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Oil Filters, whose is best, and Why?

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Comments

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hey, where are all the posts? Have I bored everyone to tears?

    tom
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Your stuff is good info, but some of the "true believers" think that more pleats are always better! lol
    You have to be scientifically right on track with your info. Keep it up. Don't be discouraged by no current response. The site may have had a problem this evening (?).
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Thanks for the info. I'm sure everyone appreciates it and finds it informative; I know I do. I think what we're all clamoring for is what you won't give us (understandably): buying advice on which filters are good and which are not!
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Actually, more pleats ARE better, but only up to the point that they are being squeezed together too tightly.

    The center tube is of a certain diameter in a particular filter. There are only so many pleats that you can get around the circumference of the center tube for a given paper thickness. Take into account that at the pleat tips there is a double thickness of paper.

    There is an ideal pleat count, therefore, that is determined by this combnation, i.e., center tube circumference and paper thickness.

    Without getting into brands, I will say that the premiun filters that have high efficiency will normally have tighter (more restrictive) paper, and to get the proper throughput, they use more pleats than would the average filter. In other words, a tighter sheet of paper will pass less volume of oil per square inch of surface area than a more open sheet, so there needs to be more square inches of paper in the filter to obtain the proper total flow at a given pressure.

    These premium filters are designed to handle the extra pleats, so they do not "pinch off" even with the extra pleats.

    tom
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Although you have no control over how the filter is assembled (pleat sacing and count) I assume that there is control over the items you mention, proper curing, not crushed and proper amount of resin. Sounds like the media you produce is all of one grade and the filter assembler is the one that decides on number of pleats, etc. Is that a correct assumption? As the media manufacturer what size of particle in microns does your media filter out on a multiple pass test??? Or does this depend on how tight they are packed as well?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Since you are from the UK, you ought to know this:

    Who was the roundest knight at the round table?

    (Sir Cumference)

    tom
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Lord, NO! All of the paper we make is not of one grade! You would be AMAZED at how many different grades of paper we make just for the automotive oil filters (we also make paper for air, fuel, and hydraulic filters for cars, trucks, and heavy equipment).

    Usually, the filter design has already been established by the time we are asked to develop a grade of paper for that filter. This gives us constraints that we must work within in the design of the paper. Seems backwards, huh?

    I'll get more into this tonight, but gotta get ready for work now.

    tom
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    What brand of oil filter do you use on your cars???? This is not asking for an opinion jsut a personal question to you on your consumption habits.

    Myself, I use Pure One on one car and Amsoil on the other 4. One the one I use Pure One it is because after two Amosil filters for this model they both leaked at the Gasket. Bot brands for me provide excellent oil analysis results.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Actually, I'm from Michigan, not the UK. I picked the Union Jack flag for my Edmund's profile instead of the Stars & Stripes just for a little variety.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    that nothing can really be proven.

    There is room for debate as far as what oil and what filter are the best. There is even more room for debate about what really wears an engine out.

    I think you'll find that automotive engineers will argue among themselves about what factors are the most important in engine wear. Is it the dirt particles, and, if so, what size particles do the most damage? Is it the harmful chemicals that build up in the oil? Is it sludge that harms the engine the most?

    I would bet you big money that if you took ten engines and used oil from the very same batch for every oil change in each engine, used the same type of filter on each of them, drove the vehicles in a convoy over the same roads every day, and did everything you could possibly do along these lines to assure that each engine had seen exactly the same conditions of use, you would see one of them give up the ghost at 150K miles, one at 175K miles, one at 250K miles, etc.

    There are just some inherent differences in engines, even the same type of engines produced one after another in the same factory. It's called variation, and every process has variation.

    Think of all the parts in an engine! There is variation in each of these parts. The engines that last the longest maybe got the parts that had the least variation, and the ones that died sooner might have the parts had more variation.

    Look at how many more RPMs a balanced and blueprinted engine can handle than a standard engine. That's how important the variation in the parts can be.

    Obviously, the oil and the filter and how often they are changed are major factors, and it would be foolish to ignore these things.

    But above a certain point (and I sure can't tell you where that is), a better filter or a better oil won't do any good, because something else becomes the limiting factor.

    tom
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Filter media used in the chemical industry is rated according to the maximum particle size it will pass. Another criteria is the "depth of filtration" which indicates the relationship between the number of particles (in a specified range of sizes) that are trapped and the degree of blockage. A third media comparison is the pressure drop for clean media with a standard reference fluid. Tsjay, can you comment on the differences between your "standard" and "premium" media for automotive oil filters with respect to any of the above criteria?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Spoke:

    I will try to do a little homework at work (can you do homework at work?) so that I am not trying to quote numbers from memory.

