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Best Oil filter opinion(s)?


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Initial post: Jul 22, 2010 7:03:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2010 7:11:28 PM PDT
M P C says:
I have read in the syn. oil disscussion a question on oil filter and decided to start another topic to cover it if anyone wants to pitch in.

I will tell you my story and please feel free to share yours.

I have a machinist background and was a 20 yr. refinery worker too. I worked part time in a auto engine repair shop and have built my share of motors.

With that background, I will tell you I ran by the best price or pretty color, on the box hype in picking my filter for over twenty years. But as I found out about oil molecule size and engine wear particulate size, I realized I could help control the wear patterns on an combustion engine to some degree.

The size and hardness of engine particles is important in the the tolorances in engines. Tolorances have become smaller and smaller through the last 15 to 20 years. It is not uncomon for the rod and crank clearances to be in the range of .001 to .003 thousands of an inch on todays engines. On a rod or crank bearing one should realize that because those parts are round, 1/2 of the tolerance is on each side of the gap between the bearing and the part. With oil taking up, the .0005 to .0015 gap it leaves little room for particulate. If ones particulate size is bigger than the gap, the bearing will become scratched and over time, a lot of little scratches cause wear. The bottom line is the better the filter that filters the smallest micron particle, the better.

The second thing I consider is the efficiency. Most filters are rated in nominal efficiency which is OK, but not the best. The best way to rate is with an absolute rating, which few filters have. If you want the best filter, then one should look for absolute efficiency at a small micron rating as you can find, to achieve the least wear possible via the oil filter portion of the engine lube cycle.

The third thing I am concerned with is how fast the filter may plug up. To achieve a 3000,5000, 10,000, or more filter oil change interval, one should consider the total suface area of the filter media.

As most of you may already know filters have become smaller and smaller of the past 15 or 20 years, but with a little hunting around there is a larger/longer or both larger/ longer oil filter to fit most vehicles. The larger surface area, usally gives less restriction and also will hold more dirt and contaminants.

So, in the last 6 years, I have run a dual filter set up on my vehicles with a 1.5 quart absolute low micron filter as a bypass restricted flow filter and a large 2.3 quart 4 micron full flow filter.

With oil analysis, I have been able to confirm low wear, good long term TBN number, consistant and stable viscosity numbers, and long oil change intervals, on my motors. I am not saying that it is my way or no way. Nor am I saying my way is the very best. As someone else has stated,some still use the toliet paper systems,with stated good results,among other systems,but it depends on what you are looking for,I think.

For sure, oil filters do matter,and can and do make a difference in the life of an engine, just as motor oil does. In my opinion, and as I have tested through analyisis, a better filter means less wear and a longer life engine. How long, I do not know yet. I do know I can go a year with no noticable drop in oil level at over 12,000 miles, in that year and 134,000+ on the odometer.

Posted on Jul 31, 2010 11:35:18 AM PDT
use a mobil 1 filter and rest easy....

Posted on Jul 31, 2010 6:32:10 PM PDT
M P C says:
To little surface area for my application. It is a very good filter, as best I can research.
The synthetic media is as good as can be found in any Nominal rated filter on the market today,in my opinion.

Of course, the absolute filters out there are better than the nominal filters but the absolute filters syntethic media is no better than the nominal at their respective micron rating,in my opinion!

Posted on Jul 31, 2010 9:42:22 PM PDT
then what do you suggest????

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 5:41:55 AM PDT
M P C says:
Since this is opinion(s) and I do not try to suggest specific filters or oil, I will say this, I would say Google search oil studies or filter compairison and research. Figure out if you want nominal protection or absolute filter protection and at what micron size. From my research, 40 micon down to 1 micron filters are avalible without much hunting. As a general rule absolute filters cost more than nominal and absolute filters, filter to a smaller micron level. I pesonally do not worry about much below 2 or so micron filtering ability.

There is some research/papers I have read that state, at below 5 micron the particulate acts as a polish more than a scratcher of soft engine parts.

So I would suggest if you are OK with nominal filter protection (most stock filters and most aftermarket) then look for the smallest number micron filtering you can find down to say 5 or 10 micron if you can find it. If you go to an absolute filter I would look for no higher than 5 micron, in my opinion.

