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Thread: FRAM Filter Lovers Beware!!! Choose your filter wisely...

  1. #1



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    FRAM Filter Lovers Beware!!! Choose your filter wisely...

    I personally have used Fram filters for a long time, but have stopped a few years ago due to their poor quality control.
    for example:

    Now that was an interesting video, but let's look at some other ideas that probably never crossed your mind.

    How to find a bigger filter

    The guy at the parts counter can only tell you what filter is referenced in his database. So you can't trust him to help you get a bigger filter for your car. Get on a web forum focused on your car model and find out if anyone else has put a larger oil filter on their car. Find out what the filter number is. Still no luck? Go to the parts store and plan on spending 20 minutes there examining oil filters. The employees are usually really good at ignoring customers so you can plan on having all that time to yourself, which is what you'll need.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Photo Left: The left filter is referenced in the catalog for a Chrysler/Dodge 2.0L SOHC. The filter on the right is about the same size as what came on the car from the factory in 1995. The filter on the right fits without any modifications. I recommend using the Purolator L14670 filter for all Chrysler/Dodge 2.0L SOHC and DOHC engines.

    Photo Right: The two filters from the top. notice the gasket is the same size.
    Start by picking out the oil filter referenced by the guy at the desk. Then pick out a bunch of other oil filters in larger boxes. Look at the O-ring gasket. Find a few oil filters that match the O-ring gasket diameter and appear to have a similar threading. Buy all of the ones that potentially fit. When you're under the car later that day, dry-fit the various filters. Keep the largest one that fits. Take back the rest that don't. If they all fail, you'll still have the oil filter the parts guy referenced so the trip won't be a complete loss. Then get on that web forum and submit your findings to your fellow enthusiasts. Let others know how to do what you just did. The larger oil filter helps prevent oil pump grinding in the Chrysler/Dodge 2.4L turbo motors.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Above Photo: The filter on the left is the referenced filter in the catalog for the Chrysler/Dodge 2.4L turbo engine (Neon SRT-4 and PT Cruiser GT). The center filter, L30001 is the preferred filter. Use two filter adapter gaskets to allow the larger filter to thread on (Chrysler part number: 1-04884000AA $4.77 ea). The filter on the right is a Purolator filter made in India. The other two are made in the US. The filter made in India has thicker walls, is built differently, and the paint kept falling off in my hand. It's not going on my car.

    Keep clearances in mind. If an oil filter dangles below the oil pan then a speed bump could tear it off causing a complete loss of oil within a few seconds. If the filter rubs on a moving part like an axle, then it's too big. In the case of the test car, a second filter adapter gasket required to push the oil filter adapter out about one eighth of an inch to make room for the larger filter.

    Choose an Oil Filter by brand

    Purolator, Mobil1, Motorcraft, Mann, and Amsoil.
    (and Supertech which is the Walmart brand if you're really on a tight budget)
    That's it. It's a short list. That makes it easy to remember.

    Purolator Pure One and K&N oil filters are decent. However the media seems dense enough to impede the passage of oil. Those filters are built well.

    MANN+HUMMEL & Bosch own Purolator as of 2006. Purolator was previously an ArvinMeritor product and considered to be one of the finest oil filters in the business. MANN+HUMMEL also make oil filters for the German car manufacturers, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. I'm impressed by the construction of the MANN+HUMMEL filter. Bosch outsources their oil filters to Champion Labs. And the Bosch filters are awful.

    Hastings manufactures Amsoil, Baldwin, and Hastings oil filters. All good stuff.

    Champion Labs produces oil filters under a variety of names. Those include Fram, STP, SuperTech, Delphi, Bosch, Mobil1, K&N, AC Delco, and a few others too insignificant to mention. There's a lot of Good, Bad, and Ugly in there.

    Cruelty in a Can

    Some brands should be avoided like poisonous frogs. Fram, Bosch and WIX make the worst oil filters. Bosch oil filters let everything go through unfiltered. The Delphi and STP filters are identical to the Walmart SuperTech brand for double the price. The Delphi, STP and Walmart oil filters have no bypass valve so everything gets filtered. I don't know if the thing will come apart under severe stress.

    Fram oil filters are notoriously awful in construction quality. The end caps are cardboard for crying out loud! Bits of cardboard flake off and bind up in engine parts causing damage. Fram also advertises that their filters are impregnated with PTFE (Teflon). Teflon is a solid plastic that melts together in the oil passages and forms a clot. PTFE is discusses in more detail on an engine oil web page. Fram oil filters are a proven way to ruin engines.

