Oil filter preference?

piddlerdad3May 1, 2005

I've been changing my own oil for years. recently i saw an advertisment for oil filters, and it showed a cross-section of many brands of filters. honestly, i couln't see ANY difference other than some sizes. i don't research oil filters specs, so i don't really know.

is there a filter to avoid? i go back and forth depending on what autozone carries and has in stock - Fram, Deutsch, STP etc.

Any comments? dennis

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Most people only run the things 5k or less I just do not think there is very much difference. We had a small town auto parts store here locally that for years had a bunch of filters cut apart on display Fram/Motorcraft etc the WIX filter was supposed to be the best but like you I could really tell very little differene, the stupid thing is disposable anyway right, I have two chevys one with 263k and one with 199k I have always used Fram filters and Exxon oil every 5k (always changed myself and still do) on these and they both still hold good oil pressure. I am betting that in some way the more expensive filters are better,but most of their talent seems to be about removing more dollars from consumers pockets LOL

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 8:25PM
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Check in at the "Bob the Oil Guy" forum..

Best to ignore ALL advertising, honesty and advertising cannot co-exist, probably never did..
And, generally, the big manufacturers cannot be trusted to be fair and honest.

I do know that the Auto-Zone carries the cheapest of the cheap, maybe it is better to deal with Ace Hardware or the NAPA Store..

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 8:26PM
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I just avoid Fram. Anything else is OK with me.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 10:02PM
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Fram used to be total cr**, but I think their bad press caught up with them and their products appear to be generally reliable.

This person got a lot of flack from the manufacturers for his site comparing filters. If nothing else, it is amusing to find which filters are identical under different names.

And thanks earthworm, that oil site is informative!

Here is a link that might be useful: one person's filter comparisons

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 4:09PM
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All, thanks for the help and for the links. really good material. oil and studies on oil have sure come a long way since i was a boy shoving metal spouts into metal oil cans when my dad was teaching me about cars, and changing oil!

take care, dennis

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 8:07AM
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measure_twice, thanks for the link. I never knew that "Champ" made automotive filters. I've seen their filters installed on light airplane engines, in addition to those made by Champion (the spark plug people).

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 6:51PM
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Years ago I used to use Fram, but about the time they came out with that textured black grip, I noticed at one change that the stuff was flaking off, due to what apppeared to be swelling of the sheet metal. I decided at that point to use filters from the vehicle manufacturer.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:43PM
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O'er the years I have used about every brand of filter in the Chevy, many Saabs, VWs, Dodge, Mercedes, Honda, etc..
Never a problem.
Change them every 3 to 6 months.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 9:23PM
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brain and exgm are right on target. if you want your engine to blow up put a fram on it. chevy high performance magazine editor just this month (july-5) said to stay away from Fram oil filters. primedia makes a fortune in fram advertising and for them to say this they must be crap. you have heard the word. i have two i just put on my cars. they have card board ends inside and collapse after very little usage. i am pulling them both off soon as i get my next paycheck. i'll never buy another fram product.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 1:55PM
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I use Frams, never had a problem. The textured black grip is handy as hell I think to. And as far as air filters are concerned, Fram are the best.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 5:44PM
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If you have an Advance Autoparts near you, look into their Totalgrip filters. Made by Purolator, $2.50 each every day, and they've got the grippy stuff all over the can, not just at the top.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:17PM
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Fram's have a reputation for being badly made, failing during use. They make filters for other names like Penzoil, other store brands as well. Purolator is an independant maker, and good, so is Wix. I trust Napa brand oil filters, made by the above 2 last time I heard. Car make brands are good, AC, Motorcraft.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:27PM
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I'm not aware of any store brands being made by Fram. These are the ones I know about..perhaps Fram makes oil filters for stores who do not have a presence in this area.

Advance Auto Totalgrip: Purolator
Pep Boys Proline: Purolator
Autozone STP and Deutsch: Champion Labs
Wal-Mart Supertech: Champion Labs

(Champion Labs also makes many filters for AC-Delco).

The Mileguard filters used by Jiffy-Lube are Fram.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 6:47PM
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A friend of mine worked at a place where they manufacture filters. They tested a lot of fuel filters for diesel engines and Fram's were the worse for filtering efficiency. He said he'd never use a Fram filter. Don't know if the same applies to oil filters for cars or not. Also, this was 5 years ago. Things may have changed.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 7:05AM
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I 've seen the same test results for Fram oil filters in a motorcycle mag,seems their filtering element broke off and was found in the oil.Probably that's what happened when they went to make them super cheap to sell them at Wallyworld.I use aftermarket Emgo(rated really high for a budget filter) oil filters from Dennis Kirk for my motorcycle and Purolator for my car and truck.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 12:06PM
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Fram has not changed their filter designs in at least 17 years. Someone got an old filter (from 1987/1988) at a garage sale and cut it apart, posted pictures of it on bobistheoilguy.com website. Same cardboard endcaps, same questionable anti-drainback valve as a filter made in 2005.

