What is the Oil Filter in Your Volkswagen and Why is it Important?

The oil filter in your car singlehandedly keeps the motor oil clean, so it plays a critical role in helping your engine live as long as possible. VW recommends changing your oil filter every time you have your oil changed. So it’s pretty important to know what an oil filter is and how it works.

What is an Oil Filter?

If you have a car that runs on regular gasoline, then odds are you have a full-flow oil filter. It looks like a can with a round metal housing. A pleated filter sits inside the housing. Depending on your Volkswagen model, the oil filter is located either at the back or front of the engine, and you can find it by going under your car.

How Does an Oil Filter Work?

The oil filter is attached to an oil filter mount, which is bolted to the engine. The oil filter serves as the first line of defense when the oil travels from the pan to the engine. The process works as follows:

  1. When the engine starts, the oil pump draws the oil from the sump (oil pan) and pumps it into the oil filter.
  2. The oil passes through the filter, where the filter traps as much dirt and debris as possible.
  3. The oil, now cleaner than before, passes to the engine and then lubricates it.
  4. The oil then drains back to the sump.
  5. The cycle is repeated until the engine is turned off.

When the filter is clogged, a bypass valve in the filter housing lets the oil go around the pleated filter. It doesn’t matter how dirty the oil is, it still has to go to the engine. Without oil, the engine would overheats and seize quickly. Dirty oil causes the engine to wear out faster than it should, though, so the filter still should be replaced on a regular basis.

How do You Replace an Oil Filter?

Replacing an oil filter when you change the oil is so easy a 10-year-old could do it (although it’s not recommended). All you have to do is to order an OEM replacement oil filter, scoot underneath your car, find the oil filter, unscrew it, and then put in the new oil filter. It should take no longer than 30 minutes. This set of instructions can guide you through the process.

Got any questions about the oil filter in your Volkswagen? We’re the right people to talk to. Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a phone call. We’ll be glad to chat with you!