The oil filter may seem like a simple part, but it’s quite important to your engine’s health. That’s why it’s important to install the best quality oil filter you can find. You may be wondering how to find the best oil filter for your Mazda. You have two options:
- OEM oil filter
- Aftermarket oil filter
Which option is better for your Mazda? When you consider all the important factors that go into an oil filter, the answer is clear. OEM oil filters are the much better option.
Many aftermarket oil filters come with a set of issues that can lead to expensive engine repairs.
What Could Go Wrong With An Aftermarket Oil Filter?
It’s common for aftermarket oil filters to clog early. When that happens, the engine gets dirty oil. That spells disaster because dirty oil doesn't lubricate well. The dirt, metal shavings, and other debris in the oil can wear engine parts quickly. The same can happen when the oil is too thick and sludgy. Such oil won't lubricate the engine as well - or not even lubricate it at all.
That's why you need a reliable oil filter that will perform well until the next oil change. Many aftermarket oil filters aren't reliable for the reasons listed farther down this post. If you want to save money and play it safe, get an OEM oil filter.
Debunking The Myth That OEM Oil Filters Are More Expensive
Are you the type of person to base your purchasing decisions on cost? You may like to know that OEM oil filters aren’t always expensive.
The reason OEM oil filters are expensive is because dealerships mark up the price by about 30%. Here’s a secret: you can pay a much lower price for OEM oil filters online. We offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM Mazda oil filters. For example, this oil filter for some 2012-2019 models costs several dollars less on our website than at a local website. It makes buying an OEM filter a no-brainer.
Why OEM Oil Filters Are A Much Better Investment
Finally, let's talk about why OEM oil filters deliver so much more value than aftermarket ones.
1. Better Quality Materials
For an oil filter to work, it needs to have high quality components. That includes the following components:
- Filter media
If the housing and/or seals are low quality, oil might leak out. If the filter media is low quality, the following issues may occur:
- The filter media can clog up well before the next oil change. When that happens, the filter sends dirty oil to the engine.
- The filter material may tear off and contaminate the oil.
In other words, an oil filter made of low quality materials is bad news. So you want to play it safe and get an OEM oil filter. Mazda makes a point to build its oil filters with high quality materials. You'll have the peace of mind that your OEM oil filter will easily last to the next oil change.
You can't say the same about aftermarket oil filters. Many aftermarket manufacturers cut corners by using low quality materials. It's impossible to tell if an aftermarket oil filter is high quality or not unless you cut it open. Let's say you find an aftermarket filter with a high quality housing and seals. There's still no way to know if the filter media inside is of the same caliber. The only way to gauge the quality of an aftermarket oil filter is to use it. It's pretty risky because a failed oil filter is detrimental to the engine.
2. Right Dimensions
It's very important for an oil filter to have exactly the right dimensions. Here are some of the common issues that can happen if you use an oil filter with the wrong dimensions:
- An oil filter that's too small will clog up to early.
- An oil filter that is too tall may not fit at all.
- An oil filter with an incorrectly-sized seal can leak oil.
If you want an oil filter that's designed to OE specs to a tee, get an OEM filter. As long as you get an OEM filter made for your model, you never have to worry about fitment issues. Aftermarket manufacturers rarely design their oil filters exactly to OE specs. If you look on Amazon, you'll find a lot of reviews from Mazda owners complaining about fitment issues with aftermarket oil filters. We rounded up a few:
- "[This oil filter] does not seal. This causes the oil to spill/seep through the top of the filter when the engine is turned on. Please note that you will NOT notice this unless the car is actually running. I actually caught this by chance. Otherwise I could've lost an engine due the constant oil leakage over a certain time. I did the oil change two days ago, and I already lost a full quart of oil, which will cost me more than I paid for the filter."
- "Do not buy this aftermarket oil filter! It does not fit my Mazda SKYACTIV engine. [This filter] is not compatible with my car. Now I cannot complete my oil change, and I'm left stranded with no vehicle."
- "[This aftermarket oil filter is supposed to] fit a 2000 Miata. It does not. I'm currently dealing with the oil pressure gauge going haywire and oil everywhere. I just had this engine rebuilt 2 months ago, and now I've already done unnecessary damage to it."
The bottom line? OEM oil filters are the much safer and better option than aftermarket filters.