Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oil Filter Myth

I know this goes against what most people do but I take the oil filter off most of my customers 216's and 235's.

I always wonder what people think an oil filter is removing from the oil.

In the old days when you would pull into a service station and they would pump oil out of a 55 gallon drum into a oil dispenser that had been sitting around collecting bugs, dust, or flying grinding material etc... a case could be made that an oil filter was needed. With today's sealed containers not so much.

The other case where a filter may help is if something is failing in the engine. In this case the filter would need to be looked at closely when removed to catch such a problem(and no one closely inspects their filter, they wait until there is a noise and by then it is too late).

The particles coming off an engine from normal wear are so small that they pass right through a filter.
I know a filter sounds like a MUST HAVE idea, but so does snake oil.

I do like a filter for the break in period but that is all.

In 1990 I bought a new 4 cylinder Toyota Camry. The engine in that car sat at an angle with the oil filter on the high side. When the filter was removed, oil would run all over the side of the engine. After a few filter changes I got tired of the mess and ended up leaving a filter on it for about one hundred thousand miles. At that point I replaced it and also cut open the old filter. Not to my surprise it was spotless inside.
The position that this filter sat allowed it to drain the oil from it when sitting so I was not leaving dirty oil in the engine when changing the oil.
The car was totaled with 165,000 and it was running like a top with no oil consumption at that point. 

My 2 cents.

6-4-15 Addition:
I get a lot of comments saying that "if oil filters were not necessary new car manufacturers would not put them on". I feel this is very easy to explain. During the break-in process there is a fair amount of dirt and filings sloughed off. Car manufactures want to catch these particles. After break-in they do not want you to have to come back and remove the filter so it stays. There is also a fair amount of money made selling these filters, so why would they want to stop selling them.

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