Can I Change Oil Without Changing Oil Filter?

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Oil filter changing with oil maintenance

Did you recently changed the oil and not the oil filter? Or you are planning to change the oil and thinking on saving some money by not buying the oil filter? Either question, you are thinking the decision will influence a lot of other components in your vehicle. These components are the vital ones in the good functioning of your car.

So the main question remains can I change oil without changing oil filter? The answer is that it is clever and recommended to always change the oil filter when you change the oil. That way you can prolong the engine’s life, release future oil pump extra work and you are sure that you’re not shorting the new oil lifetime.

Can I Use The Same Oil Filter Twice?

The filter is supposed to capture contaminants and hold them within the filter media. Because of the engine running, this one fills with dirt and other different junk particles that are not desired.

When the filter cannot hold the dirt anymore, no filtration occurs, it will feed the engine with the dirty oil. Is still some oil rather than none, but do you think the engine will like it?

A new filter is far more cost effective than the need to replace an engine.  Replace the oil filter at every car maintenance.

Even if you want to use it two times and don’t want to spend money on a new filter, at least calculate how many miles (km) you drove. If it’s over 5000 miles, you better change the oil filter also when you change the car’s oil.

Can I Clean And Reuse An Oil Filter?

You will probably reduce the lifetime of the engine.

First, it embeds the clogging particles within the filter media. Pressure can properly remove them, but even then the efficiency will be very low. Most oil filters will be practically clogged when the maintenance period is due.

Second, most of the particles are very difficult to spot only by visualizing them. We cannot remove the little and most dangerous particles inside the oil filter. So you actually can’t see what you’re cleaning, and even so you will need to confirm the cleaning step.

Third, any cleaning materials you use will find yourself mixed with the new oil.

Finally, since there’s no light on the dashboard or anywhere else to inform you when the filter is clogged, and thus not having any reliable signal, you may never know bad particles will run into the engine.

Why Do You Need To Change Oil Filter?

When you change the oil on your car at the precise mileage stated in your owner’s manual it’s because the additives in the oil are not properly doing their job anymore to prevent friction, rust and keep the motor working smooth.

Oil filters, on the opposite hand, are preventing physical contaminants that may enter your engine. This will include dirt, dust or sludge coming from the oil circuit. By storing these particles inside, the oil filter helps to avoid your engine possibly being damaged by these.

These longer maintenance intervals are possible because of complex, low-viscosity engine oils, which bring more efficiency and better performance.

The recommendation is that you need to change the oil filter every maintenance. Do not change oil without changing the oil filter, unless you plan to do that soon because for example you forgot.

If the filter is getting clogged, then it’ll start sending unfiltered oil directly back to the engine. It also means that you’ve got all the dirt and particulates causing damages within your engine. Replacing the oil filter every periodic maintenance will prevent this to happen.

What Happens If You Don’t Change The Oil Filter?

It’s important to change the filter. The oil filter will capture any metal or debris parts that are produced during the normal operation of the engine. In case it will get clogged, those particles will come back into the engine.

If you forget to do it one time, it probably will not hurt your engine, depending on the distances you are driving and how good the oil was.

The clogged filter can also put a lot of pressure on the oil pump. When it’s trying to give enough oil to the engine, and the flow is interrupted it will require more work from the pump’s engine.

Considering the price of a new filter and the price of a new oil pump or even engine, the choice is obvious. You better spend some buck now, because the oil filter is inexpensive than cheap out and pay a lot more in the future. Of course, you probably can as we’ve said above, skip it one time but remember that you are also destroying the new oil and you put a lot of pressure on the oil pump.

How Long Do Oil Filters Last?

There is no given lifetime of an oil filter. Usually, you need to replace the oil filter when you replace the oil. That means you can stick to the period inside the car’s manual.

A good practice is to change your oil and along with it the oil filter every 6000 miles (approx 10000km). That way the engine will thank you.

Think of the oil as the one that gives life to the engine. The better you take care of the oil and oil condition, the more you will get from your engine.


In conclusion, as we’ve already discussed above, don’t be cheap. You are already swapping the oil of your car. Why would you change oil without changing the oil filter? The car oil filter is a small and inexpensive part, but yet with such a critical importance in the engine’s lifetime and oil pump.

This one is not like a caprice, an option that you don’t desire in a car, is a must and an important part of keeping a good and properly maintained vehicle for the future years to come.

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