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Oil Filters, whose is best, and Why?



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    (I'm going to try to move some graphics and tabular material from the clip board, don't know if it will work.) The filtering medium is slightly greater than some of their other Champion Labs units like Deutsch and Car and Driver (Target) which average about 240 sq. inches. Note the warning about failure at a seam, something I don't remember occuring with other Champion Labs filters. Maybe the increased filtering density puts additional pressure on the housing???

    From Mopar study....
    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.

    Exploded view:

    Average Retail Price $10
    Cartridge Length 4.250 inches
    Cartridge Outside Diameter 3.250 inches
    Cartridge Inside Diameter 1.625 inches
    Cartridge Pleats 52
    Cartridge End Cap Type Stamped-steel, with bypass valve
    Anti-Drainback Valve Type Nitrile rubber diaphragm
    Bypass Valve Type Spring-loaded steel, nitrile seal
    Element Type Synthetic media, glued seam
    Element Length 85 inches
    Element Width 4.125 inches
    Element Surface Area 351 square inches
    Shell Thickness 0.022 inches
    Backplate Thickness 0.138 inches
    Gasket Type Nitrile rubber
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    This seems to be a typical Champion Labs unit.

    Again, the web page quoted is at:

    "Car And Driver


    This filter is a Champion filter.

    Average Retail Price $3

    Cartridge Length 4.000 inches

    Cartridge Outside Diameter 3.250 inches

    Cartridge Inside Diameter 1.625 inches

    Cartridge Pleats 54

    Cartridge End Cap Type Stamped-steel, with bypass valve

    Anti-Drainback Valve Type Nitrile rubber diaphragm

    Bypass Valve Type Spring-loaded steel, nitrile seal

    Element Type Paper media, glued seam

    Element Length 87 inches

    Element Width 3.875 inches

    Element Surface Area 337 square inches

    Shell Thickness 0.012 inches

    Backplate Thickness 0.102 inches

    Gasket Type Nitrile rubber"

  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Do you conclude something from this?
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. Fram= crap.
    2. Purolator= troubling assembly problems because of the "string" causing crushing.
    3. Champion Labs= generally good filters, although I have some question whether using a "premium" high density filtering medium can put undue pressure on the assembly itself.
    4. Wix= seems like a good filter.

    Come to think of it, I have read that the Mobil 1 filter is Hastings. Is it a Hastings filtering medium in a Champion Labs case?

    I think the main lesson in the MoPar study is simply to never EVER use a Fram/Quaker State/Pennzoil oil filter. Everything else is probably OK. Some OEM brands like the MoPar filters may be Fram or just about anything else.

    My Hyundai Elantra is due for an oil change soon. I'll probably take it to Wal-Mart after putting a big "no Fram" sign on dash and air cleaner and ask for the $11.99 special. Hopefully they'll use Super-Tech (Quaker State) oil and the Super-Tech filter. Optionally I'll get the $30 synthetic fill and tell 'em to use Mobil 1, but I can get 2.5 dino changes for one syn!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    There were some comments about fifteen posts back on Filtech filters. These are used on some Honda aftermarket applications and also Isuzus. Here's a comment from a study done by the North Texas Prelude Owners Group. By the way, their assessment was that Champion Labs probably made the best filter, Fram=crap (what else is new), Canadian Honda after market filters were Fram and the Japanese filters from Honda were excellent in quality but couldn't be purchased separately.


    This filter looks identical to the Toyo Roki-made JDM filter at first glance- externally the same construction, the only indicator is the "FILTECH" stamped on the outside (a large US manufacturer of filters under various brand names). Internally it's *almost* identical to the JDM filter- steel end caps, steel bypass valve. What makes it stand out as different is the radically different filter media. The material on the Japanese filter looked like the STP or Bosch units. The US media looks much, much worse than the Fram. The media is noticeably "fuzzy" with small fibers protruding out from every angle. While the filter itself is constructed very well (like the Japanese one), the furry nature of the media makes me question how long it lasts and what it will release into the oil system. It also has the least surface area of all the Honda filters (though only a few inches less than the Canadian one).

