Motor oil is to your car what blood is to your body. What then is the oil filter? The car’s kidneys? Liver? Whatever you decide to liken it to, the oil filter is yet another essential piece of your vehicle’s working parts. Having a clean, high-quality oil filter is often the difference between an invincible engine and one that is rattling with metal shavings. As such, you probably want to know who makes the best oil filter on the market so you can add it to your car during its next oil change.
Let’s take a look at some of the best oil filter brands available right now, including their defining features, pros, and cons.
**Note** – A quick hello to anyone reading this, I’m Alastair and this is my site Synthetic oil.me. I started this site to help people with their oil questions, and hopefully what you’re about to read will help answer your questions. This page may include affiliate links to the likes of Amazon, which if you make a purchase I qualify to earn a (typically small) commission. Don’t worry as this won’t cost you anything, the likes of Amazon pay any commissions. Thank you in advance for your support as this helps bring you more (hopefully) helpful content.
Best Oil Filter Brands
The oil filters in this list have been reviewed extensively to ensure that they will live up to their hype. Keep in mind that some oil filter brands on this list may not manufacture products available for your type of vehicle; if so, don’t worry. There are plenty of other contenders on this list who make high-quality products.
So, without further ado, here are the recommended manufacturers with the best oil filters:
Beck-Arnley Oil Filters
Beck-Arnley has been supplying automotive parts since 1914. With over a century of experience, they have established themselves as a trusted brand in the industry. Beck-Arnley is known for its commitment to quality and providing parts that meet or exceed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specifications.
Beck-Arnley oil filters are robust in construction. The thick steel canister is thick enough to give cutting tools a difficult time. The filters also come with anti-drain valves that work flawlessly (evidenced by how when you remove the oil filter, the canister is filled with used oil). The filter media effectively traps dirt and crud as you would expect it to do. As an added convenience, the oil filter even comes with a service reminder sticker, allowing users to keep track of their maintenance schedules effortlessly.
That is why Beck-Arnley oil filters are among the best of the best. They have a proven track record for manufacturing parts that exceed expectations. With their commitment to quality, perfect fit, and impressive performance, Beck-Arnley oil filters have earned the trust of automotive enthusiasts, mechanics, and professionals alike.
- Factory fit
- High quality
- Spin-on oil filter comes with a sealed and lubricated base gasket
- Service reminder sticker along with the part number on the oil filter
- Often difficult to find
K&N Performance Gold Oil Filters
K&N Engineering, the company behind K&N filters, was founded in 1969. They revolutionized the industry with their reusable and washable high-performance air filters. K&N Performance Gold Oil Filters continue this legacy by offering excellent filtration and durability. The K&N Performance Gold oil filter stands out as an option that offers enhanced performance and quality, although it comes with a higher cost. One of its most recognizable features is the welded-on nut, which makes installation and removal easier.
The construction of the K&N Performance Gold filter sets it apart from the competition. Its thick steel shell adds durability and strength, making it a tough filter to penetrate. Inside the canister, the internal components exhibit superior craftsmanship compared to other filters tested. With additional rows, larger diameter passage holes, and a unique center tube design, K&N has engineered its oil filters to provide improved performance.
K&N utilizes synthetic filter media and an end cap design that allows for a higher oil flow compared to many competitors. They claim a 10 percent increase in oil flow, which can be advantageous, especially considering K&N’s renowned racing heritage.
- Exceptional quality
- Higher oil flow than the competition
- Anti-drain valve
- Built-in nut
- The premium price tag is often not justifiable for standard driving
Genuine or OEM Oil Filters
Yes, one of the best oil filter brands is going to be the maker of your vehicle. If you have a Honda, get a Honda oil filter, right? There are several reasons why choosing the OEM oil filter is advantageous. First off, you know that the oil filter is going to fit. OEM filters also undergo rigorous testing to meet the manufacturer’s specifications and quality standards. This ensures that OEM filters offer reliable filtration performance and effective engine protection.
Also, if your vehicle is still under warranty, using OEM parts, including oil filters, may be necessary to maintain the warranty coverage. Some warranties explicitly state the requirement of using OEM parts to ensure proper functioning and avoid any potential warranty disputes.
Or maybe you simply do not want to risk trying anything different. In that case, you know the OEM oil filter is going to provide consistent performance and reliability. After all, they are constructed to meet the specific needs of the vehicle—and that means peace of mind for you!
- Quality assurance and guaranteed compatibility
- Engine-specific design
- Consistent performance
- Almost guaranteed availability
- Higher cost than some aftermarket filters
- Some aftermarket filters perform better
- Limited options
Denso Oil Filters
Denso Corporation was established in 1949 as a leading global supplier of automotive technology and components. Interestingly, Denso is the original equipment supplier for automakers like Toyota. Denso oil filters are known for their advanced engineering and quality construction, providing efficient filtration and reliable performance.
