Oil Filter specifications

I did a search for oil filters and spend time trying to find a answer about the difference in filter grades. I hope this does not start a “war”. I am a Fram filter user for over 35 years. I bought a new 84 Corolla, changed the oil Non synthetic) and filter every 2500 miles (half the recommend mileage). Over 13 years I put 325,000 miles on the car before selling (rotted floors). Use whatever filter type you want.

I know have been using synthetic oil (Mobil 1) for about 20 years now. But now my 2019 Camry requires 0W-16 grade. Since I still change at 5000 miles (half the mileage recommendation) I am getting concerned about the actual filter. I typically use the Fram Extra Guard or Tough Guard (depending on which one is in stock). Fram also has the Ultra Synthetic.

On their website Fram the Extra Guard is 95.7% efficient @ 20 microns using the ISO test. But also mentions a filter should be able to handle 10 microns. This implies the newer engine might need better filtering.

I could not find the same information for the other filters. Does anyone have this information or where to find it? It the Ultra Synthetic that much better in my case?



You are worrying about something that is not a problem . Any good brand filter will be just fine and if you want more assurance just buy one from the dealer parts counter.


Agreed. You are nitpicking minutiae and as long as the filter is not an unbranded white or yellow box filter anything will be fine.
If filters are a concern then just buy the OEM Toyota filters. Odds are you will find they are less expensive than the Frams.


Agree with Volvo-v70 and ok4450. But if you enjoy getting into the weeds on vehicle fluids and filters, there is the site bobistheoilguy.com

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There’s graphs here on the Fram Ultra:

I wouldn’t worry about it.

Most oil filters have a by-pass valves.

This means not 100% of the oil passes thru the filter media.

These by-pass valves prevent oil starvation to the engine when driving at high RPM’s, when the engine is started in extremely cold conditions, or if the filter media becomes restricted with particulate.

And if the oil filter itself doesn’t have a by-pass valve, the engine does.



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I just buy OEM filters. For my Acura I order a half dozen at a time and pay a little over $5 each for the Honda filters. Even at the dealer they were only $10 each. Not a major expense.

Toyota’s replace the element only so it must be in the engine.

Thanks for the link.

Great link to the graph. I appreciate this. I will look into Bob the oil guy link.

Great Point. I had not thought of the bypass.

The difference in any good oil filter company is MEANINGLESS. One may be better on paper…so what. Does it mean the lower quality filters are NOT GOOD? No it doesn’t. Most of the time it’s marketing.

Here’s an example. We use to sell a device to telecom companies for filtering digital data. It has a drop rate of less then 1000 bits per 500 billion. One of our competitors has a drop rate of well over 100,000. On paper it looks like ours is several magnitudes better. But in reality you’d have to get well over 500,000 drops per 500 billion to notice an extremely slight difference. And even at that rate it would still be more then acceptable. Companies do this all the time.

When was the last time anyone ever seen or even heard of an engine failing due to faulty oil filter when the oil and filter were changed to manufacturers schedule? I haven’t.

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Fully agree with MikeinNH. Being involved in the mechanic world for 45 or so years I have never seen nor have I ever heard of an engine failure due to an oil filter problem.

The OP says they have been a Fram filter user for over 35 years. According to the Fram filters cut open on the backyard picnic table crowd this should have meant countless engine replacements…

The OP should just keep on with what works; and that is what they were doing for the past 35 years.
A 10-15 Micron or a 20-25 Micron filter; it makes no difference. Main thing is change the oil and check the level regularly.

The big issue is what the poster the other day in regard to a head gasket issue stated. Neither she, her family, friends, or professional contacts with 1 exception ever check the oil level. She thinks doing so is abnormal…


OK4450 and several others here are experienced mechanics who have decades of experience. Far more experience then us back-yard mechanics. I don’t know any mechanic who has ever seen or heard of engine failures due to a poorly designed oil filter. Sure there may be some filters that may have slipped through inspection…but the designs are solid from every big oil filter company.

I’ve used fram for decades. I currently use Wix because I get a discount if I buy them in bulk.

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The only problem I ever had with an oil filter was on a 14 hp MTD riding mower with a hydrostatic transmission. The manual specified a Fram oil filter. I figured that the brand of the oil filter didn’t make a difference and used the cross reference manual to match the Fram filter with Rural King’s house brand. Unfortunately, the house brand filter was a little longer than the Fram filter. Every time I raised the mower deck, the lift arms hit the filter and eventually knocked a hole in the filter. All the hydrostatic fluid drained out and the mower stopped moving. The filter was there for the hydrostatic fluid. After replenishing the hydrostatic fluid, I followed the manual and used a Fram filter. When I moved to town, I got rid of the riding mower and went to a simple push power mower.
When I did my own oil changes, I bought whatever name brand filter and motor oil of the correct viscosity that was on sale. I drove my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass 240,000 miles and 33 years and it used no oil between 5000 mile oil changes. I no longer do my own oil changes and leave that up to our Toyota dealer’s service department.

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