    The WIX oil filters I've seen use undersized filtration media. If the WIX oil filter is cut open, about half of it will be filled by filter material media. The rest of the space may be occupied by a plastic insert. However, if the filter can is full of media it may be okay.

    Oil Filter Tips:

    Fill a new oil filter with oil before putting it on. Watch the oil in the filter for 10 seconds. It will start to disappear. The filter media is absorbing the oil. Keep filling the oil filter till it stays full. This will prevent a dry start. If the oil filter is mounted sideways, fill it halfway and expect some oil to pour out as you thread it on.

    Run a few drops of oil over the oil filter gasket. This will ease installation and removal.
    Always clean off the mounting surfaces before installing the new filter.

    Oil drain pans that are completely open at the top are the easiest to use to collect the dripping oil under the car. Then pour the oil into a 5 gallon gas can or equivalent. When the 5 gallon can gets full, take that to a service station to get recycled. The same thing can be done with engine coolant.

    Let's review:

    Oil filters ensure an engine's longevity.
    Shop oil filters by brand: Purolator, Mobil1, Motorcraft, Mann, and Amsoil.
    Get the largest oil filter that can fit.


    Ever Tried Filter Magnets?

    There are several types of oil filter magnets on the market. I'm convinced FilterMags are the best. Simple fridge magnets would be better than nothing. But there's no way to guarantee that a weak magnet will stay on the oil filter while the car is in motion. Rare earth magnets are more than strong enough to not require mechanical fasteners to cling onto the oil filter. A strong magnet with a large area can pull iron particles from a fast moving stream of fluid much better than a small weak magnet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The outside of the FilterMag is magnetically shielded. This means bits of metal, tools, bolts etc won't stick to the outside of the filter magnet. It also means the Filtermag won't leap off the oil filter and stick to a manhole cover.

    Here's a look inside an oil filter with a Filtermag bottom left photo. The iron filings inside the filter outline the magnets stuck on the outside of the canister. When the filtermag is removed, the iron filings stay in the removed oil filter and go out with the garbage.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The top right photo shows a close look inside the filter canister with the fine iron filings separated from the oil. Filter magnets work. To separate the iron filings for the photo I used a simple round fridge magnet to hold the filings at the bottom and poured out the oil. What you see at the bottom of the canister there is what came off the engine during 3,000 miles of driving.

  2. #2



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    Voted Best Filters for Non-Synthetic Oil

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Purolator PureONE Oil Filter
    Purolator's PureONE filters are popular for a reason – they provide great filtering performance at an affordable price. The filter element is packed densely to provide maximum filtration, though oil restriction issues can surface in some applications.

    Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter
    Mobil 1 is a leading synthetic oil producer, so it should come as no surprise that their synthetic-medium oil filters also earn accolades. The synthetic filter medium captures microparticles and contaminants far better than standard filters can, though the higher price is a small consequence for the increased performance.

    Purolator Classic Oil Filter
    Purolator's Premium Plus oil filter offers nothing special, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. This oil filter is extremely affordable and does a great job of capturing contaminants in your engine's oil. You can find these filters just about anywhere, so there should be no concerns about availability.

    WIX Spin-On Oil Filter
    WIX oil filters are a popular choice due to the solid build quality and good filtration characteristics. These filters are cheap, plentiful, and a good option for any driver looking for a standard replacement oil filter.

    Baldwin Oil Filter
    Baldwin oil filters are commonly found in trucks, which is a testament to how durable these filters are. These distinctive red filters are inexpensive, and are just as good for cars as they are for trucks.

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    Voted Best Filters for Synthetic Oil
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Amsoil Ea Oil Filter
    Though the Amsoil Ea Oil Filter is designed to be used with Amsoil's high-quality engine oils, this is merely a recommendation and not a binding limitation. The Ea Oil filter uses a fully synthetic filter element and is rated at 98.7 percent efficiency at 15 microns, which means that only the smallest particles will make it past the filter element. Unlike other filters with this sort of efficiency, the Ea Oil Filter is not restrictive like you would expect. The Ea Oil Filter also offers high particle capacity, so extended use is rarely a problem. The Amsoil Ea Oil Filter is definitely much more expensive compared to standard oil filters, but this high price is offset by the 1 year/25,000 mile warranty when used with Amsoil synthetic oil.

    Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter
    The Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter uses synthetic fibers as opposed to regular cellulose, which gives the benefits of better filtration performance and higher oil flow. The synthetic fibers in the filter element are more suited to trapping smaller particles suspended in the oil, which standard filters may miss. The large capacity of the Extended Performance Oil Filter allows long-term use without causing problems, as it leaves more space for trapped particles instead of blocking flow. Though Mobil 1 recommends using Mobil 1 synthetic oils with the Extended Performance Oil Filter, though it is not necessary to do so. The robust construction, filtration capability, and high-flow design makes the Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter an excellent choice.

    K&N Performance Gold Oil Filter
    Though most people associate the K&N brand with quality air filters, the oil filters that this company puts out are worth a look as well. The Performance Gold oil filter is a high-performance type, offering both excellent filtration and a high flow rate. While the K&N filter media will not catch the smaller-sized 10-15 micron particles suspended in the oil as well as other specialty filters, the high flow rate and ease of installation/removal makes these filter kits attractive to performance enthusiasts and DIY mechanics alike. The sturdy construction is a not-so-subtle hint at the original purpose of these filters, which can withstand extreme conditions that are seen in auto racing. As a side note, if you like the performance of the K&N filter but can do without the easy removal nut, have a look at the otherwise-identical Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil filter.

    Purolator PureONE Oil Filter
    The Purolator name has been around for countless decades, and it is apparent that this company knows how to do oil filters. The PureONE oil filter is touted as a super-high-efficiency oil filter, and this is made possible with the synthetic filter element. Purolator claims 99.9% efficiency at 20 microns, which means that this filter catches most of the small particles suspended in the oil. Whereas a cellulose filter operating at this efficiency would severely restrict oil flow, the synthetic material suffers from no such problem. Best of all, these filters are readily available and downright affordable, leaving little reason why you shouldn't install one in your car when you can.

    Baldwin Series Design Oil Filter
    Though better known for truck filters, Baldwin offers high-quality, high-performance oil filters for car applications. In the Series Design filters, the filter media is a synthetic/cellulose blend that provides great filtration characteristics without restricting oil flow. While the blend material does not provide the absolute filtration capabilities of a fully synthetic filter element, this helps keep the price down in the end. The Series Design oil filter is a high-capacity design, which means longer effective service life. While there are alternatives that outperform the Baldwin filter, none offer the combination of quality, performance, and affordability that Baldwin does.

  3. #3

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    Very good info. I use Mitsubishi filters on my cars since I work at the dealer. The short fat filter fits my wife's hyundai and the skinny tall one fits my 94 and my sentra. I know on mitsu the 2 are interchangable so I could use the bigger one on my sentra but by design I can't use a larger filter.

  4. #4

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    so much misinformation, where to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    I personally have used Fram filters for a long time, but have stopped a few years ago due to their poor quality control.
    for example:

    Now that was an interesting video, but let's look at some other ideas that probably never crossed your mind.

    How to find a bigger filter

    The guy at the parts counter can only tell you what filter is referenced in his database. So you can't trust him to help you get a bigger filter for your car. Get on a web forum focused on your car model and find out if anyone else has put a larger oil filter on their car. Find out what the filter number is. Still no luck? Go to the parts store and plan on spending 20 minutes there examining oil filters. The employees are usually really good at ignoring customers so you can plan on having all that time to yourself, which is what you'll need.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image1.jpg 
Views:	122 
Size:	36.7 KB 
ID:	5859
    Photo Left: The left filter is referenced in the catalog for a Chrysler/Dodge 2.0L SOHC. The filter on the right is about the same size as what came on the car from the factory in 1995. The filter on the right fits without any modifications. I recommend using the Purolator L14670 filter for all Chrysler/Dodge 2.0L SOHC and DOHC engines.