  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Remember that Hasting filters as well as Amsoil are actually made by Baldwin that makes multipel fitlers. Question is whether they are made under different specifications and use different componetns. I have asked Amsoil to state if teir filters are built to a differetn spec then Hastings. Both manufactured in the same plant owned and operated by Baldwin. Hastings is just a marketing name kept for its quality reputation but Baldwin purchased Hastings years ago. If you do a web search for Baldwin filters look at the excutive names. Then do a search for Hastings, compare names, they are exactly the same names!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I went with a filter not recommended for my Sentra- a Pure One PL14620 which is longer than standard (they don't make a Pure One for my vehicle.) Anyway I began to get concerned when I didn't notice a bypass/relief valve in the bottom of the canister. Pure One specs indicated there was a relief valve which was rated at 10-14 psi. I emailed Pure One and they indicated there is a "spider" relief valve installed which you can not see. They said if you pushed down on the inside of the canister it actuates. They said you have to cut up the filter to see it. Anyway my point is that Pure One may have a relief valve even though it is not visible. If you have a 2001 Nissan product this filter will fit. They are all the same. At any rate-it works for me. If you want to double check go to the back pages of the Store's copy of the Pure One manual. It gives you the relief settings, the filter head/thread specs and the filter diameter and length. Good stuff. If you like Mobil 1 the filter # is M1-110 (longer filter) vs 108 (I believe) for the shorter filter. The Mobil 1 filters have a visible bypass/relief valve.
  • The filter comparison page shows the Napa/Wix filters and the Castrol looks just like them. The page even has the same cutaway view that the Castrol box there ya go....looks like a cheap way to get a Napa filter
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    If that's the case then I would think the K-Mart (Penske) filters would be Wix as well. A comparison booklet on filter comparisons was at the K-Mart filter aisle. Both filters were compared to Fram (ha) and both looked identical in cut away. This is from memory, I haven't checked back.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I have a castrol filter on my Integra right now and can't wait to get rid of it. My oil pressure light stays lit for about 3 seconds after I start my engine cold. After a warm start the light goes out right away. This indicates to me that the anti drainback valve is leaking. Maybe I just got a bad one, but I am going to pure-one which is on my other vehicle - light always goes right out.
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    I saw that too on the PL14620 "where's the valve?"), so I used the AC-PF2057 on our Villager. Also, Motorcraft x-references the FL821 - which has the visible valve (and PureOne insides?).
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I used the Purolator 14620 on my Pathfinder for a while, and then chickened out when I discovered that the Purolator recommended in writing was the 14612. The Advance Auto computer terminal said to use the 14620, the printed book said to use the 14612. I am planning to use only the Motorcraft, Bosch, and ACDelco filters on my Pathfinder just to get away from the nagging feeling that this conflict of numbers is not good. adc100: Did you in fact check the specs for the pressure relief valve and the back flow valve? And if so, did they meet the Nissan standards for the 3.3L V6?
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I checked it against the one recommended for my Sentra (can't remember the number). All the recommended Pure One filters for Nissan products were 10-14 psi. I point out that I did *not* compare it to the recommended Purolator (non Pure One) 14612. You are right is strange. And the 2000Sentra calls for a different filter than the 2001. I called the dealer and the parts man assured me there is no difference between these engines. Nissan apparantly went to the "one size fits all" concept for 2001 for all their cars.
    I don't believe there are specs on the anti-drainback valve.
  • Has anyone used the filters by CM? You buy the housing and then change the filter elements. It is costly but makes good sense. Also mentions it is ideal for synthetic users as it has a 10K mile change suggested. Info on their sight is informative.
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    anyone have info on motorcraft filters?good-bad or ugly.
  • As for that NTPOG review of the Honda filters, the guy really slams the Filtech filter for being "fuzzy". This is just silly. I saw a Honda technician's site and they showed the usual suspects all cut apart and measured. The only one that looked halfway decent in comparison was the Pur-One. Even the WIX, which is built well for most applications, doesn't seem to have a lot of surface area (pleats and depth) because the inner cartridge is much smaller than the size of the canister would have you believe. So, I can't recommend one for any Honda applications.

    Yes, I'd agree that the Penske and Castrol filters are both made by WIX and so are the same as the NAPA line. But, do they all use the same valving? What about the same filter media? There seems to be some slight discrepancies in the way these are made (evidence of sealant drips, etc ...) even though the gaskets have the same colored marks on them in exactly the same places, etc ...