Hope that helps you in your engine oil filtering needs.

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 3:27:26 PM PDT
Several tests and reviews have shown that Purolator's PureOne line of filters work the best. Bosch recently bought out Purolator, and many of Bosch's filters are made with the same quality. I'm not sure if you will get more than 5,000 miles of life out of Purolator though. Mobil 1 filters will give you longer life but less filtration.

The more plugged up a filter gets, the better it works... until it gets so plugged up the backflow valve (meant for faster startup) opens up continuously and you get no filtration. You should also consider air filter, because a lot of the oil contaminants come in through the air-fuel mixture. Paper filters work best and again the more dirty the filter is the better it works, but the more you filter the air the less airflow you get. The less airflow you get the less horsepower your engine has. Modern engine sensors make sure your engine always gets optimum air-fuel mixture no matter how impeded the airflow is. EPA testing has shown that dirty filters don't affect gas mileage, just horsepower (because the air-fuel mixture doesn't get to your engine as quickly as with a clean air filter.)

Posted on Aug 2, 2010 7:54:48 AM PDT
Joe Average says:
The first time I changed the oil in our '99 Honda CR-V I looked the filter over pretty closely. This was at about 2K miles and 11 years ago. I found a tiny DANA logo. Did a little searching and found that DANA made Wix and some of the Napa filters. Our car has 201,000 troublefree miles on it and no problem yet. Everything is still tight.

Have always used Wix or Honda OEM filters purchased online in bulk (6 at a time) with Mobil 1 oil and 5000 mile change intervals.

I expect to see 250,000 miles without much trouble. With some cars and certain environments around the world 250,000 miles will be all a person wants to own a vehicle because other things will fail before the driveline - paint, interior, transmission, etc. At some point you've got to think to yourself - it runs perfectly but looks terrible, I don't want to be seen in it anymore. I am giving our convertible interior TLC because though the engine is toast the seats and door panels are falling apart. It's receiving transplants from newer wrecks.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2010 12:30:21 PM PDT
Mark Twain says:
Honda OEM filters, last time I checked, were made by Fram.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2010 12:31:45 PM PDT
Mark Twain says:
The more plugged up a filter gets, the better it works...

??? Engine oil starvation?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2010 12:35:14 PM PDT
Joe Average says:
May have changed but several times over the years I've owned my CR-V I have used Honda filters with a tiny Dana diamond stamped on them near the O-ring.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2010 4:47:26 PM PDT
Mark Twain says:
Average Joe: Wix has not been owned by Dana for about 10+ years...Dana does not exist anymore. The Wix line of products was purchased by an investment firm. The investment firm not only owns Wix but also Raysbestos and who knows what else. Instead of Dana, Wix is now under the Affinity line of products.

By the way, it's obvious that you are clicking on "no" on my posts relative to adding to the discussion...so go ahead and click this one "no" too since what I've stated contradicts everything that you've stated.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 8:54:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 8:54:46 AM PDT
Joe Average says:
Thanks for the update Mark Twain. Did not know that about Dana.

I have not clicked on any "no" pertaining to your comments at all. I did click on a few no's back when that "Made in the USA" character was running around here adding nothing to the discussions.

I might not always agree with every statement you make but you're always adding good stuff to the discussion like the Dana info. A quick check shows Dana Holding Corp to still exist. You are correct the Affinia Group owns them now.

Like I said in my previous post. Things might have changed... And they have.

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 8:55:18 PM PDT
Anything but Fram. And if Honda uses Fram .,.. avoid OEM Honda.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 7:44:01 AM PDT
Amsoil EA filters use fully synthetic nanofiber media. Not sure how much of their performance is just hype, but they are definitely worth a look. The surface area and particle holding ability of their media is supposed to be unparalleled. I'm a firm believer in technology over tradition (paper Fram filters, etc), so I recommend you take a look and decide for yourself.

Posted on Aug 14, 2010 12:10:55 AM PDT
Use a WIX or NAPA Gold which is made by WIX. Avoid using FRAM.

