Do you have oil filters kept around, or are you wondering do oil filters expire within a certain time? How long can you use it and its shelf life? You will get all the answers that you are looking for.

Do Oil Filters Have an Expiry Date?

Oil filters don’t expire, but that doesn’t mean you can just keep using them as they might not have an expiry date, but they do break down and deteriorate over time as some influences can cause them to become clogged or damaged more rapidly than an average one.

Here are the causes that can draw close your oil filter’s expiry:

  • Use of improper or low-quality lubricants
  • Incorrectly installed 02 in the filter

Shelf life of Oil Filter

Whenever you store a product in proper conditions, it has a longer shelf life compared to when it is in use.

All you just need to know is how to store it, which applies to oil filters. When you learn to store your oil filters, you may want them to last long or maybe even forever, considering there is no expiry label on its side. 

Just a little metal is included in the entire architecture and construction of the oil filter, making its components not highly corrosive. An oil filter doesn’t last as long when installed into a car as it would last when you store it in a dry condition.

How to increase the shelf life of the oil filter?

The place and conditions where you store your oil filter can affect its shelf life. Find a dry area not frequently used in your room or a box and keep the filter in dry storage to last long and remain handy whenever needed. 

All of its components will remain intact as moisture won’t come in contact with the filter. If you read different forums, some vehicle owners have mentioned storing their oil filters in dry storage conditions and making them last for 10 years or more. 

Although this works, it isn’t an absolute solution as sometimes the rubber seals in some filters may start to deteriorate after around seven to eight years or thereabout, depending on the filter.

Life of an oil filter when installed in your vehicle

When considering mileage, a regular oil filter can last roughly 5 to 8 thousand miles. Some suggest changing the oil filter every ten thousand miles, but it’s too long for most cars. 

good vs bad oil filter
Good vs Bad Oil Filter

Some mechanics, oil filters, and oil manufacturers also recommend changing it every 3 to 4 thousand miles, considering which type and brand of oil filter you use in your car.

The time duration to replace the oil filter and oil is specified by some car engine manufacturers for the drivers and car owners. 

Many just don’t specify the miles you drive in a year. Instead, changing your oil filter at least once in a year or after the third oil change is most commonly advisable if you change oil up to 3 or 4 times per year.

Factors that can shorten the lifetime of the oil filter in your car

  • Towing
  • Extensive stop-and-go driving conditions, which are mostly in cities
  • Harsh weather conditions
  • Aggressive and inappropriate driving style
  • Driving under heavy loads

Shelf Life of Oil Filter(By Brands)

There are multiple brands of oil filters on the market, and every brand has a set of instructions for its oil filters. Along with that, the company also has the official life span for these oil filters. Here is a couple of them listed below. 

Fram2 Years
Wix2 Years
Tempest2 – 4 Years
K&N50,000 miles
Baldwin5 Years
Mobil1 Year or 20,000 Miles
Toyota3 months or 7,500 miles
Motorcraft 5000 miles 
ACDelco3 months or 3000 miles
Purolator 10,000 to 20,000 miles

What happens If you run dirty oil through the engine?

used oil filter

All vehicle engines need clean oil, and many engine parts necessitate lubrication. There are many small passageways in your engine, and if you run dirty oil through your vehicle’s engine:

  • Due to a lack of clean oil, some engine parts won’t experience enough lubrication
  • Clogging up small passageways 
  • Your vehicle’s engine’s fuel economy drops
  • You may have to spend a lot of money on repairs due to poor lubrication, which leads to overheating and damaged parts.
  • Washing the junk out of your old oil filter won’t work as it can damage the filter media. The filter will be unable to serve its purpose, and the paper filter media may even tear off, resulting in engine contamination.


If you dump the old oil and reuse the filter, your engine will experience severe damage. This happens because new oil will act as a solvent and dissolve all the sludge caught by the old oil filter and then recirculate at least some of it in your engine.

Using a leaky or clogged-up oil filter is a bad idea, and you should change the filter right away as a leaky oil filter not only deprives the engine of oil but also makes a huge mess in the engine bay.

It is messy, and the leaking oil can also become a potential fire hazard. Using a clogged-up oil filter will direct dirty oil to the engine with the help of the bypass valve resulting in accelerating wear in the engine.

Lube oil does not go bad in a few months when in a car. The expected expiry time or the life of conventional motor oil is around up to 5 years.

Predicting engine oil shelf life is nearly impossible because of petroleum stability and its ability to resist change in its properties are very much situation-dependent.

Using an unused oil filter doesn't depend on the time but on its present condition. If it was kept properly and hasn't caught rust or any damage, it is good to use even after 5 or 10 years.

Wrap Up

Yes, oil filters have an expiry date if used regularly, but like other products, they can last to infinity if you just keep them in the dry storage areas away from moisture. This will ensure its longevity and good physical conditions without causing any rusting and damage to the oil filter.

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