Some automobile engines produce a noticeable clatter for just a couple of seconds when started. The noise might simply be characteristic of the particular engine, but it could be due to a brief lack of lubrication. At the time of an oil change, vehicle owners can request an oil filter with a specialized valve designed to speed up the circulation of engine oil at start-up.

Automobile engines contain a pump that continuously delivers lubricating oil to the moving internal components. After your engine is turned off, much of the oil drains downward into a lower part of the motor referred to as the oil pan. At start-up, it takes a couple of seconds for the pump to force oil back to the filter and through the upper portion of the engine.

The drawback of oil filters

Most engine oil filters are manufactured in the shape of a canister, which screws on to the side of the motor at some point. Depending on the model of automobile, filters are attached at various angles. After the engine stops running, some or all of the oil in the filter may drain back into the oil pan.

The addition of a valve

Oil filter manufacturers have designed a valve inside some of their filters to hold the oil after the engine has stopped. By keeping the oil filter full at all times, the pump is able to deliver lubricating oil to your engine quicker at start-up.

The advantage of a valve

Like many other types of small valves, the anti-drain valve opens in response to pressure on its incoming side. When the pressure stops, the valve closes on its own, blocking any further outgoing flow. The valve remains closed until the engine and pump are started again, providing a quickened flow of protective oil.

The anti-drain valve is built into the filter canister and is not visually apparent. The standard anti-drain valve is made of rubber, and a silicone valve is also available. Your service advisor can help you decide which option might be best for your own use.

Even if you hear no clatter at engine start-up, you might want to consider an anti-drain valve. Ensuring that clean oil is distributed throughout your motor as quickly as possible helps reduce engine wear. Regular oil changes are even more important. Contact an oil change service like Covey's Auto to have your vehicle serviced and to receive further information about oil and filter options.