5 Symptoms of a Bad Car Oil Filter

Last Updated on November 28, 2019 by themechanic

Car engines have a lot of components which spin and rotate quickly, some even rubbing together and creating friction. The reason we use oil in our engines is to reduce the heat that is generated from this friction. This keeps these moving components running smoothly because they’re constantly being lubricated by the oil. If there was a situation where the oil couldn’t flow properly through the engine, then these components would generate too much heat. This would result in an overheated engine. You never want this to happen because it could cause irreversible damage to the engine.

Oil stays in the engine for months. As oil keeps circulating through the engine, there are contaminants and debris particles which end up getting mixed with the oil along the way. Fortunately, there is an oil filter installed which blocks these contaminants from getting into the engine and building up in there. Oil filters don’t last forever, though, because all these contaminants can build up on the filter instead. Then it will be more difficult for oil to pass through the filter when there’s all this blockage in the way. This makes it more difficult for the oil to do its job properly.

Bad Oil Filter Symptoms

There are three types of problems that can occur with an oil filter. If it is damaged, then it could possibly pass the contaminants into the engine. You may have a clogged, dirty and leakage oil filter, which was described in the previous paragraph. And in some cases, you may be using the wrong type of oil filter. This typically happens when a car owner tries to install their own oil filter without having a professional do it for them.

In any of these cases, the bad oil filter can cause a lot of symptoms which are bad for your car and for the overall driving experience. You need to recognize these symptoms for what they are, so you’ll know to get a new car oil filter installed right away.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad car oil filter.

1) Overheated Engine

A clogged oil filter limits the flow of oil in the engine. If it gets too bad, oil won’t be able to enter the engine at all. If the moving components are not lubricated and cooled down by the oil, it will generate a lot of friction and heat. An overheated engine will be the result of this. You will see this indicated on the temperature gauge in the dashboard. The needle will move toward the red zone, which means the engine is too hot.

2) Low Engine Power

Oil is supposed to allow the engine to run smoothly. If the oil cannot pass through the engine’s components properly because of a bad filter, then it will make the engine run less smoothly. This means it will be harder for the engine to produce power when you step on the gas pedal. As a result, the performance and acceleration of the engine will be weak.

3) Strange Sounds

With less lubrication for the metal components of the engine, they will grind and rub together. This will generate a lot of heat, but it will also cause a lot of strange metallic sounds to be generated too. You will hear these sounds more intensely as you attempt to accelerate your vehicle.

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4) Dark Exhaust Fumes

If you accelerate and see a lot of dark exhaust fumes coming out of the tailpipe, this means you probably have a bad oil filter. Exhaust fumes should be transparent or white in some cases. They should never be black or brown because this indicates the fumes are dirty. This can only be due to a clogged or damaged oil filter.

5) Reduced Oil Pressure

The oil pressure gauge on your dashboard lets you know if the oil pressure is normal or not. With a bad oil filter restricting the flow of oil in the engine, the oil pressure will be reduced. This means the oil pressure gauge will reflect this on the dashboard. You’ll see the pressure drop even more as you accelerate the vehicle.

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