Oil filters are one of the most neglected components in automobiles.
Despite their importance in keeping the engine oil in good condition, they are not nearly maintained as they should be. Not even close!
So, here are 5 tips for oil filter maintenance in your vehicle.
- Change the oil filter regularly
- Avoid double gaskets
- Change the oil when replacing the oil filter
- Use high-quality engine oil
- Use the right oil filter
Now, let’s discuss each of these maintenance tips one by one.
#1. Change the oil filter regularly
I know. This is as obvious as it gets. Yet, you would be surprised at the number of motorcycle riders that don’t change their oil filter on a regular basis.
And the result is this.
So, always change your oil filter frequently for the smooth functioning of your vehicle. Be it your motorcycle or your car. Heck, even that machinery you own with an engine, that needs its oil filter to get changed too.
Now, that brings us to the next question. How often should one change the oil filter?
For good motorcycle oil filter maintenance, one should replace the oil filter for every 6000 miles of distance traveled.
The basic steps for oil filter change start with warming up the engine for some time. Park the motorcycle. And then allow the engine to cool down for 10-15 mins.
Next, remove the old oil filter using a torque wrench. Make sure there is a container placed below the oil filter. Oil will start draining as soon as you remove the filter.
Take the new oil filter, smear some oil on the O-ring and fit it using the wrench.
And that’s it. The old oil filter is replaced with a new one. For more detailed steps, you can check out our post on oil filter change.
#2. Avoid double gaskets
One of the most common reasons for oil filter leaking oil is because there are double gaskets on the oil filter.
What usually happens, when replacing the filter, the oil gasket of the old oil filter sticks with the vehicle rather than coming off.
And then, when you are fitting the new oil filter, the old gasket meshes with the gasket of the new oil filter. There are two oil gaskets now. Fighting for the same space between the vehicle and the oil filter.
These double oil gaskets create a wide gap between the filter and the vehicle. The fit between these two will not be smooth. And as a result, the oil filter will start leaking in no time.
If the oil leak turns out to be huge and obvious, it would be a good thing since you will notice it and address it immediately. The problem amplifies if the leakage is not so obvious.
A drop-by-drop leak will eventually result in low oil levels and the oil filter gaskets mesh so tight that eventually, they become one part. Replacing with one more new oil filter might become the only solution.
#3. Change the oil when replacing the oil filter
This is something basic and obvious. Yet, you would be surprised how many riders don’t do this.
As for why people don’t follow this, there are two reasons.
First, many motorcycle riders have a good set frequency for the oil change. Many riders change their oil based on the distance traveled (3000 miles to 5000 miles) or a definite time period (around 6 months).
However, they do not have any set frequency for an oil filter change.
Second, many don’t even have a frequency for the oil filter change. They change the filter only if they have to. Usually, some kind of maintenance problem or oil leak forces them to change the oil filter.
What ends up happening is that during the oil filter change, the rider would feel the oil is relatively new. For example, the engine oil was changed 500 miles ago. So, there is no need to change the oil again this early.
As a result, rather than changing the oil along with the oil filter, the oil is usually topped up to compensate for the lost oil during the filter change.
This is a bad practice since the new oil filter will be dealing with the oil that is relatively aged. The oil filtering efficiency decreases rapidly as the oil quality degrades. And old oil reduces filtering efficiency much faster for the oil filter.
Speaking of oil quality, brings us to our next point.
#4. Use high-quality engine oil
As mentioned earlier, the efficiency of the oil filter reduces rapidly as the oil quality degrades.
That’s why it is essential to use high-quality suitable oil in your motorcycle. In addition, you need to change the engine oil on a regular basis to keep a healthy running in the engine.
Depending on the vehicle you are using, the riding conditions, engine health, and the purpose of usage – you can choose the type of oil accordingly between – mineral, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils.
No matter which oil you choose, make sure to change them on a regular basis.
|Type of Oil||Frequency for Oil Change|
|Mineral Oil||2000 miles|
|Semi-Synthetic Oil||5000 miles|
|Synthetic Oil||8000 miles|
#5. Use the right oil filter
You don’t have to use the exact oil filter model recommended by the manufacturer. But, at the same time, do not use an oil filter that is vastly different from the recommended one.
Where to draw the line between these two is a tough call. But usually, it is advisable to use oil filter models that are very similar to the the one that manufacturer has recommended.
One simple way to test whether you are using the right oil filter model or not is to check the fit with your motorcycle.
If the fit is not good or you are noticing even the slightest of oil leakage, then that oil filter is not for you. Umm, not for your vehicle.
So the next time you are replacing the oil filter, check for the oil filter model first. Then cross-check with the recommended model in the user manual.
If your service shop guy is pitching a different oil filter that has superior qualities and is a superman among the oil filter community, politely refuse him and ask the guy to use the recommended filter.