    I think some of the newer Motorcraft filters are made by Purolator and are Pur-One. This is hearsay, however, and I haven't cut them apart myself to verify this.

    --- Bror Jace
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I would think that if they are made by Pure One you'd be able to recognize the cannister. I haven't seen any other quite like it. I suppose that maybe only their element is the same.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Don't know if they all do, but I did see each of AutoZone's filters cut away and mounted in a display.

    One of the earlier versions of the Engine Oil Filter Study slams Champion for having thin media and rusted end caps. Supposedly the author backed off Champion after legal threats. As far as I could tell the Champion filters cut open looked just fine. Couldn't tell much of any difference between Bosch, Deutsch (no longer carried), STP and suprisingly Mobil 1, although I'm certain that the filtering media in the Mobil 1 is probably different-- I just couldn't tell it.

    AC had fewer but deeper pleats and the Purolator filters had the tell tale string, but no crimping of the filter media.

    The Fram filter looked just horrible. Cardboard ends, almost no filtering media. Just like they say about ground zero, the pictures don't do it justice. I can't imagine anyone looking at a sample of that crap and buying it, but I'm sure they sell a lot of 'em. If any clerks are in the area next time I'm in there I'll ask 'em.
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    Just got an email from an engineer at purolator.He stated that they make the motorcraft filters to ford's specs.he also stated the motorcraft filter is excellent for long life but does not trap as many small particles as their
    "premium plus" filters.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    So, does that mean that if they do not filter as well as a Premium Plus they are way behind a Pure One?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hi, folks! I am a designer of filter media, and I work for a company that supplies just about every one of the major filter manufacturers with automotive filter paper.

    Obviously, I am NOT going to alienate any current or prospective customers with any comments that I might make. I will speak only in general terms.

    I know a lot more about the media than I do about the assembled filters, but I have to know something about filters to be able to make good media.

    Almost all automotive spin-on full flow filters have paper media! For some reason the manufacturers will dream up some other term for the media, but, believe me, it's almost always resin-impregnated paper.

    Now, some grades of paper have synthetic components in addition to the cellulose (wood fibers). The two most common synthetic fibers used are glass micro-fibers and polyester (ok, there's a fancier term for what I am calling polyester, but i never can remember what it is: polyvinyl something or other).

    The micro glass is a very expensive component in the "furnish" (recipe), but it does some dynomite things for filtration! The poly is there for endurance (flex fatigue and burst strength are greatly enhanced by the poly).

    All major manufacturers make filters for other major manufacturers. It would not be practical for a filter maker to make all of the small volume filters (think of all the tooling they would need), so they make them for each other.

    Our product is filter paper in rolls slit to the width of the pleated paper pack. Our customers unwind these rolls and feed them into a pleater.

    The stream of pleated paper usually goes into an oven to semi-cure the resin in the paper. As the stream of pleated, cured paper comes out of the oven, they have either an automized work station or people that cut the pleated paper into pleat packs at the ink marks sprayed on at the pleater every so many folds.

    The two ends of the pleat packs are sealed by various means (usually some kind of glue, but sometimes metal clips). This forms a cylinder of pleated paper that then has a center tube inserted into it.

    The paper and center tube are placed into the bottom end cap, which has a trough around the edge and a layer of plastisol to form a seal. The top end cap is also put on, and it also has platisol for a seal. The viscosity of the plastisol has to be high enough that it doesn't run down when the top end cap is placed on the paper.

    Usually from here the cartridge goes into an oven, where the plastisol is cured and the paper receives additional curing (often, the oven after the pleater just serves to stiffen the paper enough to set the pleats but not fully cure the paper).

    The cured cartridge is placed in the can with a relief valve (usually) and then the base plate containing the anti-drain back valve is double- seamed to the can. The base plate is where the threads are and has the little holes for the dirty oil to enter the filter.

    Ok, enough for now.

    I will post a little later about what I know of that makes a good filter (without getting into brands!).

  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Tsjay, you have our attention so please continue with filter media performance information. Thanks.

