The Best Oil Filters For 2020

Your car’s engine needs good clean oil to properly lubricate all its internal components and keep it running smoothly. Over time, motor oil picks up unburned carbon soot, sludge and tiny metal shavings that will quickly wear out engine components and cause irreversible damage. 

A car’s oil filter traps these nasty contaminants and keeps it away from the engine internals. As more and more sludge and metal particles accumulate inside the filter, it gradually loses its ability to remove dirt and debris. Every time you get an oil change, you should also replace the oil filter to keep the new oil as fresh as possible.

To help you find the best oil filter for your vehicle, we’ve reviewed the most popular oil filters from the most respected brands in the industry.

1. Bosch 3330 

Bosch is a world-renowned German manufacturer that’s been designing and making automobile parts since the late 1800s. The Bosch 3330 Premium Oil Filter is designed to be a direct replacement for your stock filter and is guaranteed to have an excellent fit. It is compatible with a wide range of American, European and Asian car models.

Its exclusive FILTECH filter media uses a combination of cellulose paper and synthetic fibers to provide superior oil filtration and is rated to provide up to 99% filtration efficiency.

Key Features:

  • FILTECH filter media can hold up to 14 grams of contaminants and traps 99% of engine particulates
  • Uses steel filter end caps for extra durability
  • A high quality lubricated gasket stops leaks and makes it easy to remove
  • Durable metal canister
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Excellent build quality
  • Works with conventional, semi-synthetic or fully synthetic oil
  • Compatible with a wide range of American, European and Asian vehicles

Pros:

  • Premium brand with an affordable price
  • Exceeds manufacturers’ warranty requirements
  • Large filter element
  • Excellent fit and easy removal

Cons:

  • Not designed for longer oil change intervals 
  • Cellulose paper-based filter media is less durable than fully synthetic media
  • Relatively higher priced than similar filters in its class

2.  Mobil 1 M1-110 

The Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance oil filter is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high mileage oil filter at a fair price. It’s guaranteed to last up to 1 year or 15,000 miles when used with Mobil 1 oils – longer than most manufacturers’ recommended oil change intervals. The Mobil 1 M1-110A model is rated even higher at 20,000 miles.

It uses a heavy-duty canister that can withstand up to 9x more pressure than a typical engine produces. Its synthetic-blend filter also boasts more than 99% filter efficiency for particles larger than 30 microns.

Key Features:

  • The synthetic fiber-blend filter captures 99.2% of contaminants larger than 30 microns
  • A patented bypass valve system ensures oil flow during cold starts and pressure surges
  • Designed for both conventional and fully synthetic oils
  • Suitable for high mileage vehicles with over 75,000 miles
  • The heavy-duty canister can withstand up to 9x a normal engine’s operating pressure
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Lubricated gasket for easy fitment and removal

Pros:

  • Affordable high mileage oil filter
  • Ideal for synthetic oils and longer oil change intervals
  • Uses high quality materials; extra durable canister
  • Uses a high capacity and high-efficiency filter
  • Comes with 1-year or 15,000-mile guarantee; 20,000-mile guarantee for the M1-110A model

Cons:

  • More expensive than conventional oil filters

3. Royal Purple 10-2835

Royal Purple is known for its distinctive purple-colored synthetic oils which are widely used in high-performance racing engines.

As its reputation would suggest, Royal Purple’s line of Extended Life Oil Filters are built to a similarly high standard. It uses a fully synthetic micro-glass filter media that offers 99% filtration efficiency for particles larger than 25 microns, which is better than other well-known manufacturers can claim.

