The reason we like to work on and fix our own cars is because we know that the work will be done right, and it gives us control over what parts are used on our vehicles. When it comes to oil changes, if you rely on the local quick stop oil change place to do the work for you, chances are you will get one of two oil filter brands - Champ or Wix. Now this post isn’t meant to bash any brand, or suggest that you should only use a particular brand. When it comes to Champ and Wix filters, they just would not be a filter we would use in our oil change. They are low priced filters meant to help the shop maintain margins because oil changes are low profit jobs. To keep the price low sacrifices need to be made - that means lower quality housings, a smaller percentage of particle removal, and less particle capacity.
Since oil is the "blood" of the engine we want to keep it clean as long as possible, so we like to take the savings from doing our own oil change and reinvest it in higher quality components - synthetic oil and a high mileage filter.
The things that we considered when evaluating these high mileage oil filters were length of use and ease of use. Those two things made the decision on our third criteria - was the oil filter worth the price? We have found four filters in auto parts stores that claim to offer extended intervals between changes - up to 10,000 miles. So we gave each of the filters a try in our own personal cars and want to report our findings. This is by no means a scientific analysis of the filters. We didn't send the filter out for lab analysis or cut it open. We did what the DIY mechanic would do: listen to our engine during the life of the oil change, and look at the oil when it came out of the engine. As we said, it's not scientific but we think we feel a difference with our choice in filter.
Extended Mileage Oil Filter Brands
K&N Performance Gold
These are warrantied to last up to one year, available for a lot of vehicles, and promise high filtration and flow rates suitable for synthetic oils. The filter is a plain white metal body with a manufacturer logo sticker on it. It definitely doesn’t look like a premium filter, but you can feel the heft and weight of it that gives us confidence that it would be able to handle a bang or scrape better than a cheap filter would. A thicker metal means it can withstand high oil pressures that most street cars shouldn't really need to worry about. The main feature or selling point of K&N Gold Filters is the wrench off nut. We have used these filters on three different cars, and the nut helps but it’s honestly not the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s a little rounded where the nut is welded onto the body of the filter. It requires that you get the wrench on there just right, but it works and can be reached in hard to get to areas with a ratchet and extension unlike a strap style oil filter wrench.
Mobil 1 Extended Performance
Everyone knows the Mobil 1 name for good reason - it is the specified oil on Porsche vehicles from the factory and well respected in the world of car racing. So it makes sense for them to sell a filter to complement their oil. Mobil 1 promises to effectively remove contaminants with a 99.6 percentage Multi-Pass Efficiency Rating using an advanced synthetic fiber blend media. They also advertise to hold up to 28 grams of contaminants. That means dirty oil stays clean, and older engines that may have metal particles floating around could see longer life since the metal will be trapped in the filter. These filters are a little fancier looking than the K&N and usually sell for more as well. Seeing as the specs are virtually identical to the other filters in our comparison, we wouldn’t pay the extra couple bucks for it unless it was our only choice. That does not mean it’s not a great filter, it is. We feel good about recommending it to you, and if you’re a guy who likes the labels on your filter to match your oil then pick up the Mobil 1. For us though, once the parts are on the car no one knows what you have.
Bosch Distance Plus High Performance Oil Filter
Brakes, filters, anything we can get in Bosch we will. It is our preferred brand for everything automotive. That’s probably because we became familiar with the brand working on Volkswagen's, and Bosch is one of the OEM suppliers for most parts on German made vehicles. Bosch extended life filters were the first one we tried, and have used many since. They are plain like the K&N, but there is no added nut to help in getting it off. They are painted in the muted Bosch blue. The canister body feels thick and heavy. Like a tank. It has a brand sticker as well, but it's small and understated - German minimalism and Bauhaus design at its finest. Bosch states that an Advanced Synthetic Fiber Media has 300 percent greater capacity, provides longer life, and gives 99.9 percent efficiency that reduces engine wear. They also advertise a 500 psi burst strength. That an extreme amount of pressure that means you will have a hard time cracking the case on this filter. We are able to get these filters for our make and model ... but whaddya know it’s getting difficult to find Bosch Distance Plus Filters.
We recently came across the Purolator PureOne in Advance Auto Parts. It’s a filter that just recently came on the market, so you know we had to give it a try. The box is a masterpiece of foil embossed cardboard that catches your eye from the minute you walk into the oil isle. That’s because it shines like a diamond under the auto parts store lights. Purolator wants you to know that this is a PREMIUM filter. The box is so pretty that it looks like it's being prescribed by a car doctor. It promises up to 10,000 miles of oil filtration and 99% dirt removal power by using a high-density synthetic blend media. It has a slightly grippy texture that helps get the filter loose, but your still going to have to use a wrench of some sort. At the lowest price in the test it's a strong competitor that combines price with features similar to the others in our review. It worked fine, and there is no reason not to buy it but we want to give it another go before replacing the winner of our test.
Which Extended Life Oil Filter Would We Buy?
Our dream filter would cost $5 and change itself. None of these can do that. So given that we have to settle for what’s available, I bet you're wondering which filter would we buy? It’s obvious that we talked up the Bosch extended life filter - but that is because we really like it and it is our pick out of the four extended life oil filters we tried. In all honesty though, any one of the filters on the list are a great choice, so buy which ever brand you prefer. If you’re buying it on Saturday morning at the local auto parts store then buy whatever is in stock. All four have high capacity filtration, high burst strength, and anti drain back mechanisms.
Are extended mileage oil filters worth it?
Now a normal oil filter is going to be replaced every 3-5 thousand miles. So if you are going to pay twice the price, it should last twice as long. All of these filters promise to last up to 10,000 miles which means you are doing half as many oil changes. So the price equals out. But there is another cost that should be considered - time savings. If you take your car to an oil change shop you’re going to sit in a waiting room or in line. That’s going to cost you an hour at least. Not to mention the drive back and forth. So if you could skip every other oil change, you’d save yourself that hour. What is your time worth? For a few extra dollars invested in synthetic oil and a high mileage filter, costs which you can recoup by doing your own oil change, we say it's worth it. What do you think?