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Here’s Proof That You Absolutely Need to Pre-Fill Your Engine Oil Filter

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Here’s Proof That You Absolutely Need to Pre-Fill Your Engine Oil Filter


There are countless theories online as to why you should or should not pre-fill your oil filter when changing your engine oil. But theory only gets you so far. Here’s real, scientific proof that you should always pre-lube your engine’s oil filter before installing it.

Lake Speed ​​Jr. of the YouTube channel Motor Oil Geek received criticism for pre-filling his engine’s oil filter during an oil change video he posted on his channel. To prove his critics wrong, he teamed up with dynamo expert Don MacKaskill to conduct an experiment using a V-8 sitting on an engine mount.

Most engine oil pumps get oil directly from the filter, so to prove why pre-filling is so important, Speed ​​Jr. installed an oil pressure gauge to show what would happen if the engine was running with a dry filter. Priming the engine (running it without adding fuel or spark) reveals that the engine would run for a few seconds without any oil pressure, because there is no oil to draw from the filter.

Speed ​​Jr. then primes the engine again once the oil has circulated to the filter. On the other hand, the pressure increases immediately, erasing any possibility that the engine could have operated without adding oil.

Every time you perform an oil change, your engine will have residual oil covering the internal components, so it’s not like you would run the engine completely dry if you hadn’t pre-lubricated the filtered. But as Speed ​​Jr. points out, that thin layer of residual film isn’t enough to keep things like connecting rod bearings properly lubricated, even for a few seconds. Deciding not to pre-fill your filter means more wear and tear on your engine, period.

Some cars have side-mounted or upside-down filters, making them more difficult to pre-fill without causing a big mess. Some modern cars have a feature that solves this problem, as Speed ​​Jr points out. in another video. You can use “clear flood mode” to turn the starter without starting the engine, allowing oil to flow to the filter. Activating this mode generally involves a pedal dance which may differ depending on the manufacturer; We suggest consulting your owner’s manual for instructions on how to use it.

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