Denso Auto Parts is dedicated to delivering OEM-quality parts to consumers. Their focus on maintaining high standards translates into filters that offer a proper fit and reliable functionality. Denso oil filters provide vehicle owners with the confidence that they are receiving quality components for their vehicles.
Cracking open the heavy-duty steel canister of a Denso oil filter reveals features such as dual-layer filter media, a silicone anti-drain back valve, and a pre-lubricated o-ring seal. These components demonstrate Denso’s commitment to effective filtration and durability, ensuring optimal performance.
- Reliable functionality
- Proper fit
- Heavy-duty construction
- High popularity leads to low stock or out-of-stock situations often
FRAM Oil Filters
FRAM, founded in 1932, is one of the most well-known names in the automotive filter industry. They introduced the first easily replaceable oil filter in 1934, revolutionizing oil filtration. FRAM oil filters are widely available and known for their affordability and reliable performance.
If you want an economical choice that is available wherever you go, choose FRAM.
That said, in more recent years, FRAM has faced some challenges. Researchers, like Russ Knize, who are typically moderate and temperate reviewers, have expressed concerns about the quality of FRAM filters. Knize has gone so far as to encourage consumers to boycott FRAM and has criticized the performance of their higher-priced Double Guard filter. The company claims a 95% efficiency for its filters, and while this may be vague, this is a decent efficiency for an economical filter. FRAM employs a proprietary combination of glass fibers and cellulose in their filter medium, allowing for a high oil flow rate.
- Wide range of oil filter options
- High oil flow rate
- Has had complaints about questionable construction in the past
- Lower efficiency
- Mixed reviews
AMSOIL Oil Filters
AMSOIL, a pioneer in synthetic lubricants, was established in 1972. Champion Laboratories, the white-label manufacturer of AMSOIL filters, also produces its own oil filter brands, namely Champ and Luber-finer. Their oil filters are designed to work in conjunction with their high-performance synthetic oils, providing exceptional filtration and extended service life.
AMSOIL filters are designed to provide superior performance in various aspects. They offer an impressive 99% efficiency at 20 microns, ensuring effective filtration of contaminants. Depending on the model, AMSOIL filters are rated to last between 15,000 miles (EA15K models) to an amazing 25,000 miles (EAO filters), making them suitable for extended drain intervals. For those who tend to take a lot of road trips, AMSOIL oil filters may be the right choice for you!
AMSOIL claims that its filters surpass competitors in every category, including efficiency, flow rate, capacity, and construction. However, it’s important to note that the superior performance of AMSOIL filters often comes at a higher price point compared to other brands.
- Superior filtration at 99% at 20 microns
- High-quality construction
- Extended service intervals
- Reputable brand
- Limited availability
- Higher price tag
ACDelco Oil Filters
ACDelco, a division of General Motors, has a long history in the automotive industry. That said, ACDelco doesn’t directly manufacture its oil filters; they are produced by Champion Labs, which is owned by FRAM. The brand was established in 1916 and offers a wide range of automotive parts, including oil filters. ACDelco oil filters are designed to meet strict quality standards and provide reliable filtration performance.
ACDelco offers a broad range of filters for industrial, high-performance, and standard consumer applications. Interestingly, ACDelco is also recognized for manufacturing top-ranked AA battery brands, showcasing their expertise in various product categories.
ACDelco filters boast an impressive 98% capture efficiency at 25-30 microns, highlighting their ability to effectively filter out contaminants. They are also designed with a 24-month/unlimited-mile limited warranty. One distinctive feature of ACDelco oil filters is their nylon cores, which the company claims are 1.5 times stronger than metal cores. This design element contributes to their durability and reliability.
Furthermore, ACDelco oil filters are usually affordable and have incredible features like deep filtration media pleats that improve oil flow, a large filtration media surface area, and a diaphragm-type anti-drainback valve that is made of nitrile rubber.
- 24-month/unlimited-mile limited warranty
- Meets or exceeds OEM standards
- Largely available at affordable prices
- Primarily designed to fit GM vehicles (limited compatibility)
Mobil 1 Oil Filters
Mobil 1, a brand of ExxonMobil, has been at the forefront of synthetic lubricant technology since 1974. Their oil filters are engineered to complement their high-performance synthetic oils, ensuring superior filtration and engine protection. Fascinatingly, Mobil 1 oil filters are also manufactured by Champion Labs.
You can expect decent performance from Mobil 1 oil filters, as their reputation suggests. Their performance oil filters offer impressive features, including a 99.7% multi-pass filtration efficiency and a debris-holding capacity of 28 grams. To put this into perspective, Motorcraft filters typically hold about 12 grams of debris. Mobil 1’s Extended Performance filter is highlighted for featuring 225 square inches of filtration media, surpassing most other brands by a significant margin. Notably, MotorTrend found the Mobil 1 filter to be identical to the K&N Performance Gold filter.