    The pressure drop with clean paper is a more appropriate test for an assembled element, since the construction of the filter is a major factor there. We are held to a maximum "clean element restriction," but there is only so much we can do with the paper, and the way the filter is designed and constructed becomes the major factor.

    I will look up some of our flat sheet multi-pass results for the standard run-of-the-mill oil sheets and for our premium grades. I could quote you some pretty accurate numbers right now, but I would rather give you actual data.

    Our multi-pass test starts with a clean disc of cured paper (about 6" diameter, I believe). The oil is comtaminated with test dust and in-line particle counters measure the concentration of dirt by particle size groups upstream and downstream of the paper. This is how the efficiencies of the various particle size categories are determined. The test is continued until a certain pressure drop is reached as the paper becomes plugged with dirt. By keeping track of how much dirt is added before the terminal pressure drop is reached, we can calculate the capacity of the paper in miiligrams per square inch.

    Our multi-pass test results are reported as efficiencies at various micron sizes and capacity in milligrams per square inch.

    tom
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I sort of agree that to some degree engine life is in the manufacturing and part variation category. Same with human life span, genetics are the key factor, one can perhasp lengthen it with healthier foods, non smoking exercise but basically, genetics will determine how long you live. Same with an engine, proper excersise (warming it up each time) proper nutrition (synthetic oil and good gas), good healthcare (scheduled maintenance) etc. but in the end, genetics!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    all of your information is enlightening. Certainly though, most of us are looking for the filter that works the best-after all most here are interested in the best way to get optimum performance from their car. This is the continual problem we all have. We see lots of numbers flashed about by manufactures of all types of auto products. Rarely if ever do we see a comparison of one product vs another. In other words-in the case of filters I want to know which filters out the most harmful particles over a life of say 5-7 K miles. Your posts still don't help me reach that goal. They are as I said very enlighting and I encourage you to keep posting.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Here's some multipass test data comparing a very typical oil sheet representing just the standard oil filter and one that would go into a premium oil filter.

    5µ 7µ 10µ 20µ 25µ 30µ GMS/In²

    53 62 89 95 99.9 .083
    65 73 83 98 99.7 99.9 .063

    You can see that we didn't even test for the five micron efficiency on the standard filter's paper. The premium paper is higher in efficiency at five microns than the standard paper at ten microns.

    You can see that the premium filter's paper is lower in capacity, but this is in grams per square inch, so they just put more pleats into the premium filter for more square inches and end up with filter capacity as good as the standard filter.

    Sorry the table doesn't turn out too well, but you can figure it out, I think.

    tom
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Where is everyone? Changing their oil?
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Interesting. For 7-micron particles, the premium paper will remove 73/53= 138% of the amount removed by the standard paper. As particle size increases to 25+, removal percentages become are the same for both paper types. And the small "pores" in the premium paper clog at a lower mg/in2 reading. Makes sense; thanks. How do the weights of these two papers compare, say in grams per unit of area?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I will have to check that out tomorrow for you. I'm pretty sure the standard sheet I was using for comparison was 105 lbs per ream. (In our business, basis weight is expressed in pounds per ream, with our ream being 3000 square feet) I can't remember the spec for the premium sheet, but I think it is maybe about 125 pounds per ream.

    There are different size "reams" in the paper industry, but we define our ream as 3000 square feet in the filter paper business.

    One of the major differences in the two sheets that I compared is the amount of micro glass. The standard sheet that I used has just a smidgeon of glass and the premium has much more.

    tom
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Don't know exactly what questions to ask, but I find this fascinating.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Just for comparison, the fuel filter paper grades that we make often have 3 micron efficiecies of 98% or higher. By the time you get up to 10 micron particle size, these sheets are 99.99% efficient.

    Of course these sheets are very tight and could not be used for oil applications.

    Fuel is much lower in viscosity than oil, obviously, and therefore flows more easily through the paper, and flow volume requirements are much lower. It doesn't take much fuel flow compared to the flow required for lube.

    tom
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Glad you are enjoying it.

    tom
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Thought you'd never ask!

