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Thread: automobile oil filters...

  1. #16
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    Here is a link to a pretty informative study. It does give merit to the Fram being inferior to many others. https://www.austincc.edu/wkibbe/oilfilterstudy.htm While it may not be the end all to the oil filter debate it is clear that Fram is made only to satisfy the bottom line. Also most others are good filters and the NAPA is the same as the WIX. This is only one specific filter compared in a number of different brands but the comparison is pretty scientific in cutting them open and comparing the volume of actual filter material. On our heavy equipment we run primarily Donaldson Lube, fuel, and air filters. Because of the harsh environment they are in we advocate oil changes every 150 hours. While any engine can fail without warning we commonly see well over 10,000 hours. One machine in my care is bumping against 15,000 hours. We use several different oils depending on the area and whats available but a lot is Chevron.

  2. #17
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    The amount of filtering material would seem to be irrelevant (or at least not the best indicator)-- what you'd want to test is the ability to capture particles of various sizes and the ability to continue to maintain oil flow as the filter loads with particles. These would seem to be pretty easy tests to conduct, just keep pouring in material of various known sizes and measure the flow rate and pressure and what's circulating in the oil after its been through the filter a few times. You'd think the manufacturers going for the gearhead market would publish such stats.

    Since I've never had a problem I could attribute to dirty oil, I've never worried about it. I've used Bosch filters in my last couple of cars since that's what they came with.
    Last edited by roger wiegand; 05-18-2019 at 3:02 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    The amount of filtering material would seem to be irrelevant (or at least not the best indicator)-- what you'd want to test is the ability to capture particles of various sizes and the ability to continue to maintain oil flow as the filter loads with particles. These would seem to be pretty easy tests to conduct, just keep pouring in material of various known sizes and measure the flow rate and pressure and what's circulating in the oil after its been through the filter a few times. You'd think the manufacturers going for the gearhead market would publish such stats.

    Since I've never had a problem I could attribute to dirty oil, I've never worried about it. I've used Bosch filters in my last couple of cars since that's what they came with.
    Then I take it you believe Fram has filtering technology that no one else in the business possesses. So I believe it is a valid comparison. If the filter media was all over the chart then that might be true. But I believe every filter but Fram was over 300 square inches and even their premium didn't exceed 200 square inches. Every other filter including Bosch had significantly more filter media than Fram. Are they adequate? Maybe but why gamble?

  4. #19
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    Just speaking from experience in the lab with filter paper, choosing the right paper for the particle size always made a big difference. Too fine a filter would result in instant clogging, no matter how big it was. The process chemists fussed a lot over filtration media and correctly matching it to the problem. The solution was rarely just increasing the area of the filter--that tended to be a very expensive route. I think performance-based testing would be more informative for oil filters.

  5. #20
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    I've run Mobil 1 oil, and filters for as long as I can remember-80's or early 90's at least. Never had any kind of engine problem, and we run them until about everything else is worn out. Currently have a Subaru with 240k, and an 18 year old Duramax diesel with 340k on it.

    The guy that bought my last pickup from me, that I sold when I bought the current diesel dually in Nov. 2000, is still driving it, and hasn't been in the motor yet, but he doesn't drive as much as I do.

    I change oil every 10,000 miles. That gas burner pickup that I sold in 2000, had 174k on it, and compression was still almost as good as new.

    I never spent much time thinking about it, but after seeing this thread, this page was reassuring: https://www.austincc.edu/wkibbe/oilfilterstudy.htm

  6. #21
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    Fram filters are worth less than that flashy looking packaging they come in.

    Filters from the "good" companies come in two or three tiers. Wix and Purolator come to mind. Their top tier filters are good quality. The Mobil 1 filters are good and I'll use them in a pinch, but they are definitely overpriced and really no different than the upper tier Purolator and Wix. Most OEM filters are decent quality too.

    If you want the absolute best I use Amsoil. They are made by Donaldson. Donaldson probably has the most extensive line of filters for about every substance and in every application known to mankind.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Since I've never had a problem I could attribute to dirty oil, I've never worried about it.
    And that seems to be true for everyone on this thread...if anyone had, I'm sure they would have said so.
    If and when someone says differently, I suppose I'll be vaguely interested to hear what filter was in use at the time.
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  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    And that seems to be true for everyone on this thread...if anyone had, I'm sure they would have said so.
    If and when someone says differently, I suppose I'll be vaguely interested to hear what filter was in use at the time.
    Very few people routinely send used motor oil from their passenger vehicles off for analysis, and fewer still know how to interpret the results.