Posted on Aug 14, 2010 7:52:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2010 7:54:53 AM PDT
Joe Average says:
Changed my oil on my '99 CR-V this morn. OEM Honda filter was a Honeywell made in Canada.

I really don't like the filter though b/c I think it is too small. Will be buying a WIX again next time which is a larger diameter.

Posted on Aug 15, 2010 10:26:22 AM PDT
Really interesting stuff guys. I was just about to change the oil and filter on my high-mileage Ram. I am a believer in Castrol and have a purolator filter 20 micron rating. I was not aware that Bosch had purchased Purolator.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2010 7:30:14 AM PDT
Mark Twain says:
Fram was the first oil filter to use synthetic filtering media; not even the cheapest Fram uses "paper".

As for EA filters, they are made by Baldwin, who make filters primarily for farm marchinery. Good luck with your overpriced and under achieving EA choice; Mobil1, K&N, and even Purolator would be better choices.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2010 2:07:18 PM PDT
:/ Didn't mean to come across as an EA fanboy, 'cause I'm not.
Sorry anyone for my poor choice of wording when I said "paper;" I was referring to organic-based filters such as cellulose (which may or may not have synthetic materials added, but do not use synthetic materials as their primary media [ie Fram ExtraGuard]); this is in contrast to filters which are advertised to be "full synthetic" (ie Amsoil EA). I'd love to see some empirical data, 'cause my opinions are certainly not set in stone when it comes to oil filters; I'm here to learn just like everyone else.

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 4:28:27 PM PDT
M P C says:
Me Too!. I wish there was some independent studies done on filters as a comparison, not run or controlled by the Filter companies. The real thing I have found, from what research I have been able to review on the internet, is particle size trapped in the filter nominal or absolute and filter capacity are very important. Brand means little to me because there are good and bad in almost every brand.

Also as have been stated in some of the other threads, most filters are jobbed out. Different companies may make the "Same fiter" over a year or so and for sure, over several years. It is very difficult to keep up with. Nor are my filter opinions, set in stone either, because when I order another case I will need to know the company who makes it then and the spec's, if they have changed.
If one is picky, like me, then I want very low micron size nominal or absolute and a lot of capacity. I know I sould like a broke record,but oil analysis will take out a lot of guess work on filter type (does it really filter) and how many miles one can put on the filter and the oil.

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 9:38:17 PM PDT
The Fram Tough Guard with the anti-drainback valve is a very good filter.
Change at up to 7500mi.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2010 4:20:19 AM PDT
rdalek says:
You need to do some more research on Fram. Fram is among the worst oil filter there is. I don't want a Fram on my riding lawn mower much less a car.

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilters/index.html

You may want to read that link. There are other pages that you can read. I'm hoping for updates since so much has changed. I doubt Fram has changed enough tho.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2010 10:55:57 PM PDT
ben hur says:
So many people like you were suckered with this post over the years. The guy who did this did not test the filters in any way. He only cut brand new filters apart and made his recommendations based on what he found inside. He is not a filter engineer and based his recommendations on his own uneducated judgement. If you had read his opening he told you all of this up front. Repeat. He did not test these filters in any way. He only cut them apart.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2010 11:49:33 PM PDT
rdalek says:
I did read that he didn't test the filters but that he just disassembled them. I wasn't "suckered" as you put it. After all, if what is in the filters is not real good, it can't be a real good filter can it? Thing is, I have read all over the place that Fram is not a good filter compared to other brands. Is everybody else wrong too? I'm sure that not everybody else tested all the filters made either. It's your vehicle, put on what ever filter you want. Believe whatever test you want to believe. It's not going to cost me anything. I don't use Fram. You are free to use them if you so chose tho.

For me, I did take one apart. I saw what was in it and I didn't like it compared to other brands. I'm not using Fram. That's my choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2010 11:53:06 PM PDT
B. Nave says:
On the other hand, that guy spent quite a bit of time and money on his research and posted the results for everyone. Really, anyone with enough common sense can use that data to draw their own conclusions and buy an appropriate oil filter. As for "so many people like you were suckered"...well, it's always far easier to criticize than it is to do any real research yourself. And I dare you to find a "filter engineer" on this planet :P
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