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  • automotive oil filters

    About nine years ago I read an online review of oil filters. The author was a EE but he did a good job, tearing each filter apart, looking for bypassing. After reading that test I switched from Fram to Walmart SuperTech.

    I can't find that test anymore. Does anybody know if Fram has improved? What's the best value in automotive oil filters?
    Allan Ostling

  • #2
    In conventional filters, I think Purolaters are still supposed to be the best.

    Personally, I like Obergs, but they're not anything remotely like a conventional disposable pleated element filter.


    HTRN
    EGO partum , proinde EGO sum

    Comment


    • #3
      From best to worst-

      Baldwin
      Wix/Purolator
      Fram(but I give them credit for the no-slip grip coating on the bottom of the filter)

      Now,those are all aftermarket filters and MAY NOT meet the specs outlined by the vehicle mfg.

      No idea where the filter comparison went,but the right filter in the right application shouldn't ever bypass if it's changed at regular intervals.

      I change oil,oil filter,air filter and fuel filter every 3,000miles.All of the above are cheap,less than $40 for the lot.
      I just need one more tool,just one!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by wierdscience
        No idea where the filter comparison went,but the right filter in the right application shouldn't ever bypass if it's changed at regular intervals.
        Right, I think the tester found that the Fram did bypass some oil without filtering it, so he rated it poorly. I don't remember how many samples of each filter he inspected.

        What's is the basis for your ranking?
        Last edited by aostling; 04-10-2008, 01:38 AM.
        Allan Ostling

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        • #5
          Originally posted by aostling
          I can't find that test anymore. Does anybody know if Fram has improved? What's the best value in automotive oil filters?
          The Fram filters I see lately are made in china. I think the best value is the factory filter, they are usually only a couple of bucks more than the cheap Crap at Auto Zone.

          I have been an auto tech since 1981 ,I still help out at the local import repair shop almost every week, and in my Toyota and Acura I only use the factory filters. When I worked as a Toyota and Subaru tech at the dealership, if a vehicle came in with a major engine problem the first thing we looked at was what type of filter it had on it.
          Mark Hockett

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          • #6
            The home page for the person who did the original test is here:

            http://www.knizefamily.net/minimopar/

            The latest version of the site is here:

            http://www.knizefamily.net/minimopar...ers/index.html

            There's also another page on which someone analyzed filters available for Hondas here:

            http://www.ntpog.org/reviews/filters/old_filters.shtml

            The latest Mini Mopar page shows who makes which brands. I usually get Wix from a local parts store. They're only a couple of bucks more than the cheap store brand.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aostling
              Right, the tester found that Fram did open up and bypass crud, and so it rated poorly.

              What's is the basis for your ranking?
              Experience only,the worst failures aren't bypasses,they are seam failures.When the seam splits or the rolled rim opens up the engine pukes everything out on the ground quicker than you can find the keyswitch.

              As for crud in an engine,if it's gotten that bad it's on barrowed time anyway and no filter in the world will change that.

              If an engine is holding crud,but still has good compression and isn't using/losing excessive oil,then flushing and dropping the pan is in order if crud is present.It's hiding somewhere,usually in a oil pan that doesn't completely drain.Sometimes it will clear up with several oil and filter changes.

              I have caught a few engines before they got bad,in additon to dropping the pan I cleaned the pickup strainer and changed the oil pump(all that crud goes through the pump before it sees the filter)

              Baldwin wins hands down IMHO based on my experience,however be prepared they cost 2x's or better than the WIX/Purolator.My Ranger uses a Wix 51515 which runs $4.25 most places or a Baldwin B2 that runs $8.75 most times.

              Around here though anybody running any serious equipment construction ,ag or logging runs Baldwin.
              I just need one more tool,just one!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the link. It is quite long, but eventually it leads to this page of opinions and recommendations. http://www.knizefamily.net/minimopar.../opinions.html

                Weirdscience, thanks, I see now that you know filters from lots of experience.

