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Oil Filters: Frequently Asked Questions

Oil Filters: Frequently Asked Questions

Oil Filters: Frequently Asked Questions

Reading time: 5 min

What Does an Oil Filter Do?

Oil filters perform the essential function of removing debris and sediment from the engine’s oil. When debris or abrasive sediment gets into the engine oil, it degrades the engine’s components, eventually leading to breakdowns. Oil filters protect the engine and improve its longevity by keeping harmful contaminants out of the oil.

How Does an Oil Filter Work?

An engine’s oil filter is an essential part of its lubrication system and removes contaminants and debris from the engine oil.

Here’s how an oil filter works:

  1. Oil is pumped through the filter by the oil pump.
  2. As oil flows through the filter, it passes through a filter element made up of a series of fibers. These fibers trap any dirt, metal, debris, sludge, varnish, water and fuel present in the oil.
  3. Once the oil passes through the filter element, it is returned to the engine to lubricate its moving parts.
  4. Over time, the filter element will become saturated and clogged with debris, reducing its ability to filter the oil effectively. When this happens, the filter needs to be replaced to ensure the engine remains properly lubricated.

Where Is The Oil Filter Located?

The location of the oil filter on heavy equipment can vary depending on the make and model of your particular machine. Typically, the oil filter is found in the service bay near the engine block or the oil pump. To find the exact location of your machine’s oil filter, you should consult your machine’s service manual.

How Do You Remove an Oil Filter?

To remove an oil filter on heavy equipment, begin by making sure the engine is cool. Engine oil can be extremely hot, so don’t attempt to remove the filter if the engine is still hot. Place a bucket or oil pan under the filter, then use a filter wrench to twist off the oil filter. Drain excess oil into the oil pan or bucket.

If the oil filter is stuck, you may need to take additional steps to remove it. First, attempt to remove the filter by using a filter wrench, which is the best way to grip a stubborn oil filter. If the oil filter cannot be removed using a filter wrench, then you can poke a screwdriver through the side of the oil filter and use it to twist off the filter.

Are All Oil Filters the Same?

Oil filters for heavy equipment are not all the same, and they are not universal. There are many different types of oil filters available, and each one is designed for a particular make and model of the machine. It’s important to use only the oil filter recommended for your machine by the manufacturer.

What Kind of Oil Filter Do I Need?

The oil filter you need depends on the exact make and model of your heavy equipment machine. Oil filters are not all the same, and they are not universal. To find the type of oil filter required by your machine, consult its service manual. Only use the oil filter recommended by your machine’s manufacturer in its service manual.

What Size Oil Filter Do I Need?

The size of the oil filter you need for your heavy equipment depends on the make and model of the machine. Each machine may require a specific size and thread type for its oil filter. To determine the correct oil filter size for your machine, consult the machine’s service manual. 

The manual will provide the specific part number and size of the oil filter recommended for your machine. Do not use an incorrect or improperly sized oil filter, as this can lead to inefficient engine performance and potentially cause damage to the machine.

How Often Should I Change My Oil Filter?

You should change your heavy equipment’s oil filter every 250-500 hours of operation, or at least once per year. If you’re operating your machine under extreme conditions, you may need to replace the oil filter more frequently. Your machine’s service manual will provide specific oil filter replacement intervals.

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How Do You Know When You Should Change An Oil Filter?

Your machine’s oil filter should be replaced at regular intervals, usually during every oil change. Consult your machine’s service manual to find the recommended oil change interval for your machine. Other signs that may indicate the oil filter needs to be changed include:

  • Low or reduced oil pressure
  • Unusual engine noises
  • Contaminated oil, as indicated by a dirty dipstick
  • Sluggish acceleration or poor engine performance
  • Reduced power output

Any of the above circumstances may be a sign it’s time to change your machine’s oil filter.

How Tight Should An Oil Filter Be?

As a rule of thumb, you should tighten an oil filter until the gasket makes contact with the filter housing. Then, tighten it one full turn by hand. Over-tightening an oil filter can damage the filter or make it difficult to remove in the future. Instructions for tightening the oil filter can be found on the filter’s packaging or on the filter itself.

What Happens If You Change the Oil But Not the Oil Filter?

If you change the engine oil in your machine but don’t replace the oil filter, the dirty filter will continue to function, but may not properly filter the engine oil. Over time, a degrading oil filter will allow the engine oil to become contaminated, potentially causing engine problems and loss of power.

In most circumstances, it is highly recommended you change the oil filter together with the engine oil. A machine’s oil filter is responsible for keeping the engine oil clean. If you change the oil without replacing the oil filter, the oil will become contaminated more quickly and you may have to replace it sooner than typically expected.

Where Can I Buy a Replacement Oil Filter?

The EquipmentShare online parts store is the best place to shop for a replacement heavy equipment oil filter. Our extensive online parts catalog carries a variety of OEM and aftermarket oil filters available from popular manufacturers like Takeuchi, Wacker Neuson and Sany. Can’t find the part you’re looking for? Contact one of our parts experts for personalized assistance.

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