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I read a couple of articles recently about oil filters and there were a lot of manufacturers and filters that I never heard of. Fram is a very popular filter up here and I believe they have about four different 'series', not that I can attest to any difference in them. I generally use a "car quest" (made in USA) filter from a local supplier and then generally get their better filter.

Anyone have an opinion on filters as far as reliability and performance goes. I know finer particulate filtering is preferred but how do you determine what is what?

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Wild Bill, That sure is a lot to digest. However on first look, I think my question should have been "What filter has the finest filtering media?". I'll have to take some time to digest the info. Thanks

Bill, I only use full synthetic oil in all my cars. Not too sure why, it's not like they are being used an awful lot. I think it was back in the '70's that I switched from GTX to synthetic. Thanks for the info.

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I read a couple of articles recently about oil filters and there were a lot of manufacturers and filters that I never heard of. Fram is a very popular filter up here and I believe they have about four different 'series', not that I can attest to any difference in them. I generally use a "car quest" (made in USA) filter from a local supplier and then generally get their better filter.

Anyone have an opinion on filters as far as reliability and performance goes. I know finer particulate filtering is preferred but how do you determine what is what?

Hello,

I am the technical manager for Fram. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about oil filters as long as we stick to science and engineering. All the "studies" on the internet are just a guys opinion based on cutting open filters. I have yet to see one where any actual filtration testing has taken place. As far as looking for the best filtration, look for companies that publish test results using the ISO 4548-12 tests. These are the only filtration tests recognized by automakers around the world. :D

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Looks like Fram is finally doing some active damage control. I used Fram for years and had no problems but while I was working at a Chrysler dealer in the early to mid 80's there was a rash of seized engines that had Fram filters and were denied warranty coverage. If I remember correctly, the problem turned out to be a mismatch of the small holes around the edges of the filter vs the factory adapters on the engines, and I think the engines were the Mitsubishi supplied units. Maybe motorking can confirm or correct my memory. I have not used a Fram filter since then. I also remember quite a few bad Mopar V8 engines due to casting sand having been left in the blocks and causing some bad overheating problems.

Filtration of the smallest particles may not make for the best filter, sometimes a filter will clog up too soon and send oil through the bypass as unfiltered oil to the engine. I have been very happy with Wix filters and Valvoline dinosaur oil that stays clean for a 3 to 5 month period. If I were to only drive a car once or twice a month I would switch to synthetic oil with a 1 year oil change interval, and watch for leaks from older seals.

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Looks like Fram is finally doing some active damage control. I used Fram for years and had no problems but while I was working at a Chrysler dealer in the early to mid 80's there was a rash of seized engines that had Fram filters and were denied warranty coverage. If I remember correctly, the problem turned out to be a mismatch of the small holes around the edges of the filter vs the factory adapters on the engines, and I think the engines were the Mitsubishi supplied units. Maybe motorking can confirm or correct my memory. I have not used a Fram filter since then. I also remember quite a few bad Mopar V8 engines due to casting sand having been left in the blocks and causing some bad overheating problems.

Filtration of the smallest particles may not make for the best filter, sometimes a filter will clog up too soon and send oil through the bypass as unfiltered oil to the engine. I have been very happy with Wix filters and Valvoline dinosaur oil that stays clean for a 3 to 5 month period. If I were to only drive a car once or twice a month I would switch to synthetic oil with a 1 year oil change interval, and watch for leaks from older seals.

Your experience at the Chrysler dealer was not limited to Fram filters. It happened witha bunch of aftermarket filters as Mitsubishi changed the design of the filter and did not inform the Filter manufacturers Council in a timely fashion of the design change. This also happened recently with the mitsu engine 2.5 V6 used in many mopars, they changed the thread pitch from SAE to metric and didnt inform the council untill claims started popping up. WIX filters are at least 10% lower in filtering efficiency than the least expensive Fram filter, also are not made in the USA any more. Use what you like, change you oil when you are supposed to and your engine will love you for it.

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motorking - thanks for the info, it appears the info for ISO 4548-12 itself is available for $110. What do you think of the practice of some tc owners putting on a larger filter after some modification? What would be your lowest recommended filter efficiency? I just got the oil out of the ground as an engineer, didn't worry then about filtering!! Just the water.

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motorking - thanks for the info, it appears the info for ISO 4548-12 itself is available for $110. What do you think of the practice of some tc owners putting on a larger filter after some modification? What would be your lowest recommended filter efficiency? I just got the oil out of the ground as an engineer, didn't worry then about filtering!! Just the water.