                I see the Australians have access to a really good filter, the Ryco Z9, not exported, at the bottom of this page http://www.knizefamily.net/minimopar...reference.html.
                Last edited by aostling; 04-10-2008, 02:04 AM.
                Allan Ostling

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                • #9
                  I've seen the gasket on some Fram filters come off and stick to the boss where the filter is installed. If you install the new filter without removing it, it'll blow out the first time you rev the engine. Besides possible (probable) damage to the engine, it makes a HUGE mess under the hood.

                  Always check to make sure the gasket is still on the filter when you remove it.

                  Roger
                  Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I cut a number of filters open a couple of years ago. Without a doubt, the Fram was a piece of crap! Cardboard endplates, and far less filter area than the others. All the others had metal endplates. Wal-Mart SuperTech and AC appeared identical inside, same color glue. The Bosch filter seemed to be the nicest in appearance, all the pleats were evenly spaced, but I doubt this would make any difference. I didn't cut open any Baldwin, Wix, or Mobil filters--too expensive!

                    I used SuperTech until I had one leak around the crimp. Now I use AC.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wierdscience
                      I change oil,oil filter,air filter and fuel filter every 3,000miles.All of the above are cheap,less than $40 for the lot.
                      Why on earth would you do that? What kind of vehicle? I might like to buy your old air filters!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Had a riding mower come in to fix a bad oil leak, along with a box of all the guy's mower repair parts for that model. Pulled filter off and noticed no gasket, looked in box and found oil filter box being used to hold misc. parts. Looked in bottom and found missing gasket. Reinstalled then went and embarased owner.
                        mark costello-Low speed steel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by steve45
                          I cut a number of filters open a couple of years ago. Without a doubt, the Fram was a piece of crap! Cardboard endplates, and far less filter area than the others. All the others had metal endplates. Wal-Mart SuperTech and AC appeared identical inside, same color glue. The Bosch filter seemed to be the nicest in appearance, all the pleats were evenly spaced, but I doubt this would make any difference. I didn't cut open any Baldwin, Wix, or Mobil filters--too expensive!

                          I used SuperTech until I had one leak around the crimp. Now I use AC.
                          I did the same thing, with a couple of more or less generic parts-store brands like NAPA and Parts Master, a Bosch, a Fram, and a K&N. I don't remember any others. The Fram was junk, as everyone expects, and the generics were somewhere in between. I didn't try a branded Wix. The K&N and the Bosch both had significantly more pleats than the others, and they were stiffer and less papery as well. The K&N was made of something that looked entirely different, and also had a thicker case. When I took it apart, it seemed to shed more crap off its surface, suggesting that it had trapped some stuff that at least gets into, if not through, other filters. In many thousands of miles on an assortment of Jeep Cherokees, I've found that K&N, Bosch and Wix filters seem to maintain good oil pressure longest. I've stuck mainly with Wix simply because they're easier to find locally at a good price than Bosch, and I figure the extra expense of K&N is hard to justify when the others do well enough.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            two little tidbits. I found that site some years back and haven't used a Fram filter in quite a while. It actually started back in the late 80's. I had a friend who completly blueprinted a motor. The machine shop that did the block work also hot tanked it, but did not get all the machining swarf out apparently. He lost oil pressure within a few minutes. A post mortem showed that while the swarf should not have been in there, the filter did not catch it because Fram forgot to put a back plate in. I now blow-test my filters (blow into the center hole with your mouth--you should note resistance to air flow). Fram paid for the re-rebuild in my friend's case.

                            After pointing that site out to my uncle, he bought several filters including the standard Fram and the cheap Wal-mart filters he used to use and parted the cases off for himself. His sample pretty much matched the older web site. He now buys better filters.

                            I use synthetic oil and therefore tend toward the long end of the manufactures recommended drain interval. This means I need a good filter with lots of surface area. I use Purolator and occasionally NAPA (Wix).

                            paul
                            Paul Carpenter
                            Mapleton, IL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by steve45
                              Why on earth would you do that? What kind of vehicle? I might like to buy your old air filters!
                              My old Ranger work truck,sometimes it's not too bad,sometimes it's downright nasty,depends where I am working.Doing service calls at gravel pits,logging operations and sand classifier plants most times means dirt roads covered in fine dust.3,000miles in that turns a nice white filter tan quick.
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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