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The oil filter improves the performance of the engine, enabling it to work as efficiently as possible while increasing the life of the engine.  The oil filter ensures that the engine oil is as clean as possible by filtering out unwanted particles of dust and dirt.

The oil filter is usually connected directly to the oil filter housing. The oil filter housing is mounted on the engine with bolts which secure the housing to the engine and has a gasket which functions as a seal to prevent the engine oil from leaking out. The location of the oil filter housing varies from car to car. Some vehicles will have the oil filter housing positioned at the top of the engine close to the front and others will locate it at the bottom of the engine.

The oil filter housing functions to provide a seal between the engine and the oil filter and to assist with cooling the oil before it reaches the engine. Oil in the engine needs to be as clean as possible. Using dirty, contaminated or old engine oil to run a car will eventually cause early wear and tear to the engine and can lead to a shorter engine life. When the oil is added to the engine it passes through the oil filter first. The oil filter protects the engine and many vital  components by filtering the oil, collecting  dust and other particles before they can get into the engine and cause damage. 

If the seal is broken on the oil filter housing this will cause oil to leak out. This part does suffer from general wear and tear, as with most engine components, and the gasket can split and crack over time. Replacing this part with a good quality oil filter housing will guarantee compatibility with the make and model of your vehicle.