    Photo Right: The two filters from the top. notice the gasket is the same size.
    Start by picking out the oil filter referenced by the guy at the desk. Then pick out a bunch of other oil filters in larger boxes. Look at the O-ring gasket. Find a few oil filters that match the O-ring gasket diameter and appear to have a similar threading. Buy all of the ones that potentially fit. When you're under the car later that day, dry-fit the various filters. Keep the largest one that fits. Take back the rest that don't. If they all fail, you'll still have the oil filter the parts guy referenced so the trip won't be a complete loss. Then get on that web forum and submit your findings to your fellow enthusiasts. Let others know how to do what you just did. The larger oil filter helps prevent oil pump grinding in the Chrysler/Dodge 2.4L turbo motors.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image2.jpg 
Views:	251 
Size:	58.5 KB 
ID:	5860
    Above Photo: The filter on the left is the referenced filter in the catalog for the Chrysler/Dodge 2.4L turbo engine (Neon SRT-4 and PT Cruiser GT). The center filter, L30001 is the preferred filter. Use two filter adapter gaskets to allow the larger filter to thread on (Chrysler part number: 1-04884000AA $4.77 ea). The filter on the right is a Purolator filter made in India. The other two are made in the US. The filter made in India has thicker walls, is built differently, and the paint kept falling off in my hand. It's not going on my car.

    Keep clearances in mind. If an oil filter dangles below the oil pan then a speed bump could tear it off causing a complete loss of oil within a few seconds. If the filter rubs on a moving part like an axle, then it's too big. In the case of the test car, a second filter adapter gasket required to push the oil filter adapter out about one eighth of an inch to make room for the larger filter.


    Using an oil filter with a few more ounces of capacity has zero effect on engine longevity. Further- Many oil filters have a bypass valve inside them, on some engines, this valve is in the block. If you subsitute a filter with no bypass in it when it it supposed to have one, you could collapse the filters and ruin your engine. Further- No oil filter company will warranty an engine failure if you install a filter no catalogged for your engine. Bad advice.

    Choose an Oil Filter by brand

    Purolator, Mobil1, Motorcraft, Mann, and Amsoil.
    (and Supertech which is the Walmart brand if you're really on a tight budget)
    That's it. It's a short list. That makes it easy to remember.

    Purolator Pure One and K&N oil filters are decent. However the media seems dense enough to impede the passage of oil. Those filters are built well.

    MANN+HUMMEL & Bosch own Purolator as of 2006. Purolator was previously an ArvinMeritor product and considered to be one of the finest oil filters in the business. MANN+HUMMEL also make oil filters for the German car manufacturers, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. I'm impressed by the construction of the MANN+HUMMEL filter. Bosch outsources their oil filters to Champion Labs. And the Bosch filters are awful.

    Bosch no longer owns Purolator, it is owned by Mann. Champion does not make Bosch filters.

    Hastings manufactures Amsoil, Baldwin, and Hastings oil filters. All good stuff.

    Champion Labs produces oil filters under a variety of names. Those include Fram, STP, SuperTech, Delphi, Bosch, Mobil1, K&N, AC Delco, and a few others too insignificant to mention. There's a lot of Good, Bad, and Ugly in there.

    FRAM Filtration owns Champion Labs. They make STP, AC delco, K+N, Mobil 1, Amsoil, Royal Purple and many others

    Cruelty in a Can

    Some brands should be avoided like poisonous frogs. Fram, Bosch and WIX make the worst oil filters. Bosch oil filters let everything go through unfiltered. The Delphi and STP filters are identical to the Walmart SuperTech brand for double the price. The Delphi, STP and Walmart oil filters have no bypass valve so everything gets filtered. I don't know if the thing will come apart under severe stress.

    More bad information, all oil filters have a bypass either in the filter itself or the filter mount, without a bypass the filter would collapse under certain conditions. FRAM filters are 96-99% efficiency at 20 microns, highest rating in the industry

    Fram oil filters are notoriously awful in construction quality. The end caps are cardboard for crying out loud! Bits of cardboard flake off and bind up in engine parts causing damage.
    The end caps in a FRAM filter (and many Nissan, Honda, Subaru, AC Delco, Bentley, Mann) are made of an engineered fiber much like the filter media itself. They are not structural elements of the filter and seve only to carry the plastisol glue that seals the ends of the media.
    Fram also advertises that their filters are impregnated with PTFE (Teflon). Teflon is a solid plastic that melts together in the oil passages and forms a clot. PTFE is discusses in more detail on an engine oil web page.
    FRAM made oil filters with PTFE in the early 90's for 18 months, they were discontinued when no benefit was proven
    Fram oil filters are a proven way to ruin engines.
    FRAM makes filters for multiple manufacturers, we make 250 million filters a year, if they "ruined" engines, we wouldnt be in business. Try reseaching facts at the filter manufacturers council website, the SAE and ISO websites instead of regurgitating internet tribal knowledge.