Key Features:

  • Uses 100% synthetic micro-glass fiber filter media
  • Metal filter end caps for added strength and durability
  • Uses a thick metal canister that can withstand high engine pressures and punctures from road debris
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve that can withstand extreme temperatures
  • Premium nitrile rubber gasket for a tight seal and lubricated for easy removal
  • Steel backplate with twice the burst strength of ordinary filters
  • Designed for both conventional and fully synthetic oils

Pros:

  • Fully synthetic filter media rated for 99% filtration efficiency at 25 microns
  • Excellent build quality with all-metal construction
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Good price for the quality

Cons:

  • More expensive than comparable oil filters in the same class

4. FRAM XG7317

FRAM is an American brand that has been making automotive oil filters since the 1930s. The FRAM XG731 Ultra Synthetic Oil Filter is the company’s premium model and is specifically designed to be used with fully synthetic oil but is also compatible with conventional motor oil.

Its synthetic filter media can trap particles bigger than 20 microns and hold more than twice the amount of contaminants that a conventional oil filter can. It also uses a coil spring bypass valve, which is stronger than filters that use stamped metal, to keep the oil flowing smoothly at high RPMs, .

Key Features:

  • Double-layer synthetic media boasting 99% filter efficiency for particles larger than 20 microns
  • Lasts up to 20,000 miles when used with fully synthetic oil
  • High quality lubricated gasket eliminates leaks and facilitates easy removal
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Its metal canister is coated with SureGrip non-slip finish for easy installation and removal
  • Coil spring bypass valve

Pros:

  • Premium design and high quality construction
  • Affordable price
  • Longer oil change interval guarantee than other premium oil filters

Cons:

  • Older versions of this oil filter may not have the same upgraded features

5. Mann-Filter HU 816 X

The Mann-Filter HU 816 X is the official oil filter for a number of late-year BMW models and is the same filter used in BMW dealerships. The oil filter cartridge fits perfectly inside the stock BMW oil filter housing. This product also comes with a replacement gasket and O-ring.

Since it’s a genuine replacement part, it’s guaranteed to last up to 10,000 miles which is the standard BMW oil change interval when used with the recommended synthetic oil. The high number of pleats or folds in the filter media suggests that it has a very large surface area that can hold a lot of debris.

Key Features:

  • Genuine BMW replacement oil filter
  • Cartridge type oil filter
  • Comes with a replacement gasket and O-ring
  • Compatible with BMW recommended synthetic oils

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Guaranteed performance in line with manufacturer recommendations
  • Low price
  • High quality construction

Cons:

  • Designed for specific BMW models

6. Motorcraft FL-820-S

The Ford Motorcraft FL 820 S is the recommended replacement oil filter for dozens of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles such as the F-250, F-150, Ranger, Escape, Explorer, Mustang and Crown Victoria. Designed for a number of V6, V8 and V10 gas engines, it’s seen widespread use since the early 1990s up until now.

Despite its very modest price, the Motorcraft FL 820 S has a lot of sought after features. Its filter media uses a blend of cellulose and polyester that’s supported by metal end caps for added durability. It also uses a silicone anti-drain back valve which is usually only seen in oil filters twice its price.

Key Features:

  • Genuine Ford replacement oil filter
  • Cellulose paper and polyester blend filter media
  • Metal filter end caps and center tube
  • Silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Meets factory warranty requirements

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Better features than comparable filters from other brands
  • Compatible with many engines developed by Ford

Cons:

  • Cellulose paper-based filter media
  • Not designed for high mileage oil change intervals

7. K&N PS-7020

The K&N PS-7020 cartridge oil filter is part of K&N’s Performance Silver series. Designed for a number of Toyota-developed engines, the K&N PS-7020 is a drop-in replacement part for many late-model Toyota, Lexus, Scion and Lotus vehicles. It also comes with a high quality replacement gasket and O-ring.

The synthetic filter media features a high flow design for maximum engine performance while providing excellent filtration properties. It can be used with either conventional or fully synthetic engine oil. It’s also designed with high mileage oil change intervals in mind, ranging from 7,500 to 10,000 miles provided that it’s used with the manufacturer recommended motor oil.