    Note that the chemical name for polyester fiber is polyethylene terepthalate. It has higher tenacity and elongation-at-break than cellulostic fiber. These characteristics do recommend polyester in terms of filter media strength and toughness - but Tsjay will have to provide the filtration effectiveness data.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Please clarify, the company you work for produces media under different specifications for different filter manufacturers? Can you state that filters produced in the same plant under different brand names can be produced under different specificationsas well (are all Wix filters for example, regardless of under what name sold, the same inside the canister?) . Some people believe if Campion makes a filter etc it must be good regardless of name whereas I say they are assembled under different specifications.

    Someday I would love it if someone in the know wuld give their opinion, I have also spoken to filter manufacturers and they also refuse to state who they think makes a good filter, the whole world is afraid of being sued, fired or just fearful of giving an opinion. Cheez!!!!!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    How long at 0 degrees F would it take for oil (at 0 degrees) to get warm enough to pass through the media manufacturerd by your company or will it pass through even at 0 degrees at start up?????? Basically, how long does the filter stay in bypass mode?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Guys, I told you that my company makes the MEDIA, not the filters, so I will have to simply tell you that "I don't know" in a lot of cases.

    Obviously, we work closely with the filter manufacturers as we develop media, but they don't always share all the info with us about performance.

    We have our own "flat sheet" multipass test stand to evaluate the performance of our different paper grades. What is meant by flat sheet is that the paper is a disk of unpleated paper that has been cured and placed in the test stand.

    This is tells us what the paper is capable of doing, and it takes out all the variables of filter construction. It serves as a basis for comparison and is a great test for developing media.

    Gotta eat my breakfast and get to work, but I'll get back online tonight and answer all the questions that I can (or should).

    c ya

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    That's the same question I asked over in the "oil" discussion. I really don't know the answer, but I am very curious about it.

    I will take advantage of the next opportunity to ask one of my contacts at one of our customers about it.

    I know that they have a "cold flow" test that they run, but I don't hear about it very often. I think the filter people have a lot of tests that they just don't tell us about, unless they think the media needs to be enhanced for better results.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Armtdm: Regarding your post #173...

    Yes, the same filter maker can make filters that meet different specs. They can increase or decrease the pleat count, thus changing the total number of square inches of media in the filter. They can also use different grades of paper for some elements, with the higher performing grades being used in the premium filters. So, even though two filters might be used for the same application and made by the same company, they could be quite different in their performance.

    If they are making a filter with their own brand, then they set the specs for the filter performance, but if they are making a private brand filter, then they have to meet the specs agreed upon with their customer.

    Most of the big name filter makers have OEM (original equipment) accounts, and these filters have to meet the specs that the auto makers set.

    As far as your desire that I "express my opinion," I AIN'T GONNA DO IT! I think you can understand why I will not get into brands. I mess around on the internet for FUN, but I feed my family (and, unfortunately, half my inlaws) by designing filter paper. So, pissing off our customers is not a good thing for my career.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Thanks for the post. I never have tried to remember the proper name for the poly, but I do remember it being referred to as PET, which goes along with what you are calling it.

    It is more important for me to know how to use it to get what we need in the paper than to know the technical name for it, although I admit that I really ought to know it. I am NOT a chemist by any stretch of the imagination!


  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Isn't our curiosity more important than food for your family? You're being unreasonable... (:^>
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Assuming that a good filter paper grade is used (one of ours, of course!), here are some things that are important for the filter maker to get right.


    There needs to be enough square inches of paper in the element to handle the load. There should NOT be too many pleats, though, because that can lead to "pinch-off" where the paper is too tightly packed and the oil has a hard time getting through.


    Uniform pleat spacing around the center tube is important. This spreads the load around to all of the pleats, and this makes the best use of all the paper in the element. The oil will take the path of least resistance, so a gap in the pleats will take more of the flow, and groups of tightly packed pleats will not take much of the flow.


    We impregnate the paper with resin for stiffness, so that the pleats will maintain their shape and spacing in the element. If the resin is not properly cured, then the pleats will not hold their shape and spacing.


    We go to lots of trouble to make a nice, bulky, low density sheet of paper for good dirt-holding capacity. Caliper is very important, but if the pleater is not adjusted properly, then the paper will be densified as it goes through it, and this will cause loss of capacity.

    There are lots of other things too, but these are the ones that relate to the paper itself.

This discussion has been closed.