Fram Oil Filters

I know we have debated the quality of Fram oil filters in the past, and I don’t want to rehash that debate about the cardboard end caps. However, something happened this weekend that I thought was worth mentioning.

Normally, I spend an extra few dollars for a better oil filter. Sometimes it is Fram’s Tough Guard filter, and sometimes it is another brand. However, this weekend, I was a little short on cash, so I bought the cheapest one on the shelf, a Fram Extra Guard oil filter.

Now that I have a Fram Extra Guard oil filter on my car, it is doing something strange. After the car sits for a while (even just 10 minutes), the oil shows on the dip stick as though it has been overfilled. If I start it up, turn it off, and then check it, it shows as being full, but not overfilled.

I know I didn’t overfill my crankcase. I carefully measure out 3.8 quarts of oil when I do my oil changes.

This is the first time this has happened to this car, with any oil filter, and I have owned the car for 11 years and almost 196,000 miles.

What do you think is going on? Could it be a faulty (or a lack of), a drain-back valve? Should I replace the filter ASAP?

Anytime I have used the Fram Extra Guard filter, I have noticed that the oil tends to drain out of the filter overnight. I can tell this by the valve train noise that I get for a few seconds in the morning. I don’t have this issue if I use a Mobil 1 filter or an AC filter.

Fram’s filters are known for the poorly designed anti drain back valves.

More input please! I generally use fram filters. I have a jeep and have used mopar filters…any input on this as well? Thanks

I don’t think it’s faulty, but I’d replace it with a filter that doesn’t drain back, just to eliminate the startup period w/o oil pressure. As for the Jeep, does the filter have the inlet at the bottom when installed, or at the top? If it’s at the top, there should be no drainback issue.

inlet at top? ummm im not sure what you mean. If i can pour oil in the filter and see that it goes to the bottom (top)…seeing as how its upside down. Is this a bottom inlet?

Just an educated guess, but since the oil filter sits higher than the pan, if there’s a weak or faulty check valve ( anti-drainback valve), then after shut down oil in the filter may be able to siphon back into the pan, especially since the oil is now hotter (thinner).

The check valve is at the gasket end of the filter.

This is what I mean by ‘inlet at the top’:

And by ‘at the bottom’:

In accordance to the way the filter mounts? and Yes i am aware that filters without a check valve tend to or do drain

I don’t think it’s faulty, but I’d replace it with a filter that doesn’t drain back…

How could it drain back and not be faulty? Isn’t this filter supposed to meet OEM specs? The OEM Honda filter doesn’t do this.

I would appreciate it if everyone who has maintained over the years that Fram filters are fine, and that they meet OEM specs (MikeInNH, mcparadise, Joseph_E_Meehan, andrew_j, Wha Who?, ok4450, texases, JoeMario, etc.), would please speak up.

Right, it’s all about the way the filter mounts. How does yours mount?

Mine mounts on the side. Sideways (Horizontal?)

What are you asking? I often use fram filters.

I don’t know what Honda’s spec is. The Fram site comments on the drain-back valve in its higher-line filters, not in the base filters. So it’s not designed to have one, I guess, so I don’t know if that qualifies as “faulty”. Fram designed it that way.

texases, are you saying Fram designs its Extra Guard filters below OEM specs?

You once suggested Fram filters probably fail a lot because a lot are sold. Could it be that Fram filters also fail because they (deliberately) don’t meet OEM specs?

I often use fram filters.

That’s nice.

I assume in this engine that the filter is mounted either horizontally or with the gasket side “down”. Please let us know if the filter is mounted gasket side “up”.

You might have a bad filter. If it were me and I was curious to find out, I would remove the existing Fram filter, without damaging it, and replace it with something you consider “a better filter”. See if that new filter exhibits the same symptoms.

The filter is mounted horizontally.

I don’t need to experiment to know that this doesn’t happen with other filters. I have used Fram Tough Guard filters, Honda filters, and Purolator filters, and this has never happened with any of them.

I will replace this filter as soon as I can, and I will never again use a Fram product of any type.

 [i] I would appreciate it if everyone who ? [/i] 

 Do you have a reference that of someone testing Fram filters and a OEM filters under the same conditions and in a car that calls for an anti drain back filter and using filters recommend for that specific application conducted by a independent lab? 

  or do you have a reference for real life problems caused by Fram filters and not caused by other filters?  

 I will be the first one to say I don't have "prof" I therefor am going by various test, non of which have convinced me one way or the other.  I maintain that IF this was a real problem, there would be conclusive test results available.  I would be happy to see such test results, but like most all of these extended threads, the problem is no real data and only opinions based on incomplete or  non-existing data.

You mean more like the above contribution?

It seems to me that Experience is a form of data. Real life happenings with filters is good food for thought no?