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Oil Filters, whose is best, and Why?



  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    While local K-mart was going out of business, they had Mobile 1 $10 filters for $6, then $4, then $3, and the end for 1$.

    Since they had lost the cross ref. book, no one knew what the filters were for. Using Mobil phone#, got cross reference# and bought tons of filters that will last for 5 years for all cars. truck, and van that we own.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    At our local KMart, they also have Castrol GTX for $1.29 a qt until next Saturday. I loaded up enough of that to change oil in my two cars for a couple of years.

    Our KMart didn't close, so I didn't catch the filter sale. Good move as long as you will have the cars that long.
  • You generally get what you pay for!. I recommend Purolator or OEM. I used to use FRAM but their quality has gone down.

    Keep it simple: wait for a sale on OEM and stock up. Motorcraft uses the Purolator Premium Plus with the new silicone antidrain vavle. I use them for my 2 Taurus + E150.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Penske and Castrol are both Wix. That's as good as they come. Several others are Champion, also good.

    Remember, the car companies do not manufacture filters. They buy them, sometimes from Fram. So OEM is just a low bid deal for the most part, and OEM does not mean the filter is any good. Some OEM are very poor quality, sourced offshore in places like China and Korea.

    Do a google for "oil filter test" or "oil filter comparison". You will find OEM is not what you think it is. Wix and Champion manufactured filters almost always come out on top in the filter tests, along with Purolator and a couple of others sold at discount stores and auto supplies.

    You will also find out that for the most part, a $3 filter is equal or superior to the $10 ones.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Your #1294-- Amen, Bro! (;oÐ
  • steve_g35steve_g35 Posts: 5
    Does anyone know of any comparisons between premium oil filters, specifically Amsoil SDF, Mobil, and Bosch?

    I believe that all of these use sythetic fibers for smaller micron filtering. Does anyone know the difference between these? Thanks.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I've followed this board for a long time and probably your best bet is to go back and dig up past information. The problem is that the published efficiencies become fuzzy because you don't really know what micron size you are dealing with. Also the SAE test has changed somewhat in the last year I believe. The filters you have mentioned are all good filters, near as I can determine. The Amsoil I believe is made by Hastings. Mobil and Bosch are made by Champion Labs. Even though the last two look the same they are different. For sure the cannister thickness of the Bosch is thinner than the Mobil. Since the media and effficiencies are all probably more than adequate, I have honed in on the ones that have a very thick wall. K&N is the thickest at around .020" with Mobil at about .018 most of the rest are at around .012 to .014. Purolator is at the bottom of the list of those that I have measured at less than .010" I will never use Purolator again.

    BTW don't rule out the Supertech at Wally worlk- High efficiency and cannister of .017"- made by Champion Labs.

  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Just curious, but in 48 years of driving and 43 years of owning and maintaining my own cars, I have never had a canister split. Have you? I can see it perhaps under racing conditions, but not in street use unless I have just been unbelievably lucky with the two hundred or so filters of various manufacture I have bought and changed.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    I've never had the misfortune of a pressure rupture of a canister, either, but have been advised to use caution in that regard concerning motorcycles. It seems that some lesser thickness and or lesser constructed filters had a streak of failures under competition conditions not so many years back. The result was oil all over the tracks with the implied consequences following!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Two things from the MiniMopar filter report stand out:

    1. The Mobil filter was constructed much heavier than other Champion Labs units.

    2. The Mobil filter had some disturbing reports of the cannister splitting.

    I've always taken this to mean that there may be some dangers in using a super high efficiency filter. Even a 1% failure rate (undoubtedly too high) would more than offset the risks inherent in just going with a medium grade filter like SuperTech and changing more often.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    What is the long version of the Mobil 1 M1-103 filter?


    You lucky dog! Being able to get the best filters made for those prices should be a crime!


    You're absolutely right about Fram filters. They're junk, stay away from them. Mobil's and Purolator's filters are the best, even better than OEM.


    As with oil, you get what you pay for with oil filters. $3 filters are not equal to, or superior to $10 filters. There isn't a $3 filter on the market that will compare to Mobil's or Purolator's filters.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Some engines are prone to stuck oil pressure relief valves and will split a filter,any filter.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I have never had any fail, but I have heard of others failing. I personally knew of one person who had one split. On the other hand, my main beef is with the Purolator. It's paper thin. I would guess their rupture rate would be higher. The danger would be greatest in GM vehicles as they have an internal bypass and filters specified for GM products have no bypass valve (generally). So If I were running GM vehicles I would avoid Purolators like the plague (which I do). I maintain 3 GM vehicles.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote:"As with oil, you get what you pay for with oil filters. $3 filters are not equal to, or superior to $10 filters. There isn't a $3 filter on the market that will compare to Mobil's or Purolator's filters."