    So if, during the life of the vehicle, some engine damage had occurred, it would be hard to attribute it.

    That's one reason why I prefer OEM filters. If some damage were to occur to a motor, it would not be because of something I did. It would be out of my hands.

  9. #24
    I can tell at about 5500 miles, that my oil is getting dirty.

  10. #25
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    Not a supporter of Fram, but has anyone ever had a failure attributed to a cheap oil filter? Given a choice I prefer Napa Gold, but I tend to use whatever the closest parts store (now it is an O'Reilley's) has on a oil/filter special. Last time it was Pennzoil full synthetic and a Wix filter. Previously the special included an STP filter.
    NOW you tell me...

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    Not a supporter of Fram, but has anyone ever had a failure attributed to a cheap oil filter? Given a choice I prefer Napa Gold, but I tend to use whatever the closest parts store (now it is an O'Reilley's) has on a oil/filter special. Last time it was Pennzoil full synthetic and a Wix filter. Previously the special included an STP filter.
    I have had two Fram filters fail on me. One was a bad seal that tore and caused the engine to pump about a quart of oil out of the car while sitting in a parking lot about 10 miles after install, could have been installer error. Second was a filet with a pin hole in the body that would spray oil out when the pump started building pressure above idle. The pin hole sprayed straight down and managed to not land on anything hot while pumping 3 quarts out during a 40 mile run. luckily we stopped for gas and noticed a slight burning smell and an oil covered rear bumper. The hole was sealed by the paint and didn't show up at idle during a quick post change inspection.
    I made the change to Wix after some research about 4/5 years ago and have not looked back. I will order a filter in before buying a Fram especially on my 7500/10k extended change vehicles. Whatever you do, still check your fluids every couple thousand miles. Modern cars with extended change cycles can still have problems that simply checking all fluid levels will reveal and save the motor/trans especially with all the easily broken/stresses plastic parts in a modern engine bay.
    Last edited by Andrew Gibson; 05-20-2019 at 9:38 AM.
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  12. #27
    Back when I was into cars a lot, there were several instances of lifter noise on startup, especially with Buicks and Fords. Traced to Fram filters and their lack of a working anti drainback valve. The Ford and Buick oil pickup passages were long and an empty filter and engine oil passages would result in no oil pressure for several seconds on start. Not good!

    I use Wix made filters, Wix brand, NAPA gold or Orielly's premium filter. All Wix. I'm sure others are good, but these work for me.

    My Mitsubishi diesel uses 2 filters, one filter gets the oil that is delivered to the bearings, when the oil pressure relief valve opens, the bypassed oil goes to a second filter. Great system.

    The filter study mentioned earlier shares the same flaw of all I have found online. It is a comparison of materials, designs and assembly techniques. No actual performance data or measurements. No flow rates, pressure drop measurements, valve leakage data,.. Nothing but the opinion of the writer as to the probable or possible performance.

    So, we each choose our favorite maker, color or whatever the selection criteria we use.

  13. #28
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    This thread piqued my curiosity, so Google helped me find several good tests of oil filters other than just cutting them open. They've been tested for flow rate, filtering capability, drain back, and etc., complete with pictures. What most people have posted in this thread is pretty much spot on.

    I'm just sticking with what has worked so well for us that I'm afraid to change anything. My expectations of longevity, I'm sure, are way beyond what the manufacturers are hoping for. For people that trade vehicles every 2 or 3 years, it doesn't matter much.

    That's the reason I make one payment on a new one, break it in like I want to, and drive it until I'm tired of it. The last truck payment I made was in Nov. of 2000.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 05-20-2019 at 9:18 PM.

  14. #29
    Not sure I need to be concerned about the quality of oil filters, as long as they do not fall apart and let the oil out of my vehicle. Use Mobil 1 and change it at 5000 miles. Notice my oil stays pretty clear, can see through the stream when draining the oil. Was told the Mobil 1 has the highest detergent content of any oil, so it cleans your engine as it lubricates.

  15. #30
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    When an oil filter plugs up, oil bypasses the filter media and dirty oil gets delivered to the oil galleries...this is the main reason 'gearheads' and racers don't like the smaller filter area of Fram and some other filters. However if you change fluids regularly it probably isn't going to be a problem for most.

    I personally wouldn't use them on anything high performance, diesel or forced induction because of higher cylinder pressure and in turn, higher stress at the main bearings. Few really understand that the only thing physically supporting the crank between the journal and bearing is a thin film of pressurized oil...I prefer to keep fine particles and other scoring fine cooties out of there...
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