    Oil filter paper (and paper for most other filter applications) is grooved to help keep the pleats separated and provide a channel of flow for the oil (or whatever fluid is being filtered). Also, grooving stiffens the paper in the direction that the grooves run, helping to keep the pleats oriented properly. A third advantage is the extra surface area that you get with pleated paper vs. unpleated paper (this is a small factor in oil filters, because we get don't depend on strictly surface filtration- there is depth filtration in an oil filter, meaning that dirt is trapped and held inside the paper, not just on the surface).

    tom
  • Tsjay, Just want to say thanks for all the info you have provided. I am still curious as to what brand you use on your personal car!

    Thanks again for all the info.,,
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    You're welcome.

    tom
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I agreee with "ro22tol" what brand do you use. This is not giving an opinion and or you should not feel that you would be fired for stating what brand of filter you use. For all we know you get them free and take whatever is free!

    What brand do you use on personal cars or do you just go to quick lube or dealers for the change???????
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    My, aren't you the persistent one?

    OK, I will reward your persistence, but you will be disappointed with my answer.

    I have used filters from all of the major manufacturers over the years. I have "spread my business around." Up til now, I have never used a "premium" filter! Just the average, everyday filter that can be bought at a Walmart.

    Often, as you guessed above, armtdm, I have just taken vehicles to a quick lube, and whatever they put on for a filter is what I got. This is mainly on my wife's car and my son's car: I just stay after them to be sure to have their oil changed on time, and they go to a quick lube.

    For my own vehicle, I usually buy my own oil and filter and have the oil changed at a GM dealer in the town where I work. They change the oil and do a lube job for $5.95, when you have your own oil and filter. (Great deal, huh?) I have recently learned that the little shop just down the road about half a mile from my house will do the same for $7.00, and they are open on Saturdays, so I will probably start going there.

    I just bought my first ever premium filter and will use it on the next oil change on my '89 S-10 pickup that has 138K miles on it.

    I also bought some Valvoline Max Life oil, which is supposed to be good for high mileage engines. That will be my first experience with that stuff.

    It's not that I haven't thought premium filters were a good idea, nor was I just too cheap to pay a few extra bucks for one (although I am cheap): it's just that I haven't seen them sold at Walmart. That's where I usually buy my oil, and I have been too lazy to make an extra stop at an auto parts store to pick up a premium filter.

    tom
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    It would appear then that in the overall lubrication process and life of an enigine you basically don't believe that the quality of the filter makes any difference, that it is primarily the oil and how often you change it that counts .

    Actually, I may tend to agreee with that. The large particles of wear material say over 20-30 microns are what cause wear and would be caught by the cheapest filter. The small stuff, 10 micron or so, only become a problem when the total particle count gets so high (as a % of volume) that it affects lubrication. Changing the oil often with a cheap filter does the trick of removing wear particles which is probably why (given the vast majority of consumers change every 3000 miles) that Fram can still have devouted followers and sell crap! Perhaps a filter only makes a difference if you go beyond 3000 miles>

    Again, I remember in the 50s cars with no filters but the oil was changed every 1000 miles. We could probably go 3000 today with better oils and no filter and still get the same longevity.

    So, comments????????
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    You must have read something into my post that I did not intend to convey!

    "It would appear then that in the overall lubrication process and life of an enigine you basically don't believe that the quality of the filter makes any difference, that it is primarily the oil and how often you change it that counts."

    Of course the quality of the filter makes a difference! It's just that I believe several manufacturers make good quality filters. I haven't bought "junk" for my vehicles.

    I think filter makers for the most part have three categories of filters: bargain basement "economy" filters, "top quality" filters, and then the "premium" filters, which are not really better in the quality of their construction but will trap smaller particles because of the media that is used.

    I have always bought the top quality filters and have just now decided to try the premiums. I am not sure that the extra efficient filtering in the small particle sizes will contribute to the life of the engine, but it sure couldn't hurt. Like you said, a lot depends on the drain interval.

    I am a big believer in changing the oil frequently. I would rather do a little overkill than wonder later if I could have gotten more miles out of my engine by the inexpensive habit of changing my oil more often.

    tom
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    GM did a study in tetermining wear using filters which trapped lower micron particles. I am away from home right now and don't have that information right now. It was significant though.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I would be very interested in reading that article. Can you post a link, or do you just have a hard copy of it? Would be very interested in knowing the drain interval used in their study.

    I guess the "premiums" ARE worth the extra money.

    Let's hear more about it when you have the chance.

    thanks

    tom
This discussion has been closed.