Engine oil filters for synthetic oil vs conventional oil

2014 toyota rav4. This car uses 0w-20 synthetic oil. I see that there are engine oil filters sold as designed for conventional oil, and some say designed for synthetic oil, and some don’t specify. Any difference in engine oil filters designed for synthetic oil vs conventional oil? I guess, it will be safer to go with the filer designed for synthetic oil because car uses synthetic oil, but I have no way of knowing that the shops put on oil filter designed for synthetic oil if that matters.

You’re kidding?


The media in the oil filter doesn’t care what type of oil passes thru it.

It just filters.


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How long, timewise, and how many miles, are your oil change intervals?

If you want a shop to use a specific oil filter when they do an oil change for you, just buy one in advance at an auto parts store and give it to the shop to use as part of the oil change. No need to stress about it then. If your car uses a replaceable gasket for the oil drain plug, good idea to buy a supply of those from a dealership too, for the same purpose. Some folks here say they buy their own oil too, and ask the shop use that.

@Tester is right.

Just another gimmick to make you think you are buying something special.

Remember Coke Classic!!!

The one I get a kick out of is,“Dyson Vacuums” that are run on a Digital Motor???
What a bunch of Hooey!!! It’s digital because it’s either “On or Off”.

That’s marketing for you.


Well, synthetic oil usually stays in the engine longer so maybe the filters should have more capacity but they don’t. I have come full circle with oil filters from cars without filters, to paper cartridges, to spin on metal cased ones back to the paper cartridges. I change ny own oil but I buy my filters at the Toyota dealer. $5.75 and they didn’t change the filters when they started using synthetic oil so if it is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

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I assume the “synthetic” filters are much higher priced than the “conventional” ones… :slight_smile:

Tester is right of course.

Filters that are marketed for synthetic don’t have a larger capacity

But some of them claim they’ll survive extended oil change intervals, whereas some conventional filters will not

I’ll mention some of my own experiences

About 20 years ago, when Benz started going to extended oil change intervals, they initially made no change to the filter cartridges. However, some of them literally crumbled to dust over that time period. Then they came out with revised cartridges, which were wrapped with fleece or some hard synthetic substance, which prevented them from crumbling.

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Oh Lordy, I hope I never buy a filter as bad as Coke Classic! :joy:
Seriously, just buy a filter that meets the specs described in your owner’s manual and you can’t go wrong.

Wasn’t it the one called New Coke they brought out around 1990 that people didn’t like? I think Coke Classic was Coca Cola’s response, which brought back the Original Coke formula, but w/ HFCS rather than cane sugar. New Coke never caught on in the USA and I don’t think I’ve seen it on the shelves in years, but New Coke was what was available in France last time I was there.

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You’re right, George, I misspoke. I meant New Coke.

But Coke Classic wasn’t the original formula. It uses high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar, and I’ve always thought it’s terrible. I stopped drinking Coke then, as did millions of others. The Coke I grew up with, with cane sugar, has finally become available again from Mexico. And it’s much, much better… the first time I got one I felt ten years old again.

I think the oil filter specifications would confuse the typical vehicle owner and this is something I generally do not see in owners manuals, what does your owners manual state for oil filter specifications?

Honestly, I’ll have to look. I’ll do that today and post back.

Re: the confusion by the average owner, you may be right. I assume it’d contain specs like the API and ASE specs for oils, but have never actually looked.

I was going to suggest the “Hecho en Mexico” Coca Cola. Last year my Grandson walked out of his kitchen trying to twist the cap off of one. I stopped him before any blood was spilled and asked him to get the military “Boy Scout” knife I had given him. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The all stainless steel pocket knife stamped U.S. with blades similar to a Boy Scout knife. I showed him how the screwdriver/bottle opener blade fit then let him pop the cap. He was amazed at the new (to him) technology! LOL

That product is usually available just prior to Passover, in areas with a significant Jewish population. Apparently, the reason for this is that the “American” Coke is not kosher by virtue of the High Fructose Corn Syrup that it contains. The past couple of years, my local Costco has had the Mexican Coke available by the pallet-load.

Mexican Coke only became readily available up here in the past six or so years.

It is just another gimmick for you to buy the expensive one.

Years ago one of the news orgs dug into the pricing of contact lenses. There were three different levels you could buy at three different price points. The vast majority of people were buying the more expensive lenses…and it turned out all three levels were exactly the same. No difference what-so-ever.

Just to bring this back to cars, when I worked at a Citgo station many decades ago, I can recall when a customer was told that he needed a quart of oil, and that we had three grades available (IIRC–70 cents, 60 cents, and 50 cents). The customer asked “What’s the difference between the 50 cent oil and the 70 cent oil?”, and one of my co-workers responded rhetorically… What’s the difference between chicken sh*t and chicken salad?

That approach apparently worked, because the customer requested the 70 cent oil.

Re different oils - at our Sohio station we were told to shake the can if the weather was cold. The cheaper oil (Duron?) would move around much less than the expensive one (Nitrex, I think)

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