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Oil Filters, whose is best, and Why?



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    If you change your oil every 3000 miles I agree that you don't even need a filter.
  • The following first five paragraphs were taken directly off the Mobil web site.

    Filters manufactured for Mobil are warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship. Any filter proven defective during the engine or equipment manufacturer's recommended service intervals will be replaced at no charge.

    In the event of an engine or equipment failure directly caused by a defective Mobil filter which was properly installed and changed following the engine or equipment manufacturer's recommended service intervals, Mobil will authorize repair of the damaged engine or equipment.

    Claims for engine or equipment repairs provided under this warranty must be submitted within 30 days after discovery of damage. Mobil Technical Service representatives reserve the right to examine the engine or equipment and filter to determine the amount of damage and whether it was caused by a defective Mobil filter.

    This warranty gives you specific legal rights. You have other rights which vary from state to state.

    Mobil filters are designed to the original equipment requirements for fit and function. Engine and equipment manufacturer's warranties remain in effect when Mobil filters are used.

    To all those out there that believe that the ultimate filter should have the best of everything, including warranty policies, I thought you might find this info useful. IMHO, if you're comparing an oil filter to one that's currently rated as "the best" & can at least meet all performance specs, construction quality, durability, oil analysis results, or anything else you can possibly favorably compare & the end result is that all factors wind up being equal with the exception of one filter having a favorable written warranty while the other does not, then the one with the warranty wins "the best filter award" hands down, every time, regardless of how remote the possibility of failure is, (seems like Mobil admits this is a possibility in writing), or what difficulty may be encountered in proving it, (if it's during the new car warranty, let the vehicle & filter manufacturers fight it out). To me it's like having the option of buying one of two identical cars, especially if at the same price, & only one had a warranty, I know what my choice would be. I don't know how the "others" regard warranties on filters, maybe the thought never occurred to them & it needs to be brought to their attention, but to me it's part of being the best, so if there's anyone else out there that either thinks like me, &/or has warranty info on other filter brands, along with the technical info, it would certainly help me, & who knows, it may even enlighten a few "others" & allow them to avoid the expense of having to pay for a repair out of their pocket unnecessarily. Personally, with all other factors being equal, I can't see how having a "good" warranty could ever be "bad" & if engine damage could never be caused by a defective oil filter, then I'd like to see that in writing too------by the filter manufacturer.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I think that I have come to full circle. I know it has been proven that better filtering can increase engine life. Yet I keep going back to the test Mobil did where they replaced filters at 7.5 K and Changed oil at 15K. There was almost no engine wear after 200K. The filters they used were probably your basic AC Delco which weren't too hot in 1991-1992 when the tests were done. I'm starting to be a little fearful in winter time with the 98% Pure one and Mobil 1 filters. Especially since I do extended drain intervals. I have gone to oversize filters and that helps. I have used a K&N in my son's 2001 GrandAm (also oversize). I plan on going that route with my next filter change on my Sentra (also oversize). K&N advertises 90% efficiency with 9-12 GPM vs 3 gpm for Pure One. Now it may be that the total delivered oil flow may not be that different but I'm thinking perhaps more flow is better. I also think that with conventional oil and high efficiency filters in winter time (using the factory small-one-size fits all) probably causes a lot of bypassing with no filtering. Who knows.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    check back at post 328 and 335, even a low efficiency filter will get more efficient as it starts to collect dirt, main thing is for the oil to go through the filter rather than bypass, filter only does its job if oil goes through it!
    I am trying a pureone right now and after about 1500 miles my oil looks just like it always does at that mileage (I also switched to Havoline from Castrol and I think the Havoline has a little better detergent action and may be cleaning up some!!)I think I am going to go with the AC filters anyhow (the Kmart version)
    Gettin ready for the new year everyone?
    see y'all
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    What do you mean about the K-mart version of AC filters? Are you talking their Castrol or Penske brand? I'm pretty sure those are made by WIX.