    The WIX oil filters I've seen use undersized filtration media. If the WIX oil filter is cut open, about half of it will be filled by filter material media. The rest of the space may be occupied by a plastic insert. However, if the filter can is full of media it may be okay.

    Oil Filter Tips:

    Fill a new oil filter with oil before putting it on. Watch the oil in the filter for 10 seconds. It will start to disappear. The filter media is absorbing the oil. Keep filling the oil filter till it stays full. This will prevent a dry start. If the oil filter is mounted sideways, fill it halfway and expect some oil to pour out as you thread it on.

    Run a few drops of oil over the oil filter gasket. This will ease installation and removal.
    Always clean off the mounting surfaces before installing the new filter.

    Oil drain pans that are completely open at the top are the easiest to use to collect the dripping oil under the car. Then pour the oil into a 5 gallon gas can or equivalent. When the 5 gallon can gets full, take that to a service station to get recycled. The same thing can be done with engine coolant.

    Let's review:

    Oil filters ensure an engine's longevity.
    Shop oil filters by brand: Purolator, Mobil1, Motorcraft, Mann, and Amsoil.
    Get the largest oil filter that can fit.


    Ever Tried Filter Magnets?

    There are several types of oil filter magnets on the market. I'm convinced FilterMags are the best. Simple fridge magnets would be better than nothing. But there's no way to guarantee that a weak magnet will stay on the oil filter while the car is in motion. Rare earth magnets are more than strong enough to not require mechanical fasteners to cling onto the oil filter. A strong magnet with a large area can pull iron particles from a fast moving stream of fluid much better than a small weak magnet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5861
    The outside of the FilterMag is magnetically shielded. This means bits of metal, tools, bolts etc won't stick to the outside of the filter magnet. It also means the Filtermag won't leap off the oil filter and stick to a manhole cover.

    Here's a look inside an oil filter with a Filtermag bottom left photo. The iron filings inside the filter outline the magnets stuck on the outside of the canister. When the filtermag is removed, the iron filings stay in the removed oil filter and go out with the garbage.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	166 
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ID:	5862
    The top right photo shows a close look inside the filter canister with the fine iron filings separated from the oil. Filter magnets work. To separate the iron filings for the photo I used a simple round fridge magnet to hold the filings at the bottom and poured out the oil. What you see at the bottom of the canister there is what came off the engine during 3,000 miles of driving.
    If magnets did anyhthing at all, filter and engine makers would use them, waste of money.
    Learn real oil filtration information by watching this video and others on this channel
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cttLaWepdL0

  5. #5


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    Actually Most racers put strong magnets in thier Oil Pans to collect small metal parts and shavings and a lot of Manufacturers are putting magnetic ends on Oil and Diff Drain Plugs...Now that filter magnet? Snake Oil.

  6. #6



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    I imagine Mike, that a magnet in oil pan works very well and agree with you completely that racers are putting them in oil pans. Actually they should already be there on the bolts you use to remove the oil when emptying the oil pan during oil change. I also agree it follows suit with the transmission and differential, each having their own magnets installed. I think these magnets on the oil filter(snake Oil as you say) is just a little extra insurance which apparently seems to be doing something to help control metal particles from being recirculated in the engine oil. I think racers might even have oil filters that contain magnets as well, since the filter is where you want things to collect instead of floating on the bottom of the pan IMO. I have never purchased a magnet before, but with a refrigerator full of them I be willing to throw one on and give this a run, what is the damage if it doesn't work?

    These test above need to be taken in stride also and viewed in the way that you know what filters are being tested specifically for results they come up with for a final decision. I think all this information is debatable to say the least, but perhaps it will make someone think a little harder about what they use and how they use it. That's all I was trying to do.

    I probably should of posted this with the information, I apologize.
    Designated trademarks an test performed in the above information are the property of their respective owners. I am also NOT a sponsor of any product on this page and receive no revenue from said products listed.

  7. #7


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    No Worries Dude, good info, don't apologize. Most metal bits hit the pan first, That is where I found my wrist pin keepers when "Ol' Blue" died. The magnet blanket is belt and suspenders to me, the Filter element should catch the metal if it's got that far.

  8. #8


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    as a matter fact getting ready to order AMSOIL, use it in my dually, wifes Durango and soon in the 50.

  9. #9

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    my wife has a hyundai and if you know about them they require OEM filters or they'll rattle like crazy. Ever since I just use OEM filters on everything. Plus working at a mitsu store the short filter fits my wife's car and the tall skinny one fits my sentra and MM

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