Engine oil filters come in various grades, both in design and materials used, but they all work to remove all these impurities from your engine oil. There’s a great deal of varieties between different types of engine oils, the various synthetic additives they include, and countless other factors (such as city driving vs highway driving) which can influence the performance and longevity of engine oil. Lets take a closer look at the oil pump and filter to learn more about them.
Recognizing Oil Pump Problems
When the oil pump warning sign lights up on your control panel, by this point the oil pump can’t draw enough oil through the filter to keep all the journals lubricated. In addition to creating a lot of metal-to-metal contact and causing serious damage to your engine, the extra heat from the friction is burning the oil from the inside-out. The more damaged the oil becomes, the less it can do to protect your engine.
If you remove a filter that appears ballooned, bulged or deformed, this indicates it was subject to too much oil pressure, and the oil pressure regulating valve located in the oil pump should be serviced immediately. This valve regulates the oil pressure in the engine. If the valve is closed, restricted or sticks, excessive oil pressure will cause filter deformation and possibly cause the lubricating system to lose all its oil, resulting in engine damage.
When the filtering media is coated with sludge, the sludge could be caused by excessive combustion blow-by gases contaminating the oil. It might also be due to the engine operating temperature being too low, excessive idling, or most likely, an extended oil change interval. Any of these problems should be corrected as soon as possible.
If the filter has collapsed internally, there has been excessive media restriction with possible engine damage due to the lack of proper filter maintenance. You should inspect the engine for damage and make certain the driver changes the oil filter at every oil change. If you find excessive metal particles in the used filter, you should perform an oil analysis or disassemble and inspect the engine components to help determine what components are failing and causing excessive engine wear.