    --- Bror Jace
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    I wonder if all the oil filter official tests are done at cold temperatures, but then if bipass happenned there it would stop as the oil warmed, probably in a minute or two.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    The Kmart version and the Walmart version (at least for the AC pf52) only share the blue paint on the can. Cut them open and it is obvious they are different mfg, can is different thickness, inside tube holes are bigger in the Kmart, deeper (and less uniform) pleats in the Kmart, Kmart paper looks thicker, Kmart version has a rubber anti-backflow valve that is also the element tensioner, Walmart version uses a leaf spring for tension. The Mopar study that has all the good pictures shows a Kmart version. The Castrol filters are made by Wix, (looks like the penski/white Castrol may be the same only $1 different, Black Castrol looks like better paper) only thing I did not like about them was the top of the element has a raised pattern like flower petals that the metal inlet sits on, almost looks like it would bypass some oil through there, maybe, maybe not, it IS a tight fit. An earlier post in this topic someone mentioned that mfg'rs had different quality levels (original engine plant/dealer/aftermarket....etc)this must be a good example of it I is interesting to me...
    Try a few different kinds and after you replace them cut them open it may surprise you.
    See you in a bit.
  • joe111joe111 Posts: 28
    adc100--in your previous post(543), you mentioned a test done by Mobile. You stated that they changed oil at 15000 miles and changed filters at 7500 miles. Is that correct or did you turn it around? Most maintenance schedules call for oil changes at 7500 and filter changes at 15000 miles. My Honda just hit 15000 miles and I'm debating wether I should change the filter with every oil change(for me 5000 miles) or every other change(10000 miles). I guess over the long haul it would be smarter to change the filter with every oil change. Somebody once told me it would be crazy to change oil and not change the filter too, even though the Honda maintenance schedule doesn't call for a filter change with every oil change. Anybody care to comment?
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    My mistake. They changed oil and filter at the same time. To me its plain crazy to change oil and not change the filter.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Rando, I was a little surprised to hear that there are two different AC Delco filters in the same number ... but I shouldn't be. The same is true for OEM Honda filters. The American one is made by Filtch and I'm 98% sure the Canadian one is made by Fram ... and they are radically different when cut open. I used to do this all the time but now it's a rarity because I stick to a couple brands I trust.

    Having said that, I suppose I'll chop up my Hastings when I pull it off my car in June. It's the first one of these I've used on my car.

    I was curious to know the differences between the Penske and two grades of Castrol filters. outside, they are virtually identical. I assumed that the difference between the white and black Castrol filters was the filter media ... from the claims at better filtration on the box. The black box (premium) filter claims to trap more dirt and are about $1 more. What they don't tell you is that it is also more restrictive and is likely to plug up earlier ... activating the by-pass valve and ceasing to filter. still, I thought enough of it to put one on my twin cylinder Honda garden tractor. >;^D

    And yes, I think it's silly to leave an old filter on a car after an oil change. The dirtiest oil is in the filter, you run the risk of them getting plugged with too much contaminant and if anything, they should be replaced MORE OFTEN than the oil.

    --- Bror Jace
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    CHAMPION LABS is the best. I use Mobil 1 and AC Delco PF filters. BTW i used Fram filters by Allied Signal for over 25 years with no PROBLEMO. Hmmmm.
  • gjogjo Posts: 2
    Who makes the best filter? Until there is some better data to judge efficiency ratings vs. micron ratings. Beta ratings and iso code for particle count/size might be a start with flow data also. Yes there are SAE tests, but we have tests, single pass and multiple pass. Oil filter manufactures use modified versions in their ads, so no apples to apples comparison tests for the consumer. My opinion on Mobil 1 filter too expensive for what you get. I had two filters with bad anti-drain valves. According to ACDelco test on their web page the Mobil 1 is the second worst oil filter on oil flow. Oil has to go thru the filter first. ACDelco might have been the best filter with their synthetic filter element, but due to poor marketing and poor distribution (PEP boys only?) it was due to fail before it started. It had high flow and great advertised efficiency rating. Pure one is one of the best filter deals out there. Not real expensive, flow equals a standard filter and a web page link I came across had it better than Mobil 1 filter in SAE efficiency rating. With the silicon anti-drain valve should help seal all the time. Until someone will independently test all the oil filters on the market with a full array of tests the consumer will just have to muddle thru advertised data (which must be taken with a grain of salt) and hope for the best. If someone can prove thru a battery of tests that an oil filter is superior to others on the market, I will buy in a second at just about any cost.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    stated that the Mobil 1 filter was constructed better than the other Champion Labs filters and still there were reports of failures. Too much pressure IMHO.