Key Features:

  • Premium high-flow paper blend filter media with nylon end caps
  • Cartridge type oil filter; easy to install and remove
  • Designed for high mileage oil change intervals
  • Compatible with conventional and fully synthetic oils
  • Includes high quality replacement gasket and O-ring
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

Pros:

  • Designed for longer oil change intervals up to 10,000 miles
  • Easy to install and remove
  • High flow filter with good filtration

Cons:

  • High price considering its cellulose paper-based filter media

8. ACDelco PF63E

The ACDelco PF63E is the manufacturer recommended replacement oil filter for a number of V6 and V8 gas engines developed by GM from 2010 onwards. It’s used as the factory oil filter for several models of cars, trucks and SUVs from Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Buick.

When used with the factory recommended engine oil, the ACDelco PF63E can last up to 7,500 miles in between oil changes. Its filtration is quite high for a factory oil filter at 98% for particles larger than 25 microns. Some features like its rubber anti-drain back valve and plastic center tube are a bit dated compared to other similarly priced models.

Key Features:

  • Uses cellulose paper-based filter media
  • Capable of up to 98% single-pass filter efficiency for contaminants larger than 25 microns
  • Designed to withstand up to 5x more pressure than a normal engine produces
  • Smaller by up to 25% while delivering higher filtration capacity
  • Nitrile rubber anti-drain back valve
  • Coil spring bypass valve design
  • Comes with a lubricated gasket for easy leak-free installation and quick removal
  • Meets factory warranty requirements

Pros:

  • Low price with decent features on par with similarly priced filters
  • Lasts up to 7,500 miles when used with the right synthetic oil
  • Widely compatible with hundreds of GM and non-GM models

Cons:

  • Cellulose paper-based filter with cardboard end caps
  • Plastic center tube
  • Rubber anti-drain back valve

9. Purolator PL14610

The Purolator PL14610 belongs to the middle of the range Purolator ONE line which is designed to last up to 10,000 miles in between oil changes. Its high-density synthetic blend filter media boasts a very high 99% filtration efficiency for particles larger than 20 microns, which is on par with the best oil filters in the market. It can also hold a very respectable 15 grams of dirt over its lifetime.

Purolator ONE oil filters also come with high-end features like a silicone anti-draw back valve, metal end caps at both ends of the filter media, and a long-lasting PTFE-coated rubber gasket for hassle-free installation and removal.

The PL14610 oil filter is compatible with a wide range of vehicle models from import brands such as Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai, among many others. It can be used with either conventional, semi-synthetic or fully synthetic motor oils.

Key Features:

  • High-density synthetic blend filter media with metal end caps
  • 99% filtration efficiency rated at 20 microns
  • Can trap up to 15 grams of dirt over its lifetime
  • Rated to last up to 10,000 miles
  • Compatible with conventional and fully synthetic oils
  • Silicone anti-draw back valve
  • High quality rubber gasket coated with PTFE (Teflon) for easy installation and removal
  • Wide range of applications for multiple import brands

Pros:

  • Excellent features for a fair price
  • High efficiency and high capacity filtration rating
  • Suitable for longer oil change intervals
  • High quality materials and construction

Cons:

  • Its oil change interval rating is not as high as other synthetic oil filters

10. FRAM PH7317

The FRAM PH7317 Extra Guard is an entry-level oil filter that packs a lot of value for a low price. FRAM’s Extra Guard line is well-known for its orange metal canister which the company has been using for decades. In the last few years, the line has been upgraded with higher quality materials and construction – making it a more viable option if you’re on a tight budget.

Its filter media is made with a special blend of cellulose paper fibers and resin which is rated at 95% filtration efficiency for particles larger than 20 microns. The filter media now uses metal end caps to give it better durability. Newer models have also been upgraded with a silicone anti-drain back valve.

Being a budget-oriented oil filter, it’s only rated for 5,000-mile oil change intervals. It’s also compatible with both conventional and synthetic oils. However, if you’re going to spend money on expensive synthetic oils, it’s better to spend a couple of dollars more for an oil filter that’s rated for higher mileage oil change intervals like FRAM’s Tough Guard line, which is rated for up to 10,000 miles or the FRAM Ultra Synthetic line, which is rated for up to 15,000 miles.

