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What’s an Oil Filter and Why Is It Important?

Like most internal combustion engine vehicles, your Land Rover has an oil filter. It’s a small metal can with a pleated filter inside it. An oil filter filters the combustion byproducts and metal debris out of the oil running through the engine. In this guide, you’ll learn about oil filters and why your Land Rover needs one that works well all the time.

How Does an Oil Filter Work?

The oil filter may look like a simple part, but it is singlehandedly responsible for keeping the motor oil clean as it runs through your engine. Mounted to the engine, the oil filter is the first thing the motor oil runs through after it is pumped out of the oil pan. The motor oil continually cycles through the filter (and the engine and oil pan) while your engine is running.

With some filter designs, if the filter gets too clogged, the flow is restricted. This is how air filters work. If they aren't changed on time, they begin to clog, and less air moves through the filter. This won't hurt the engine, but it won't run well. This is not the case with oil filters. Oil filters have a bypass valve built into the filter housing. If the oil filter becomes too clogged, the bypass filter allows the oil to pass through to the engine without being filtered. This is because sending dirty oil to the engine is better than withholding oil from the engine.

Why a Clogged Oil Filter is Bad News

Under normal circumstances, a Land Rover OEM oil filter can last up to 16,000 miles. The filter life will depend on which model Land Rover you have. When an oil filter isn’t replaced in time, it gets too clogged up to work properly. The the oil will go through the bypass valve, and dirty oil will circulate in your engine. Eventually, dirty oil will begin to form sludgy deposits in the engine. These can clog oil passageways, restricting oil flow.

Both dirty oil and clogged oil passageways have the same effect on the engine. They make it wear out faster. There are many components in an engine that need lubrication. When an engine starts to wear due to infrequent oil changes, many components are wearing out at the same time. At some point the entire engine will need to be replaced. An engine replacement in a Land Rover will typically cost more than $10,000. As engines are expensive, and oil filters are cheap, it really pays to change the filter as recommended.

OEM vs Aftermarket Oil Filters

You've probably wondered if OEM oil filters are really any better than aftermarket filters. The answer is a resounding yes. Land Rover places a drivetrain warranty on all of it's vehicles. Quality filters are essential to making sure that their engines do not have premature wear. Also, Land Rover filters are designed with enough filter material inside of them to last for the recommended change interval, which can be pretty long. Some aftermarket filters may also be well made. The problem is that you can't really tell which ones are well made, and which ones are poorly made.

How Much Does a Replacement Oil Filter Cost?

Image Credit: Atlantic British

There’s no good reason to put an aftermarket oil filter in a Land Rover. At Land Rover Virginia Beach, we carry steeply discounted genuine OEM Land Rover oil filters for many different Land Rover models. You can find one for about $10-$20, depending on which model you have.