    I find the $11.99 Wal-Mart dino fill a good value, but insist that they replace the Fram with a Super Tech. Anything but Fram and I'm happy. Don't really think the Wal-Mart Champion Labs filter is better than a Penske (Wix) from K-Mart, but think both of them are very good values. I do think the Penske is the same exact filter as the base Castrol for less money. Filtering data is the same for both filters.

    The original MiniMopar study (removed from most sites) was critical of Champion Labs for having flimsier media and some rust. Remember the older Champion Labs filters as having a slight bit of surface rust but that has been cleaned up for a couple of years now and the media looks just fine to me. Our filtering media expert has been careful not to recommend brands of filters but did state that the media in the SuperTech filter was first rate, so I'm happy.

    I'm disturbed that so many OEM filters (i.e. Canadian Hondas) are in fact Fram. All it takes is seeing one of those filters cut apart (they are displayed in many AutoZones) and you can tell why anyone should be nervous.

    I usually hang large signs over my dash before going into Wal-Mart stating "NO FRAM ALLOWED, use SuperTech."
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    anything built to wal mart specs is bottom end.
    wal mart sells on price.
    if its not a national name brand, look out.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Their SuperTech is a very good filter-made by Chambion Labs with a 98/94% efficiency.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Remember that high efficiency usually results in lower flow rate and quicker filter blockage (like the example of the air filter in your house, stays clean for a while then starts getting dirtier faster getting more and more efficient and finally stopping all the way up), unless the filter has extrapaper to accomodate a longer service life it would start bypassing fairly early in life. Not saying the Supertech is a bad filter (I'm sure they are way above Fram in all respects), but it is probably worth looking at (cutting open after use to see how well it is put together and how much paper/pleat depth etc)
    Champion may make good filters but they probably have different quality/defect levels for each of the various generic customers they build for,,,Walmart may only require 1/xx defective and someone else may require 1/xxx defect rate, customer would probably never know. They are probably VERY good for the cost (same thing for Kmart generic/Penski/Wix-Castrol..), but I would not use them for extended intervals.
  • etechetech Posts: 4
    Is anyone using the Bosch Premium Oil Filters?

     They seem to be a middle of the grade filter somewhere between the $2 regular paper filters and the $10 and higher premiums. I saw them for sale for $5 at AutoZone the other day. They use a mix of paper and synthetic fiber. They advertise the case as being stronger.

     A post on another board said the paper element is good for filtering around 20 microns, the paper and synthetic around 15 microns and the full synthetics down to 10 microns. I realize it is more complicated than that but as a rough estimate it seemed applicable.

    Does anyone know which Bosch would cross to the MobileOne M1-301? For $8 less I might switch to them.

    gjo, lower flow of the high efficiency filters is one of the reasons I am using a oversize filter on my Jeep. The larger size should help with both flow and time until plugged.

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    for crappy products? Their filters are pretty standard Champion Labs products identical to STP, Lee, Deutsch or a host of other Champion Labs brands. I think Champion Labs and Wix are two of the better filter manufacturers. I use a 4000 mile change interval and any standard filter should do fine in that environment.

    Their oil is standard off the shelf Quaker State. They don't set up special refineries to blend private label products with inferior specifications. They are still ILSAC2, not ILSAC3, but I suspect that is just a matter of working old stock out of the distribution system.

    I'm always amazed at the people who will order the name brand oil change at Wal-Mart and then specify Quaker State, turns out that they're paying an additional $5 for the identical product.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    builds to contracted specifications. Wix and Champion both probably make the product to a certain minimum quality level. The company (Kmart/Walmart) that buys the product would just contract a certain minimum quality level to get a certain minimum price...I would imagine the manufacturer has their own minimum quality level to suit all buyers and just maintains that level above any contracted minimum....these days sadly nobody seems to overperform....
    I doubt that Walmart would purposely contract for crappy products....I'm sure they would contract for a minimum price though..they know who they are competing with..
    2 people running through the woods being chased by a bear, Jeff says to Jack do you think we can outrun him? Jack says to Jeff,,I don't know I only have to outrun YOU!
    Catch my drift?
    I'm sure they both are good enough, if one gets a little better, you can bet the other one will too.
    later folks
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Champion Labs stuff, which happens to be a pretty good filter. They could switch suppliers at any time and the SuperTech filter could be Fram. But, this also happens with OEM makes, witness the varying types of AC filters at K-Mart and Wal-Mart. Bet you that AC makes a certain amount of filters for GM products and farms the rest out to the lowest bidder. The same with Honda of Canada which does use Frams.

