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Oil filter size replacements

I have a 2003 Camry with a 2.4L engine. I would like to use a larger capacity oil filter. I know it can be done - as some filters have the same seal and mount characteristics but different capacities. Where does one go to find the larger capacity filter?

You have to be real careful with that. There are other factors to consider like flow rate.

What do you hope to accomplish with a larger oil capacity???

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What is the reason for wanting to do this. Just because a filter is physically bigger doesn’t mean it filters any better. You’ll also have to consider flow rate and the bypass valve pressure as well. If you do your research and find a filter that meets all the criteria, it won’t hurt anything, but at the same time it probably won’t help much either.

Several years ago My DIL had her old Dodge Shadow’s oil changed by an iffy lube. Apparently they were out of the filter it should have had so they substituted a larger one. It screwed right on, and the seals were the same diameter. During the brief period it was on the car, the oil light glowed at any engine speed close to idle. I put the correct filter on it before she took it back to the iffy lube. That fixed the problem, although I was never sure why. They gave her ALL of her money back + a coupon for her next oil change, free. As far as I know, she never went back. Of course I told her she was nuts for going there in the first place.

Go to a store that has a good selection of oil filters that you can readily access. Find a larger filter than yours with the same thread size but also look at the thread mount to make sure as best you can with your eyes that it is the same thread pitch. Also, match the seal diameter. These things are normally not difficult to match with a larger filter. Buy the correct filter as a backup and the larger filter. Almost all filters have antidrainback valves visible through the holes in the mounting plate. I don’t bring a caliper along but carefully use one of my fingers as a gauge which has worked pretty well as there are a limited number of thread diameters.

After using the larger filter, open it and the standard filter to compare filtration areas.

I have been doing this for many years and have had no problem. I don’t worry about bypass pressure as one engine needs oil pressure as much as the next. Besides, a large filter is less likely to open the bypass than a small area filter.

A larger area filter will make the pressure drop across the filtration media less with less tendency, in my view, to push dirt through the filter.

It’s also my view that the newer, very small filters are a cost reduction and greener due the need for less raw material and are permissible due to lighter viscosity oil specified now but still might have a tendency to go into bypass mode during a very cold start.

Unless you have some very special unusual needs, I would not want to change from the recommended filter.  There is almost nothing to be gained and potentially a few serious problems if it were to fail.  If you really feel that the OEM setup is lacking, then I would recommend more oil changes along with a new OEM filter.  However there are very few oil related failures on modern cars other than cases where there has been the failure to change the oil as recommend, the use of non-recommended oil, or not checking the oil level.

I have a 2015 Subaru 2.5 L and understand that some time ago, Subaru reduced the size of their oil filters to reduce costs. However, when I check my oil, it reads a good half quart over the full mark. Should the dealer be putting in less oil to compensate for the smaller filters? I have an oil leak issue and am wondering if there is now too much oil in the engine.


Every time I get the oil changed at my Subaru dealer they overfill it by 1/2 to 1.5 qt. I have to take it back to get them to correct, but they never get it below to fill +1/2. Stated reason is something like “they burn oil so we start out high to reduce issues with low oil levels”.

I don’t think this practice has anything to do with filter size.

I think you are ok at +1/2 qt. 1 qt high and I’d remove some oil.

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I seriously doubt the manufacture is going to use a filter to small. Assuming you check the oil on a cold engine and you think it is too full why are you not talking to who ever did the oil change.

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I have a better idea than trying to use a filter that isn’t designed for your Camry: Buy a nicer model of oil filter.

This might mean spending a few extra dollars on a premium Fram or Purolator filter to get one that filters at 98% instead of 96% (which hardly seems worth it on a car that old, but if it makes you feel better about taking good care of your car, it might be worth the money), or it might mean buying an OEM brand filter at a dealership instead of an aftermarket brand at an auto parts store or big box store.

I’m not sure what problem you’re trying to solve by using a non-recommended oil filter, but chances are, there is a batter way to solve it.

EDIT: Darn it, I just got sucked into an 8-year-old conversation. Fooled again.

Thanks for the reply. I read on a Subaru site ( that they consolidated their oil filters some years ago as a cost saving measure. I’ve checked the oil when cold and hot and get the same reading. I’m of the old adage that you do not overfill your crankcase. I would have thought that they would have changed the low and full marks on the dipsticks by now if those levels were not correct. I have to go in for service tomorrow so I’m going to ask the Svc. Mgr. and see if I get a straight answer. They had to pull the engine a month ago to repair a “cam cap” oil leak. Now I am getting the same burning oil smell in the car again and they’re saying it’s the oil dipstick tube seal. Drove it hard yesterday and no sign of leakage there when I got home.

Hello. I didn’t mean that the manufacturer is requiring a too small filter, just a smaller one that was originally used years ago. Here is an article I found on the subject. (

I have cut many filters open for various reasons and the only ones that were anywhere near clogged were due to sludge. The vast majority had sparse, barely noticeable specks of various often unidentifiable debris and near microscopic pieces of metal flakes. And of course there is a great deal of difference in the amount of filter material among the different brands. Water contamination was the only cause of total collapse and failure of the filter elements I have seen. So from my observation a larger filter won’t necessarily provide more filtering.

For years I installed PF-47 filters on GM vehicles that called for PF-52 for my convenience and felt sure I was giving the customer all the filter he needed especially when comparing the quality and filtering capacity of the PF-47 to after market filters.

Subaru uses two filters. The larger one for the 3.6L engine is really for 5w30 oil that that engine uses. All the other Subaru engines use 0w20 oil and need the smaller filter. Besides size, the other difference is the bypass valve operates at a lower pressure on the smaller filter. This is necessary to insure that the oil pressure remains higher for the lighter weight oil.

The bypass valve is the valve that opens if the oil pressure in the output side of the filter is too much lower than the pressure in the input side. It is referred to as a delta P valve. The lower the delta P, the higher the pressure supplied to the bearings. A filter with a higher delta P would allow more pressure drop by the filter that would result in lower oil pressure at the bearings. With the 0w20 oil, you don’t need any more pressure drop.

Also the smaller filter takes less time to fill up at engine start so oil pressure comes up quicker.