I was walking through our shop this week when one of the Volvo mechanics called me over. He asked if I would write a blog article about oil filters. Apparently, some customers are trying to save money by getting the $19.95 oil change at the economy garage. The only problem is that soon after they have to bring their Volvo in with a check engine light. Some customers have reported a camshaft reset code or an engine knock after installing a cheap oil filter. According to Clay, the Volvo mechanic, all Volvos from 2004 to the present have variable valve timing. When the oil filter becomes clogged, the engine has a hard time pulling oil through the filter at startup. That’s when the sensors notice a problem and send a problem code to the computer.
The picture above shows two filters of identical size but you can tell that one is a bit squashed. That’s how it came out of the car. The basic lesson here is that cheap oil changes may save you money right now but will cost you more down the road. It really does pay to install quality parts.