Oil Filters

It’s been quite a few years since I changed oil myself and I hope the quality of aftermarket oil filters has improved. At the time, I purchased and examined filters from several different brands.

The ones I particularly remember were a Purolater with loose threads of metal from tapping the hole and a Fram containing a bunch of loose flakes of the orange paint they were sprayed with. Some others didn’t have an anti-return valve.

By contrast, the (Honda) factory filters were always very clean. I decided that risking my engine by saving a few dollars on the oil filter wasn’t a very good idea and stuck with the factory filters.

I’ve used Fram oil filters for over 35 years and have never had a problem with them.


I’ve never seen “loose threads” or paint flecks in ANY filter and I’ve seen thousands of them…There are hundreds of different filters and many of them don’t REQUIRE an anti-drainback valve…The truth is, after the first oil change, oil filters have very little to do…There is nothing to filter out…

Just so you know Honda doesn’t make the OEM filter. It’s more than likely made by a company that in fact makes aftermaket filters, such as wix, champion labs, purolator, or even fram.

Believe that if you must. I’ll keep changing the filters with each oil change. I’ve gotten 300K+ miles out of engines with NO oil related issues doing it this way. Others have had engines wear out prematurely by skipping filter changes.

While I’ve been using department store filters (including Fram) for decades without a problem, and have to wonder whether the particulates you mention are of any significance, I commend those who do the work to check things out and and try to use the best.

It’s true that the filters used by the suto manufacturers are made by the big filter manufacturers, but it’s also possible that the specifications that they’re required to meet are more stringent than what they sell for aftermarket use. It’s also possible that they’re exactly the same with different printing, that the auto manufacturers have determined that irregularities such as those found by the OP are not significant. I really don’t know.

Personally, I’ll continue using store brand filter (SuperTech, the Wally World brand), but if more people paid attention like the OP we’d have far fewer problems. It’s my guess anyway that 99.997% of all oil change problems are caused by poor workmanship and/or inattention rather than filter quality.

Do what make you feels best. More important than oil filter or oil brand is ACTUALLY changing engine oil in a timely fashion.

Ummm… it’s the engine design which requires or doesn’t require an anti-drainback valve. When the aftermarket recommended replacement filter doesn’t match the factory filter in this feature, it’s a major problem.

If the aftermarket filter manufacturers have since learned to keep particulate contaminants out of their filters, more power to them. I’d still inspect every filter until I know for sure.

I just use OEM filters and don’t worry about it-AC and Honda, but they have all gotten cheaper. Honda used to have the AO1 filter that was better and made by Honeywell. Now they have the AO2 filter that is evidently made by Fram. I just prefer blue instead of orange or white. Could be different specs, who knows. They are all about the same price or a dollar difference.

I’d still inspect every filter until I know for sure.

I used to inspect them until I learned there were many ways to make a good functional filter. Unless I was in the lab where those filters were designed and tested, I was only guessing.

Honeywell makes FRAM and the AO2 is Honeywell, the AO1 was made by Toyo-Roki or something like that.

EDIT: Yep, just confirmed the AO1 is made by FILTECH TOYO ROKI and the AO2 is made by HONEYWELL.

I was referring to his comment about a filter not doing much after the first oil change. I believe that’s bunk.

I like Wix or Napa(basically the same),Federated or Hastings are good too,but the factory filters seem to be of a higher standard(will use Delco,if I can get them)-Kevin

When I first started driving 1960’s it was not uncommon to wear out an engine and oil related problems were not uncommon.

Today we change our oil far less often, but real damage to an engine due to oil or filter problems (other than not changing it or letting it go dry) is rare. Only a very small % of cars end up junked due such problems.

Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual and “Be Happy, Don’t Worry.”

My daughter says, “Whatever trips your trigger.”

I tend to agree. And, no matter which way you jump, on paying more or paying less, that suits you, the cost over the life of your car is trivial by comparison to the original cost of the car.

If you pay $4 every 3,000 miles (I don’t agree, but that is the most common view here) for a bargain filter, that is $132 for 100,000 miles of filter changes. If you felt like paying $7 for a filter, because that suited you, the cost of $100,000 is, um, $231. $99 difference, and you paid what for that car?

You need not apologize to anyone for whichever way you jump.

I am reminded of an Investment Analysis course I took from Dr. Sandburg in the late 70’s. He was a brilliant man.

Most IA people I have encountered are greedy, bloodthirsty who will spend large amounts of time trying to make another nickel and pay no attention to their kids, etc.


Ditto for car stuff. There is a wealth of information on this URL. If you are not sure what to do on an issue, such as which filters to use, read the various opinions stated, then decide which way you are going,

Then ignore the ever present smart alecks (family; friends; fellow workers) who call you stupid for not doing it their way no matter what you decide.

Fifty years ago, we debated whether or not a car needed an oil filter and now we are debating what brand of filter we should use. My 1947 Pontiac and my 1955 Pontiac did not have oil filters. The 1947 didn’t even offer an oil filter and the oil filter was optional equipment on the 1955 Pontiac. My dad purchased a new Rambler in 1960 and it didn’t have an oil filter. The dealer installed an oil filter accessory kit from AMC, but it was a partial flow system where not all of the oil flowed through the filter.

The only time I found that the brand of oil filter made a difference was when I owned a 14 horsepower riding tractor with hydrostatic drive back in the early 1970’s. There was an oil filter for the hydrostatic system and a Fram filter of a particular number was specified. I substituted a house brand filter that was supposed to interchange by the cross reference list. The problem was that the house brand filter was slightly longer than the Fram filter. Each time I acutated the control to raise the mower deck, the support arms of the deck hit the filter. This ultimately knocked a hole in the filter–I lost the hydrostatic fluid (transmission fluid Ford type F) and the tractor stopped moving. However, on my vehicles I buy whatever major brand is on sale and I have never had a problem.

We always had FRAM in school and I never heard of an engine being destroyed in my four years there. We would have heard of it the way rumors fly in schools. I’m telling lies here. I can’t remember what filters we used. I still don’t care.
The quality of the job stinks. The filters are in terrible positions now and ny right arm doesn’t work well while lying on the ground. I miss my 83 Corolla. It took me 24 minutes to do oil change and lube.

I like Wix or Napa(basically the same)

Only the NAPA Gold is Wix. Their Silver is Purolator or Fram.

I too have NEVER had a problem with Fram filters. Been using them for 35+ years. My current filter is either Fram or Wix. I can get the Wix the same price as Fram if I buy 10 at a time (which is no big deal).

As for OEM filters…Most manufacturers do NOT manufacturer their filters. They are made for them by one of the filter manufacturers (Fram, Champion, Wix, Purolater). And many manufacturers are going green and eliminating the Canister filter. Instead of replacing the canister and filter you replace the just filter element. The canister is part of the engine. My wifes 07 Lexus is designed this way. I’ve used Fram, Purolater, Wix and Toyota filters…It’s IMPOSSIBLE to tell the difference between these filters. 100% identical (EXCEPT for the small manufacturing stamp on the top of the filter).