The PH7317 model is designed to fit a number of vehicles from popular import brands such as Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda and Hyundai.

Features:

  • Cellulose paper-based filter media rated at 95% filtration efficiency
  • Metal end caps and inner tube
  • Upgraded silicone anti-drain back valve
  • Lasts up to 5,000 in between oil changes
  • Compatible with conventional and synthetic oils
  • SureGrip canister coating and lubricated rubber gasket for easy installation and removal
  • Designed for a wide range of import models

Pros:

  • Low price with upgraded features
  • High quality metal construction
  • Decent filtration efficiency and dirt-holding capacity

Cons:

  • Only rated for 5,000 miles

Different Types of Oil Filters

Oil Filters are not complicated pieces of equipment but are a very important wear item for your car. The basic design of oil filters hasn’t changed much in over 50 years.

The most common type of oil filter is the spin-on type which consists of filter media encased in a metal canister. Some manufacturers have begun adapting cartridge-type oil filters where only the filter media is replaced. Cartridge-type oil filters are more environmentally friendly since it requires fewer materials to manufacture and less waste ends up in landfills once it’s all used up.

Also Read: Best Car Buffers

Budget Oil Filters vs. Premium Oil FIlters

What separates a good filter from a bad one is the type of materials it uses and the quality of its construction. But nowadays, even budget oil filters that cost less than $5 boast features that you could only find in expensive premium oil filters only a decade ago.

The main component of an oil filter is the filter media, which is made of either paper or more durable synthetic glass fibers, or a combination of both. Oil filters that use fully synthetic fibers typically last more than 10,000 miles in between oil changes when used with recommended synthetic oils.

Higher quality oil filters also use metal end caps at each end of the filter media and have metal inner tubes to provide better support throughout its lifetime. Budget oil filters tend to use cardboard or plastic which are less durable and have a tendency to break apart over time due to the high pressures and temperatures it is constantly exposed to.

Oil filters also have an anti-drain back valve that stops the flow of oil into the filter when the engine is not running, which keeps your engine’s oil passages and the oil filter itself filled with oil. This lets the engine instantly build oil pressure as soon as you turn the key to start her up – preventing a condition commonly called a ‘dry start’ where the engine has to turn over a couple of times to get the oil flowing throughout the engine before coming to life.

These valves are traditionally made of rubber, but newer designs use silicone which lasts longer and is more resistant to deformities caused by the extreme temperatures it’s subjected to. 

How to Choose the Right Oil Filter

If you’re using synthetic motor oil, you don’t necessarily need to use something labeled as a synthetic oil filter. The term synthetic simply refers to the type of filter media it’s using. 

Since synthetic oil is designed to last for longer oil change intervals, using a more durable synthetic oil filter ensures that the filter will last until your next oil change.

Overall, you can’t go wrong high mileage or extended life oil filters that use synthetic filter media and silicone anti-drain valves no matter what oil you choose even if they cost a few dollars more.

Oil filters are designed to withstand the relatively high pressures of hot oil passing through it. A cheap filter from an unknown brand might use thinner metals, cheap gaskets, and materials such as cardboard and plastic that could cause it to leak or break apart easily, causing catastrophic damage to your engine. 

You also shouldn’t just rely on brand names. Just because an oil filter is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it offers significantly better features and performance. A lot of budget models nowadays offer a lot of value for very little money. Compare specifications from different manufacturers and pick out the best one that will suit your needs.

Conclusion

Whether you’re doing your own oil changes or bringing your own oil filter to your trusted mechanic to save some money, you should always get filters designed for your vehicle’s make and model no matter what brand it’s from. If your preferred oil filter model isn’t available or isn’t compatible with your vehicle, pick the next best filter based on its features and specifications.

David Rodriguez

David lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wife, three children, and Hugo, his adorable medium-sized dog. For the past 11 years, he has been working for several automotive dealerships in Fort Wayne due to his lifelong passion for cars. He's one of the new authors on CarGuided.