What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil Filter?- Answered

When did you last replace your oil filter? And now your engine is starting to sound funny. You’re concerned if it’s because of the old oil filter you’ve been using.

Well, what happens when you don’t change your oil filter?

Not changing oil filters regularly can clog your engine. When this happens the oil that passes to your engine won’t be filtered anymore. This will more likely form a sludge of the oil. As a result, your engine will be filled with filter contaminants. This will cause your engine to heat up and eventually get permanently damaged.

Are you still worried? You should not be concerned. Have a look at this- 

Is It Bad If You Don’t Change Your Oil Filter?

The answer is yes. Oil filters screen out dirt, compulsion components, and carbon deposits from your oil engine. 

These components are harmful to your engine. Not only this, but they also lubricate your engine’s internal components. 

Your oil filter basically blocks all these components. That’s why they can’t get inside and harm your engine.

If the oil filter is not replaced, it’ll become clogged. This means this will reduce the amount of clean oil that passes through your filter. Your engine will be severely damaged if this happens. 

What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil Filter?

Changing oil filters regularly is crucial. You already know that. So, don’t go a long time without changing your oil filter. Otherwise, it’ll cost you your car engine. 

Sometimes your car might be facing problems internally. However, you might not notice until it’s too late.

So, let us tell you the list of things that’ll happen and how to solve those-

Problem 1: Oil Will Stop Filtering

As you already know, your engine requires a huge amount of clean oil to operate. Some oil filters contain a premium valve that regulates the oil flow. But when your filter becomes fully clogged this bypass valve will collapse.

This will leave your engine unprotected. That means the oil passing into your engine will be unfiltered and toxic.

Problem 2: Oil Will Turn Into Sludge

The old oil will break down if you don’t change your oil filter now. This oil will later turn into sludge.

In this stage, changing your oil might be a temporary solution. But the new oil will also break down if you don’t change the filter. 

Problem 3: Engine Will be Filled with Sludge

Now, the clogged compulsion components will eventually make their way to the engine. If this happens, your engine will surely face terminal damage. 

Afterward, the filter contaminants will build up inside your engine. The engine sludge will build up as a result of this. Eventually, this will fill most of the internals. 

What Should You Do If You Forget to Change Your Oil Filter?

You might be facing the above problem due to not changing your oil filter. But don’t worry we have some solutions to your problems-

Solution for Problems 1 & 2

If you face problems 1 and 2, it’ll be best if you change your filter right away. But if you’re unable to do that just change your oil. Remember that this is not a permanent solution. 

Solution for Problem 3

If you’re facing problem 3, your engine has lost most of its lubrication. If this goes on any longer the increased heat will ruin your engine. The only solution you have here is changing your engine. 

You now understand what happens if your oil filter isn’t changed. So, It’ll be better if you change it regularly. But when should you replace your oil filter?

When to Change Your Oil Filter?

You are now well aware of the dangers of not changing your oil filter.  Don’t be worried! We’ll tell you how often your oil filter has to be replaced.

Oil filters are permanently sealed metal units. A visual inspection is not possible to find out if your oil filter needs changing. 

So, how long can you go without changing your oil filter? 

You can travel between 6000 and 12000 miles between oil filter changes. We have shown you a few techniques that will clear out your confusion- 

Change Every Second Time of Oil Change

If you change your oil twice, you should also do the filter replacement. We would suggest you replace the filter every time you’re changing the oil.

Your oil filter should be changed every 6000 to 12000 miles. For example, if you are on a 3000-mile cycle, change it every 6000 miles. If you’re on a 6000-mile cycle, change your filter after every 12000 miles.  

We can understand that changing it every time can be costly. But you must change it for every second time of oil change. 

Service Engine Light

Assume you’re driving and your service engine light flashes. Clogged oil filters can be a reason for this. So, when this happens it’s better to eliminate the inexpensive things first.

You should know why and when you need oil filter replacement by now. You also know the crucial importance of these for your ride. So, we hope you’ll jump in right now to change your oil filter if you forgot to do it. 


Question: What will happen if you drive with bad oil?

Answer:  Oil pressure can be harmed by using an improper oil filter. Too much oil can bypass your relief valve and enter the engine. Using an improper oil filter can cause difficulties with oil pressure. It can also cause leaks by preventing the filter from sealing properly. 

Question: How to know if my oil filter is leaking?

Answer: When screwing an oil filter into the engine, you can understand this. While doing so, an oil filter with too small threads might cause the threads. Or a loose seal might cause the seal to loosen. 

Question: Is it necessary to prefill an oil filter?

Answer: No, it is not necessary to prefill an oil filter. If you have a huge, heavy-duty truck, pre-filling the filter makes the job go faster. However, if you have a smaller vehicle, this isn’t necessary.

Final Words

Now you know what happens when you don’t change your oil filter. So, it’s actually better to spend  $10-$20  on an oil filter rather than buying a new engine.

It’s not difficult to keep track of when your oil filter has to be replaced. This will save your engine from breaking down.

 We hope this was a good read. Good luck.

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