When Should I Change My Volvo Oil Filter?

Your car’s oil filter has one main job – to get rid of contaminants from the engine oil that accumulate over time as the oil keeps the engine running. To that extent, it is safe to conclude that without the oil filter, your engine won’t work. That is why you must regularly inspect and change the oil filter. Before then though, it is good to first learn a thing or two about how your Volvo oil filter works.

How It Works

The air filter’s outer part is a metal can that has a sealing gasket which makes it easy for the filter to hold on firmly against the mating surface of the engine. The metal can also has its own base plate which holds the gasket together. The metal can has many holes with one hole that is threaded so as to combine the filter assembly on the car engine block. The inner part of the metal can is made up of filter material which is mostly made from synthetic fibers. The oil pump feeds the filter with oil which moves through the holes in the base plate. Dirty oil moves through the filter and back again through the center hole where it re-enters the car engine. This cycle goes on and one until the oil filter wears out. You’ll know it is time to change the filter once you notice any of the following signs.

Poor Performance

This is easy to note. First, your car will not accelerate as it normally would. It’ll feel as though there’s something wrong with the accelerator.  The engine on the other hand will run, but not as well as it always does when the air filter works well. Inspect the oil filter anytime your car seems to struggle picking up speed as you accelerate. This is usually the first sign you need to change the air filter.


Sputtering is caused by a clogged oil filter. The oil filter in this case fails to release oil like it should. This means the oil cycle which must go through the filter and back to the engine is compromised. Either the cycle doesn’t happen at all or it happens slowly. The sputtering is usually slow at first. It then picks up gradually and worsens.

Metallic Sounds

Just like sputtering, metallic sounds coming off the engine are is a sure sign that the oil filter is clogged. This happens because the engine doesn’t get enough oil. Once this happens, metal to metal contact becomes inevitable. Stop driving immediately you hear the metallic sounds. Have the oil filter replace as soon as possible then feed more oil into the system.

Contaminated Exhaust 

The metallic sounds explained may or may not be accompanied by contaminated exhaust. The exhaust will be black and dirty with faint traces of black oil. You will also feel the smell of burning oil as it passes through the exhaust pipe. The best solution in this case is to replace the air filter. Your mechanic should then remove any sludge that found its way into the car.