    As you obviously refuse to believe the results of the minimopar and other tests, there is no way to convince you otherwise. Good luck with your $10 filters.

    Lets see, at $7 difference and about 200 filters, I have saved, in todays dollars, about $1400 with not one split case, nor engine failure.

    I will go with my 43 years of car ownership experience and stick with the excellent Wix and Champion $3 filters.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. Purolator has different price points-- not every Purolator is a Pure One.

    2. Some brands (AC) aren't always what they seem. Some companies make part of a line and farm the rest out.

    3. OEM suppliers aren't reliable, Canadian Honda OEM's are Frams.

    4. Apparently the Mobil 1 has a better filtering medium, and it's been described as a better filter (as far as heavy construction) in MiniMopar and Acura (I think) studies, but the stories of splitting are troubling.

    5. I agree w. fwatson that there are plenty of good low cost Champion and Wix filters out there, although KMart's dropping of Wix for (gag) Fram is a loss.

    6. In the case of Fram, you definitely don't get what you pay for. No Fram is my only rule in life.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    In rechecking the famed Allied Signal engineer expose, he referenced Fram (crap) filter was $20Cdn. That's certainly not an example of getting what you pay for...

  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I thought that report was saying the filter can was leaking at the crimp point around the entry side of the filter, not splitting down the side or anything like that, but I could have read that part wrong .
    Since those filters are using thicker sheet metal for the can, it is possible the crimping machine cannot handle that thickness properly when sealing the edges...sometimes over-engineering can be as bad as under-engineering. They are not worth $10 to me, but as with everything else on here....if it makes you happy, use it.
    If anyone busts a filter (any filter) due to over-pressure, they have other problems to worry about. The busted filter would have just been a symptom of another problem,,,like a stuck internal pressure relief valve at the pump...
    Any filter that filters at too fine a level starts decreasing flow at higher rpm, and does it more as time goes by as it gradually starts plugging up...definitely NOT good for using in extended drain intervals.
    Personally I would rather have higher oil flowrates rather than having ultra-clean oil at lower flowrates.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030

    I've read several oil filter tests, and they all said Mobil and Purolator make the best filters. None of them have said Wix and/or Champions were as good.

    Like many, I'm frugal, but I won't scimp when it comes to my oil or filters. Those who use $.95 oil and $3 filters are just asking for trouble. You might as well take the money you're saving by buying the cheap stuff, and put it away for for that certain premature engine, or car replacment. I don't get 200+K miles out of my cars by running the cheap stuff!


    I don't now why so many people are making such a big deal about the Mobil filter splitting. It was one, isolated incident, which under the same conditions, there isn't a filter made that wouldn't have split.
  • tntitantntitan Posts: 306
    actually put 200K miles on not using the cheap stuff. I personally have not ever put 200K on a car but the last two cars my wife and I had both were over 165K when I sold them and both are still running strong using the "cheap stuff".

    You are very adamant in your opinion that only $4 oil and $10 filters will keep a car running. I understand you wanting to put the best oil and filter made on your car and commend you for it. I also realize you have read numerous online lab tests that have convinced you of these opinions. I know you will never agree but it is POSSIBLE that other regimens will work just as well - only time will tell.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    had to say that, sorry.
    You can put a concrete bridge over a 2 foot wide creek too,
    don't need to, but you can if you want....
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    Quote:"I don't get 200+K miles out of my cars by running the cheap stuff!"

    Millions of people have. Confusing price and quality only wastes money. I keep my cars until they are no longer worth more than $1500. So far in 43 years I have had one Renault Dauphine that the engine failed. That had nothing to do with the oil or filter. It had to do with a piece of crap engine that was good for about 20000 miles. I have not counted how many cars I have had in my life, around 20 I would guess. But that is the only one that had engine failure, and I have never bought a so called premium filter, or high priced oil.

    That said, Mobile 1 is a Champion filter, as is K&N. Contrary to your experience, the oil filter tests I have read have all rated Wix and Champion filters as excellent, and go out of their way to recommend them.

