Are OEM Subaru Oil Filters Better Than Aftermarket?

When it’s time to replace the oil filter on your Subaru, you have two different types of oil filters to choose from: OEM and aftermarket. Some people think that it doesn’t matter which type they choose. Perhaps this is because oil filters are small and disposable parts. But it actually does make a huge difference.

The oil filter is singlehandedly responsible for keeping the oil clean in your Subaru. So, you want to equip your car with a good and reliable oil filter that will certainly last until the next oil change.

To help you make an informed decision about your next oil filter, we’ve listed out the most important features to consider. Then we compared those features in OEM filters to those in aftermarket filters.

1. Material Quality

New Subaru Oil Filter Cut Open

The quality of the metal filter housing and the filter material determine how long your oil filter will last. The saying “you get what you pay for” really rings true here. If you’re going with the most cost-effective solution, expect to get an oil filter with the poorest quality materials.

Aftermarket oil filters are generally cheaper than OEM oil filters, and for a good reason. The filter housing in aftermarket filters is usually made with the thinnest metal possible. When subjected to hot oil under high pressure, the filter housing can distort or crack. That leads to leaks. Some aftermarket oil filters come with cheap filter material inside that will clog up quickly. Once the filter clogs, the oil will flow through the filter's bypass valve. Then it will return to the engine unfiltered, completely defeating the purpose of having a filter in the first place.

2. Fitment

New Subarua Oil Filter

If you don’t want to deal with a leaky oil filter, get one that fits exactly right. A leaky oil filter is really bad news. Leaking oil can create a fire hazard in the engine compartment. Also, if the oil filter leaks long enough, the engine will eventually run low on oil. This causes premature wear that is very expensive to repair.

Aftermarket oil filters are rarely designed exactly to OE specs. So they have a much higher chance leaking than an OEM oil filter does. A lot of automotive technicians will tell you that aftermarket oil filters tend to come off easily because they’re loose due to poor fitment.

OEM oil filters are obviously designed to OE specs. So, you don’t have to worry about leaks with an OE filter on your Subaru.

3. Warranty

When you’re installing a new part on your Subaru - even a small disposable part - you want the peace of mind that the part won’t fail in the near future. Subaru offers that assurance with its OEM oil filters. All genuine OEM Subaru replacement parts are covered by Subaru’s Limited Parts & Accessories warranty. It’s good for one year from the date of installation with no limit on mileage. All genuine OEM Subaru parts sold by authorized retailers like us are backed by this warranty.

You would be hard-pressed to find an aftermarket oil filter manufacturer that offers a comprehensive warranty on all of its parts. In fact, most aftermarket manufacturers don’t even warranty their parts. So if you end up with a faulty aftermarket oil filter, you’ll have no choice but to buy a new one.

Affordable OEM Oil Filters Exist

OEM oil filters are cheaper in the long run because they’re less likely to cause expensive engine issues. But, some Subaru owners are still hesitant to spend a little more money on OEM oil filters. Here’s a secret: OEM oil filters don’t have to be expensive!

As an authorized retailer of genuine OEM parts, we offer wholesale pricing on all Subaru parts, including oil filters. Get yours today!