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Engine Self-Destruction due to Oil Filter?

My truck has 199K on it. There was a ticking noise I thought must be valves. Turns out it was a time-delayed bomb. Local mechanic said he inspected top and that the sounds are from the bottom. He recommended a new (rebuilt) short block, and a local shop that has them.

He made the arrangements. I was required to call the remanufacturer and pay for the short block and new oil pump by credit card. The block was picked up by the mechanic, installed, and everything was hunky-dory, for about 1,200 miles. I paid the mechanic shop separately (cash).

Per instructions, I took the vehicle back to the mechanic for oil change after 500 miles. I provided the oil and filter. I chose Valvoline pure synthetic oil and a Frahm “10,000 miles” heavy duty filter, not planning to wait 10,000 miles, but to put what I thought were the best available products into my “new” engine. A thousand miles later, the engine destroyed itself.

I had it towed back to the mechanic shop. After inspection, he said the oil pump had failed. My question is: Could the different oil and the “super filter” have caused the oil pump to work harder and or fail.

Post script: That was 2 weeks ago. The engine guy and the mechanic shop are pointing fingers at each other and I still do not have my vehicle. HELP!!!

Could the different oil and the “super filter” have caused the oil pump to work harder and or fail.


Neither filter nor oil (if anything close to the correct weight) would cause this.

Just to play devil’s advocate, but Fram filters (mostly the orange cans) don’t have the best of repuations. Though the higher tier Frams are supposed to be okay. Browse through The Bob’s The Oil Guy forums, the debate about Fram oil filters has beenr raging for years.

Unless the filter disintegrated and stopped the oil from flowing, or plugged oil passages.

If the oil pump was new and it failed the remanufacturer should be liable for damages. If the finger pointing continues it’s time to file in small claims court or hire a lawyer.

I seriously doubt the filter caused the problem.

I am a little confused. Was the whole engine replaced? Did they use the old oil pump, or a new one?

If the original ticking was caused by a failing oil pump (which is possible), and they used the same oil pump on the rebuilt engine, it would explain everything.

I went though something similar. A bad radiator made my car overheat and destroyed the engine. (I wasn’t driving it at the time.) Since the engine was replaced, but not the radiator, the rebuilt engine also overheated. It didn’t destroy the second engine because I was driving it when it overheated and I knew to pull over immediately.

Mostly a debate about ‘cheap looking’ components, if I remember right. The millions of Fram filters in use are not destroying engines left and right. If the shop claims they are, they’re just trying to weasel out of responsibility.

“Destroyed itself” doesn’t really convey much in the way of cause and effect.

The first thing you need to find out is how did the oil pump fail?
Was it a manufacturing defect inside the pump?
Did one of the gears break apart from bad casting?
Did it eat itself up because the oil pickup screen was clogged with break in shavings?
Did it lock up because of too tight clearances?
Did it eat itself up because the oil filter got clogged up with break in shavings, and the the bypass valve failed?

Someone is responsible for the oil pump failing.
You paid for a new one, and either it was manufacturing defect, bad installation, or a failure in the engine that then caused the oil pump to be damaged.

You’re not responsible for that.

One additional question I have is did you check the oil level when the engine went bye-bye?
Hopefully it was full.
You should always keep an eye on a freshly rebuilt motor, as they tend to burn through oil for a little while, until they are broken in.


Without examining the debris I have no idea what the cause of this problem is but the oil and filter it ain’t. (to use some crummy grammar)

You might do some net searching about the facility that rebuilt the engine (BBB,, etc., etc.) and find out if there’s any shaky history behind them. Some reman facilities are fine and some are not. Some of those reman facilities hire people who have little or no experience. They’re simply trained to bolt stuff together with the hope by the company that the majority stay together through any warrranty period.

One facility here used to advertise in the paper for “Engine assemblers needed. No experience necessary” and a facility in Tulsa, OK had 70 out of 75 reman VW air-cooled engines go south within a month. Not good odds at all.

No, the cause was not the oil and/or the filter that you provided…as long as the filter was the correct one.

Like others here, I’d be hesitant to guess the real cause without seeing the parts. The oil pump itself is a pretty simple device that spends its life bathed in fresh oil, and they don’t ususllly fail without some extraneous cause. Disassembly and examination of the pump itself and partial disassembly of the engine will likely tell the true story.