • Stop engine and verify the oil level on the dipstick

OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK

How often do you really need to change your oil?
If you want your engine to last for many miles, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval. For most vehicles, that recommendation will fall somewhere between 5K and 7K miles. A few European automakers have intervals as long as 10K or even 15K miles, but that is not common. If you tend to drive in what are considered to be “special” or “severe” conditions, like dusty roads, excessive heat, stop-and-go traffic, or take frequent short trips under five miles, you should change your oil more frequently.
What happens if you go too long without an oil change?
Exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendations by a few hundred or even a thousand miles from time to time will not likely cause a lot of trouble. Frequently exceeding the recommendation, or missing it by a significant amount of miles can cause the oil to break down. When it does that, it no longer helps to cool your engine, and it doesn't lubricate the components sufficiently (allowing metal-to-metal contact). The additives in the oil that help to keep your engine clean and corrosion free also break down and stop working. Premature engine component wear can occur, and, at the extreme end, you could end up with complete engine failure.
Is it okay to change oil once a year?
Automakers recommend changing the oil in an average engine somewhere between 5K and 7.5K miles. Sometimes more frequently depending on driving conditions. If you drive less than the recommended service interval in a year, then you could get away with annual oil changes. Otherwise, you should be changing the oil multiple times in a year. You should also change it at least once a year no matter how many miles you drive.

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