An engines oil filter prevents harmful, abrasive particles in the oil from damaging internal parts of the engine. Most oil filters are spin on type. The sheet metal shell of the filter contains a filtering element usually made of pleated paper. Oil flows through that from the outside to the inside taking advantage of the entire surface area of the paper for maximum flow. A metal tube in the center of the filter keeps the paper element from collapsing in when the oil is too thick or contaminated.
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