In fact, the Wal-Mart house brand Supertech filters are better constructed than the Fram filters.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 6:52PM
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Maybe the design of Frams didn't get changed,but the country they were manufactured in probably did.Look what happened to McCulloch when they switched their manufacturing ops to Meh-hee-co! Bankrupt from manufacturing total junk!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 7:16PM
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Frams are the worst of the oil filters that I know of. Cut one apart AFTER it's been on your car for 3,000 miles. I've cut them apart at less than 1,000 miles and have found the filter element had fallen apart and the filter was bypassing.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 10:17AM
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Bosch claims 98% of particles are filtered, but cost quite a bit more than others. Not sure they're worth it or not, but I bought some last time I changed oil & filters on my cars (they had a rebate). Not sure how you'd ever know unless someone did a thorough unbiased study.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 2:11PM
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whatever filter and oil the dealer puts in, dont know dont care as long as it runs

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 2:35PM
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Bump! Just bumping this thread to keep it around as it is very informative and useful.To me anyway.LOL!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 4:10PM
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I fix printers at WIX plant, I have seen the manufacturing going on, and the "cut away" of all the other filters, and the big diff between them is 1 the # of pleats to contain the particulate, and 2 the overflow/plug bypass circuit. wix uses a steel coil spring to completely bypass the plugged filter as pressure goes too high.
all others either have no bypass or they have simple punched steel plate for the bypass.
so if you regurlary change the filter with oil change and your car is in good shape, you will not have a problem with even the cheapie .88 filters from walmart.
however if you are a lazy non servicing person. the wix is best, the fram is second, and purolator is third.
all others are approx equal.
then again, I just fix the printers.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 11:01PM
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A note about quality control - if little or nothing breaks down, then the Fram is "sufficiently good".. And if something does break down internally, few car owners would ever know about it..
A great deal of owners really do not care, will go the cheapest possible route, as long as the car itself does not stop running...
This is something to closely check when buying a used car...did the PO care enough to use the best ???

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 9:35AM
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I use AC Delco GM filters because I have GM vehicals.But not because I think there better.Just because there genuine GM parts.I change oil every 3000 miles so im not concerned about whats better.

I closley check used cars to make sure the owner was not a 7500 mile changer.If he used supposibly better brand filters I suspect synthetic oil and the lack of frequent oil changes and I walk on by.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 10:56PM
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I'm the same; I use the vehicle manufacturer's oil filter. AC/Delco for GM, Motorcraft for the Ford.

There is a lot that goes into designing a good filter of any type (air, oil, fuel, etc.), and some magazine tests may show things that either don't matter, or which are actually bad but people perceive as being good, or vice versa. For example, if a filter is very restrictive, it will filter out more small particles, but it may reduce the oil flow or get so clogged up that it bypasses entirely.

Obviously someone else is making those OEM filters for the car companies, so I'm sure there are brands of filters out there that are as good as the OEM ones. But I figure if I ruin my engine with a manufacturer's filter, I've got a lot better leg to stand on to get some assistance from the manufacturer with the repair. If an aftermarket filter messes things up, the manufacturer is simply going to say, "Well, if you'd used our filter, you'd have been okay."

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 12:47PM
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I change my oil every 25,000 mi. I got rid of the original
and replaced it with a 1qt capacity oil filter. I really don't like these newer small oil filters. I bought my sports car in 1980 in which they only made 1200 cars. I wanted something that would clean the oil longterm.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 9:39PM
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Hey Greenhummer, will you personally guarantee in writing, and put enough money up for an engine repair for them in escrow for anyone willing to adopt your method of engine maintainence that they wont have an engine failure if they follow your lead? (rh)

Of course I don't really expect you to do that, but the shops and techs that regularly service other peoples cars in effect do exactly that. Years of experience have proven that anyone that tries to do what you claim you are doing will experience a major failure. You claim you haven't, "yet"? Good for you. When you do, and you will, your engine wont be worth attempting to repair.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 8:26AM
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Take a second look at your Walmart Super tech filters. Regularly using the ST3387A, my routine has been to keep a couple of extra filters on the shelf. About 3 weeks ago, I picked up two more, brought them home and put them on the shelf with a couple purchased about 2 months ago. What's this? Same filter yet the newer box was shorter than the ones previously purchased. Placing the filters side by side, the newer version is about 1/4 inch shorter. Turning the filters over, the back plate sealing gasket on the newer one is not as wide as the older one. The baseplates themselves are entirely different. The older ones had 6 large holes, the newer has 8 smaller holes. Both are stamped TT, the newer version also has the number 2 stamped on the base plate. Looking inside, the older one has a metal wall center tube perforated with numerous holes. The newer one has just what appears to be a non metal supporting frame, verticle and horizontal bars, you can see thru to the filter media. The metal caps appear to be the same. The verbiage on the box has also changed. The older model indicates, "special synthetic fiber enhanced filter media". (not that this tells us anything) The newer ones say "Technologically advanced filter media". (Note they conveniently forget to tell you what it is) The box on the older model says "plated steel centertube". The newer one says "Nylon centertube". The boxes carry efficiency ratings, they are identical on both boxes. From outward appearance, it sure looks like the newer filters are not of as good quality as the older versions. Contrasting lab tests results would be interesting as well as failure rates for each. So, take aclose look at your next Super Tech filter. Liking the idea of the metal centertube, wider gasket and larger size on the older models, perhaps the time has come for me to start looking elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 9:31PM
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They probably changed suppliers (different maker) to save money

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 7:11PM
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This reduction of "excess quality" has been going on since day nine ..and will continue as long as the bean counters are in power...and the consumer has limited knowledge..

Define "excess quality"......

I'll take less of a risk, hopefully,and stick with Purolator...
I also think Mercedes(from the 80s) had a "better idea" with their permanent filter housing and a replaceable inexpensive cartridges..

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 10:00AM
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"excess quality" is that quality necessary to successfully maintain an acceptable level of quality control.

Define "acceptable level"..

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:03AM
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The main thing to remember in an oil filter is to change it. It doesn't make a lick of difference how good the filter is, once it's plugged with gunk it doesn't work anymore.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 5:04PM
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