Using a non stock size filter can have some minor advantages. Our on line catalog at www.fram.com is very helpfull in that respect. It lists the thread size of each filter, wether it contains a bypass valve and what pressure the bypass opens at. All things that need consideration when switching to a larger filter. As far as efficiency goes, the higher it is, the cleaner the oil stays. Personally if a filter is less than 90%, you would not find it on any of my street cars. On my race car, the filter is in the low 80% range, however it can flow 6gpm, important at 8000rpm.

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I can see the logic of using a higher volume filter, but isn't particulate size of even more importance. If a filter traps more small particulate, isn't it true that that will cause less wear in the engine? That is assuming that the filter is changed frequently enough not to plug up. In my case I only use full synthetic oil in all my cars, so if I use a filter that can trap more debris an I not extending engine life? And then is it not possible to extend the oil filter in tervals without causing any damaga?

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I can see the logic of using a higher volume filter, but isn't particulate size of even more importance. If a filter traps more small particulate, isn't it true that that will cause less wear in the engine? That is assuming that the filter is changed frequently enough not to plug up. In my case I only use full synthetic oil in all my cars, so if I use a filter that can trap more debris an I not extending engine life? And then is it not possible to extend the oil filter in tervals without causing any damaga?

All Fram filters are tested at 20 micron particle size. This is a size that engine makers have determined to be most harmfull to bearing life. That said, our extended guard filter with two ply synthetic glass media traps and hold up to 3x's the dirt of the same size filter with cellulose/glass media. The can is not bigger, just more science in the media

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Does this not mean that the Fram extended guard filter filters particules smaller than 20 microns? As the filter does it's job and traps 'dirt', does the' dirt' it is trapping not get smaller in size until a point in time that the filter plugs and by-passes.

Thanks for your info.

Bob

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Does this not mean that the Fram extended guard filter filters particules smaller than 20 microns?

Automakers have determined it is the 20 micron particle size that is most harmfull to engine bearings. It does trap particles smaller than 20 microns, though not at the advertised efficiency, that rating is at 20 microns.

As the filter does it's job and traps 'dirt', does the' dirt' it is trapping not get smaller in size until a point in time that the filter plugs and by-passes.

Thanks for your info.

Bob

Bob,

All filters will plug and bypass if left on the car long enough. The extended guard filters can trap 3-4 times as much dirt in grams before this point is reached when compared to conventional filters./

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Oil Filters need to be rated to clean between 5 - 20 Microns. How well they filter out those sized particles is how they are efficiency rated in perctntage. If this is the case, the following is a good rule of thumb. A filter is considered nominally efficient at a certain micron level if it can remove 50 percent of particles that size. In other words, a filter that will consistently remove 50% of particles 20 microns or larger is nominally efficient at 20 microns.

A filter is considered to achieve absolute filtration efficiency at a certain micron level if it can remove 98.7% of particles that size. So, if a filter can remove 98.7% of particles 20 microns or larger, it achieves absolute efficiency at that micron level.

Most off-the-shelf filters are based upon a cellulose fiber filtration media. Most of these filters are, at best, nominally efficient at 15 to 20 microns. They won't generally achieve absolute efficiency until particle sizes reach 30 microns or higher.

High efficiency oil filters have filtration media made of a combination of at least two of the following: glass, synthetic fibers and cellulose fibers. Those that use all three are generally the best in terms of filtration. Those that use only two will fall somewhere in between. The best of these high efficiency filters will achieve absolute efficiency down to about 10 microns and will be nominally efficient down to 5 microns or so.

HOW IMPORTANT IS BETTER EFFICIENCY?

The fact is, you would probably be amazed at how much engine wear could be eliminated simply by using more advanced oil filtration. In paper 881825 the Society of Automotive Engineers indicates that a joint study was performed between AC Spark Plug and Detroit Diesel Corp. The study found that finer oil filtration significantly reduced the rate of engine wear.

According to the paper, the tests regarding engine wear within a diesel engine were performed using four levels of oil filtration. They chose filters whose efficiency rating was very high for particles of 40 micron, 15 micron, 8.5 micron and 7 micron sizes.

The same was done for gasoline engines, except that the relative sizes were 40 microns, 30 microns, 25 microns and 15 microns.

To make a long story short, the researchers had this to say:

"Abrasive engine wear can be substantially reduced with an increase in filter single pass efficiency. Compared to a 40 micron filter, engine wear was reduced by 50 percent with 30 micron filtration. Likewise, wear was reduced by 70 percent with 15 micron filtration."

By combining this type of oil filtration with the superior protection and cleanliness of a premium synthetic oil, you will virtually eliminate engine wear.

I read a report about a year ago that, to my surprise, rated NAPA filter amoung others as pretty good..I have always considered WIX filters as my choice. If I could get them...

Lou

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