The automobile engine’s oil filter is important for the life of the engine. The oil filter removes contaminants from engine oil and other wear-causing particles suspended in the engine oil for prolonging the engine life of two-wheeler vehicles. The material used for the filter ranges from traditional cardboard/ cellulose/ paper types to completely synthetic which are far superior and long-lasting, as well as impact the efficacy, durability, and cost of the filter.
The efficiency of Oil Filters: Oil filters can capture the small contaminated particles from the fuel. The most damaging contaminants are found in the 5-micron to 20-micron size range. According to ISO 4548-12, a pleated paper oil filter has an average effectiveness of 40% at 15 microns, or it captures 40% of pollutants in the 15-micron range.
A paper/glass fibre blend, however, performs with an efficiency of 80% in the 15-micron range.
The capacity of Oil Filters: The volume of contaminants the filter can hold before its efficiency drops.
Types of Oil Filters –
- MECHANICAL – Made of cotton waste or pleated paper, the entrapment of contaminants reduces its efficiency and it requires periodic replacement of the filter element or entire filter.
- CARTRIDGE OR SPIN-ON – The cartridge type has a replaceable element construction inside a permanent housing, which is connected to the engine. In the mid-1950s, the spin-on type was introduced as a self-contained housing and element assembly that requires 100% replacement with a new one. But in the 1990s, leading automakers shifted back to cartridge type, because it generates less waste. New retrofit kits to convert spin-on to cartridge-type filters are offered for popular applications.
- MAGNETIC – Such filters use an electromagnet to capture ferromagnetic particles. Cleaning is easy as it involves wiping the surface of the magnet. Magnets attached to the outside of an oil filter or magnetic drain plugs were first invented and offered for cars and motorcycles in the mid-1930s. But their efficacy is still questioned.
- SEDIMENTATION – A sedimentation or gravity bed filter allows contaminants heavier than oil to settle at the bottom of a container under the influence of gravity.
- CENTRIFUGAL – It employs a rotary sedimentation device using centrifugal force to separate contaminants from the oil. Pressurized oil enters the center of the housing and passes into a drum rotor. Oil slides to the bottom of the wall, leaving contaminants stuck to the walls of the housing. This has to be cleaned periodically, to prevent the stoppage of rotation of the drum.
- HIGH EFFICIENCY – HE oil filters are a type of bypass filter which allow extended oil drain intervals.