    It's your money, spend it as you wish.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I've heard other folks tell me that they thought the gaskets were leaking, but saw oil actually in the rolled seam of the can, nothing catastophic but they were leaking at the seam (this was all a while back),,,,mfgr (Champion) has probably taken care of it by now though I'm sure. Champion also made the AC Delco filters that used to be at Walmart, they were good too)
    I'm sure the Mobil1's are good filters, but as always, high filter efficiency has a cost----it shortens the service life of the filter because it DOES catch more particles...unless it REALLY has alot of extra media in it, it will clog sooner. It may do a better job, but it WON'T last forever(3-4k miles may be no problem but 10-15k miles???) will start bypassing when it causes enough back-pressure and then the filter game is over until it is replaced anyway...
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    "Those who use $.95 oil and $3 filters are just asking for trouble. You might as well take the money you're saving by buying the cheap stuff, and put it away for for that certain premature engine, or car replacment."

    Are you serious? I guess I'll be as nice as I can and respectfully disagree, as several others have done already.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866

    "Mobil 1


    Like the Champ filter, this filter is made by Champion Labs. However, it uses a unique end plate and a thicker can that make it the strongest filter available for wide distribution retail sale. It also uses a synthetic media, which inproves filtration and flow. I'm happy to say that this filter is NOT a fake. It is definitely a unique design.

    It uses a synthetic fiber element that can filter out very small particles and is very strong. It is rated just under the Purolator Pure One as far as filtering capability, but is still very much above conventional paper filters. It also has a very strong construction to withstand high pressure spikes during start-up. However, as with all Mobil 1 products, expect to pay 2 - 3 times as much for this filter.

    I have received many reports of these filters failing at high pressures. It seems that the seam where the backplate crimps to the case can split."

    From the North Texas Acura filter study


    The Mobil 1 appears to be of excellent quality. The Bosch, Mobil 1, and STP appear to all use identical materials and construction, with only the Mobil 1 having a different filter media (appears to be coated- darker color). I can't comment on the effectiveness or any additional filtering or benefit to the Mobil 1 filter, though Mobil 1 claims it's more effective. The pleat seperation/uniformity appears better than the or Bosch filter. The Bosch, Mobil 1, and STP bypass valve utilizes a stiffer spring than any of the others and a rubber seat/seal which should help prevent leakage. Check out the last pic for a shot of a used Mobil 1- this is a 1 month old filter with 1000 hard miles and conventional (non synthetic) oil. Let this be a reminder to you to change your filter regularly!"

  • frulefrule Posts: 82
    I got 5 AC Delco PF59 filters at Autozone a few months ago.Then I saw a Walmart ST3675(Super Tech).It is IDENTICAL to the Delcos.However,there are 2(or more) versions of the AC Delco PF59.

    I went so far as to cut open each(WM and ST).Needless to say,I'm using a $1.78 Walmart(with fiberglass in media).Since the filter is only $1.78,I'll need a new engine even sooner than the $3.00 filter users(bottgers wisdom).

  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    They put the st3980 supertechs on sale and BOOM! I got em...paid $1 each...I'm happy.
    They are as good a quality filter as any I have bought in the last several years (I cut them all up to check'em too)...which means I've been getting ABF filters (Anything But Fram!!)...I do the 3k change thing with Havoline/Chevron oil. Some things require High $$$$ parts, some things just require VERY routine attention, which is what I put oil/filters/grease in that category.
    Only thing I can actually say good about synthetic oils is that it gives everyone a new bar to check out ....ever see a deer walk up to a fence, sniff it, then jump it?
    see ya
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    If the filter costs less than 3 bucks, it's crap. bottgers said so.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    My understanding the media is different from Mobil 1 and has no fiberglass. I could be wrong though. Champion builds Mobil 1, K&N and Bosch and even the cannister thicknesses are different.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Twice now I've changed the filter on a 98 Trooper without changing the oil. Tonight was the second time. First time, dipstick was about 1/4 qt low when I removed filter, and about 1/2 qt oil was drained by removing filter. Tonight, dipstick was about a quart low (must not have checked it in a while-- newer Troopers do consume oil) and only about 10 fl oz, just > 1/4 qt, was drained by removing filter.

    I don't understand logically how these things work-- Does a lower dipstick reading at time of filter change explain why less oil came out when the filter was removed?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I thought I was frugal. I could shove a piece of coal up any one of your butts and have a diamond in less than a week! I don't care what any of you say, cheap can be a good thing, but not when we're talking about motor oil and filters. But, use what you want. They're your cars.
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