Very Bad Oil Sludge
Service Pro Oil Filter Cutaway

Engine Oil

Everyone knows about the importance of regular oil changes.  Yeah, the old rule of thumb 3000 mile interval has become outdated with the advancements in oil refining and engine design.  Engines simply run better, cleaner and tighter than ever before allowing longer mileage intervals.

Oil is pretty much oil... but I feel filtration is the key.  You can run your favorite synthetic oil all day long but if you cheap out on the filter, what good are you really doing?  Cheaper filters are just that, cheap.  They have cardboard end caps, less surface area for filtration and weak bypass spring design.  Better filters will have metal end caps, silicone seal, more pleats and an actual spring for the bypass function.

If the oil is neglected for too long, it can become like sludge and not flow properly causing oil starvation to the engine.  This increase is viscosity can also lead to collapsing the filter element essentially bypassing it altogether.  Another great side-effect of cheap construction is the filtering element literally falling apart (See below left).  The short answer, not all filters are created equal.

Oil Filter Disintegrate
Oil Filter Comparison