Periodic Oil Filter Inspection

oil filter cutter

Periodic oil filter inspection can be a valuable tool for providing an early warning of hidden engine problems. A couple of minutes and an affordable tool have the ability to save thousands in engine rebuild or replacement expenses down the road.


Preventative maintenance is something that many people think applies to the everyday driver. Nevertheless, it can be just as important with practically any type of race vehicle, possibly making the difference between a win and a DNF (Did Not Finish), along with costly repair costs. Inspecting valve lash, changing engine oil, performing leak down tests, examining brakes and suspension parts. As well as cleaning up fuel filters, servicing differentials and transmissions, and so on. These ought to all become part of a preventative maintenance program. But there is one check that many racers neglect: Periodic oil filter inspections must be on the list, as well.oil filter skeleton


Inspection is carried out during an oil change or anytime engine condition or efficiency remains in question. Oil filter examination can also work as excellent troubleshooting help when efficiency concerns occur. Oil filter inspection starts by simply getting rid of the filter from the engine, putting it in a pan and letting it drain for 10-15 minutes prior to being cut open.

Cutter Tool

To cut the housing of the filter, using an Oil Filter Cutter tool, available from a variety of manufacturers consisting of Allstar Performance and Kluhsman Racing Components. QuickCar, ProForm, and Longacre, are also extremely recommended. While it may be tempting to grab a hacksaw, it’s best to utilize a specialized tool since it supplies a clean cut, comparable to a can opener, without creating metal debris that may be thought of as engine wear.oil filter inside

The Process

The process for utilizing the filter cutting tool might vary, depending upon the brand tool you are using and whether you have a vise readily available. The following instructions are simply one technique; please read the directions included with your cutting tool. When cutting the filter, it’s practical to secure the tool in a vise. Proceed by positioning the filter in the center of the tool, gasket side down, so that the cutter aligns with the outside of the filter housing. A drain pan ought to be positioned below to capture all remaining oil. Continue by tightening up the cutting blade, while slowly turning the filter until it starts to cut all the method around the filter housing.

Analyze for Debrisoil filter installation

Using an oil filter cutting tool like the Allstar Performance ALL10538 makes oil filter inspection a lot easier. Once the housing has been cut completely open, get rid of the filter element. Then utilize an utility knife to safely cut the end caps off the element so that the “pressure side” of each pleat can be analyzed for debris. Keep in mind that all things mechanical will wear over time, which there will constantly be a few tiny pieces of bearing material, silicone sealant, etc… lodged in the element. The majority of debris triggered by typical engine wear found is usually no bigger than the point of a pencil lead. If the engine has been rebuilt, you may anticipate finding a generous amount of assembly lubricant in the filter, as well. Once again, no cause for worry.

Conclusionoil filter on black surface

On the other hand, if the pleats consist of a significant quantity of what seems to be bearing material or other metal pieces, even more investigation may remain in order. A magnet might be utilized to help determine the particles (steel or aluminum) and its origin. Removing the oil pan and examining the bearings then ends up being the next logical action.

You might also like an article called Performance Parts for All Vehicle Types.

This post was influenced by a good article at Motorstate called Oil Filter Inspection.

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