    From my point, my only no no is to avoid Fram oil filters at any price. I agree that Champion Labs higher end products (Mobil, Bosch?) probably have better filtering media, but think that high filtration has a certain risk itself. Sticking with a 4K oil change should minimize filter troubles anyway.

    Same with oil. Wal-Mart's house brand could be Valvoline at any time rather than Quaker State. Depends on the low bidder when they let the next contract. In my mind it's no big deal as long as I don't greatly extend the drain interval.

    I do think the new SL/ILSAC 3 grades will be a big improvement since they will have a synthetic component.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Guys, without going into details or revealing who I have talked to at Champion Labs, just let me say that there is no reason to worry about the quality of the Super Tech filters. They are as good as any out there in the same price range.

  • rbruehlrbruehl Posts: 85
    I recommend K&N oil filters if you can find them. They are probably the best filter built on the market.

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    etech's comments about Bosch filters having heavier duty construction match the Minimopar? comments about Mobil filters having especially heavy duty construction but having some reputation for failure.

    Are the construction of these filters being beefed up because they're premium, or because a heavy filtering media puts more strain on the filter itself?

    You may have addressed this earlier, but I'm getting forgetful in my old age.

    Thanks Tom.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Very pricvey and the nut on hte end INHO is more detrimental then beneficial. It was a real pain for me the one time I tried that brand as I use the wrench that fits over the entire end cap.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    rbruehl, you're gonna have to do better than that in order to convince the people here in this thread. Quite a knowledeable and experienced group we have here and we're all aware of the K&N oil filter as well as the companies reputation.

    I also found that welded, stamped-steel nut on the back to be a hinderance rather than a help. I think it was 25mm ... and I had a hard time getting the filter off with a 3/8" socket. An end cap wrench on a faceted canister gives you more grip.

    --- Bror Jace
  • ...but I can get most filters off with bare hands as well.

    They go on hand tight. They come off the same way, just a bit harder.

    And I use the K&N on my SVT Contour and Mazda MPV. (Same engine block, same filter!)

  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    This has been discussed on this board somewhere but I always use a wrench to trun at least one or two turns to assure the seal. I have seen too many fitlers leaking at the gasket due to quick lubes hand turning the filters. To me a few turns is bettter then going back in to tighten it later. To date I have not overtightened, ruined any filters.

    As to K&N, the one time I did use it I saw no difference in my oil analysis results as compared to my standard use Amsoils, or Pure Ones I normally use. And, more expensive! I personally believe, although this has been debated on other boards, that their air filters do nothing to either improve HP. mileage or filtration. In fact, my oil analysis over years and several cars has shown that in this rare case the OEM air filters work better then any aftermarket. Not true of oil filters but for me it is in air filters. I have tried the K&N, and Amsoil foam filters and both do nothing and eventually fall apart from cleaning.
  • It has been flow tested to be at least 12-16gmp according to K&N.

    The Motorcraft filter that came with both the Contour and the MPV is only tested to 3gpm. It may flow more, but is only tested to that level.

    Since we've noticed a correlation between long right hand sweeping turns, high rpms (but not over redline) and oil starvation related failurs in the 2.5L Duratecs over at, I believe it is better to ensure the oil filter flows as much oil as possible than it is to have very clean oil that can't get through a very effective, but restrictive filter media.

    While I don't know if the oil filter is the choke point, I'm ensuring my filter will flow more than the oil pump will pump.


  • wainwain Posts: 479
    My complaint about K and N is that they have not sent the filters to an outside independent testing lab.

    Its all marketing hype.

    probably same for other filter makers too
  • the flow rate is hype. The filtering claims certainly could be. But flow is flow. And given Ford/Motorcraft only claim 3gpm...

    I'm not relying on a comparison to an unnamed brand in filter efficiency for my decision, but the raw numbers about strength and flow.

    I have no reason to doubt those claims. Independantly tested or not.

This discussion has been closed.