A functioning oil filter in your engine is important to your engine’s health. It keeps the oil in the engine clean. When an oil filter goes bad, it can no longer filter the impurities out of the motor oil.
When To Replace Your Oil Filter
An oil filter usually lasts between 3,000 and 7,000 miles. You’re supposed to replace the oil filter at every oil change. It’s still possible for an oil filter to fail early, though. When that happens, your engine gets dirty oil. Dirty oil leads to engine damage.
If you notice that your oil no longer looks good, you should change the filter and the oil as soon as possible. It's easy to order a genuine OEM oil filter from us at wholesale pricing. For example, this oil filter for 2009-2011 Mazda RX-8 models normally costs $10 at dealerships. You can get it from us for just over $7.
The Most Common Symptoms Of A Failed Oil Filter
When an oil filter gets too clogged to function properly, its bypass valve opens and lets dirty oil return to the engine. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this, other than the oil getting dirtier. That's why you should check the oil regularly. The state of the oil will tell you a lot about what shape the oil filter is in.
Checking The Oil
There is an easy way to check the condition of the oil filter, and it is to look at the dipstick. To do this:
- Park your Mazda on a flat, even surface.
- Wait at least 5 minutes for the oil to completely drain into the oil pan.
- Pop the hood.
- Pull out the dipstick and then inspect it.
Does The Oil Level Look OK?
On the dipstick, there are two markings. They could be two lines, dots, letters, or something else. You want the top of the oil streak to remain between these two markings.
If the oil streak falls below the minimum marking, there may be a problem. The engine may be using too much oil, or there may be a leak somewhere. Some engines burn oil, and nothing is wrong with them. But in that case, oil should be added to bring the level up.
What Color Is The Oil?
Fresh oil has a light, amber color. It's also transparent. It's normal for the oil to darken over time. If you just changed your oil and oil filter, and the oil is already dark, then the filter may not be doing its job. If the oil is darker than it should be, check the consistency.
If the oil is opaque and/or milky, then the oil is contaminated. In that case, you will have to replace the oil and the filter ASAP. Before you change the oil, you will need to have the car inspected to see if there is a more serious problem.
Is The Consistency Of The Oil OK?
Last, but not least, look at the consistency of the oil. It will tell you a lot about whether the oil filter is still doing its job. Motor oil should be thin, runny, and slippery. If the motor oil is thicker and heavier with a honey-like consistency, the oil needs to be changed. The oil is loaded with impurities that the filter didn't catch. It's only going to get worse, so you want to replace the oil and the filter ASAP.
Do you have any questions about replacing the oil filter on your Mazda? We'll be happy to answer them if you contact us here!