Here’s a video comparing the two:
The synthetic blend media used in Mobil 1 filters helps keep the oil cleaner for longer, with a 99% efficiency rating for removing particles greater than 30 microns. When paired with Mobil 1 Extended Performance motor oil, Mobil 1 filters guarantee protection for one full year or 20,000 miles. The filters feature an extra-strength canister that can withstand nine times the normal operating pressure and an enhanced nitrile gasket to prevent leaks. Additionally, Mobil 1 oil filters are designed to be versatile and compatible with all engine oil brands and types.
- Highly regarded in the automotive world for their exceptional quality
- Affordable price
- Versatile and compatible with many kinds of engines and oil types
- Works best when paired with Mobil 1 engine oil
Purolator Oil Filters
Purolator, established in 1923, is one of the oldest and most recognized oil filter brands. The brand is owned by Mann-Hummel in Germany, and the company name, derived from “pure oil later,” emphasizes their commitment to clean oil. Purolator oil filters are known for their solid construction and wide range of options, with over 2,000 filters available. Many of these filters deliver impressive efficiency, with Purolator’s top models boasting up to 99% efficiency at 20 microns.
Purolator oil filters feature an anti-drain back valve to prevent oil from leaving the filter when the engine is turned off, ensuring quick circulation upon starting the engine. The gasket holds the filter in place and prevents oil leakage.
Are these the best oil filters for everyday drivers, though? Maybe! Purolator oil filters offer three levels, including the premium BOSS filter, which is designed to last up to 20,000 miles and offers a high level of dirt removal power. In this case, you don’t have to change your oil filter when you do a routine oil change! However, even the cheapest option will last you around 10,000 miles for a wallet-friendly price tag.
Wide variety of options
- Some options last for up to 20,000 miles
- Filter media may restrict oil flow, making these filters less suitable for high-performance vehicles
Buying Guide: What to Look For In The Best Oil Filter
As you can see from above, there are many oil filter brands out there that perform well. Now, how do you choose the right one for your vehicle? To help you out, here are some tips and features to keep an eye out for when shopping for the best oil filter:
Out of all the things to look for in the best oil filter for your vehicle, this is the one that trumps everything else in importance. Check the compatibility of the oil filter with your vehicle’s make, model, and engine type. Just like engine oil, filters are designed to fit specific engines, so it’s crucial to choose one that matches your vehicle’s requirements.
Look for an oil filter that offers high filtration efficiency. It should be capable of trapping and removing contaminants such as dirt, metal particles, and sludge from the engine oil. A higher filtration efficiency ensures cleaner oil and better engine protection.
Size and Design
Size matters, so you should ensure that the oil filter is the correct size for your vehicle. It should have the right dimensions to fit properly without any leaks or compatibility issues. Additionally, consider the design features like an anti-drain back valve and bypass valve. An anti-drain back valve prevents oil from draining back into the engine when it’s turned off, ensuring immediate lubrication during startup. A bypass valve allows oil to flow in case of a clogged filter, preventing engine damage.
Consider the type of filter media used in the oil filter. Synthetic filter media, such as micro-glass or synthetic fibers, tend to have better filtration capabilities compared to cellulose (paper) filters. They can capture smaller particles, providing improved engine protection.
Quality and Brand
Opt for oil filters from reputable brands that are known for their quality and reliability. Trusted brands often use superior materials and adhere to higher manufacturing standards, ensuring a reliable product. Obviously, any oil filter on the aforementioned list is going to fit this standard. While there are plenty of other reliable brands out there, selecting ones with some clout ensures that you are getting a product trusted by thousands of drivers worldwide.
If you plan on buying your oil filter off the web, be sure to read customer reviews and ratings. Doing so allows you to gather feedback on the oil filter’s performance, durability, and reliability. Real-world experiences from other users can provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.
OEM vs Aftermarket
You saw that Genuine and OEM oil filters made the list. Yes, you can choose between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) filters or aftermarket filters. OEM filters are made by the vehicle manufacturer or their authorized suppliers and are specifically designed for your vehicle. Third-party manufacturers produce aftermarket filters. Both options can be suitable, but the one benefit of buying anything OEM is that they usually guarantee a proper fit and performance.
Final Thoughts on the Best Oil Filter
Who makes the best oil filter? While there any many brands out there, you can’t go wrong with a Beck-Arnley, AMSOIL, FRAM, K&N, or any of the other brands mentioned in this article. These high-quality brands have the best quality oil filters for your vehicle, regardless of what you drive. Before selecting one, however, be sure to conduct the right amount of research, read user reviews, and double-check the specifications. Remember, choosing the best oil filter is a small investment that can yield significant benefits in terms of engine protection and performance.