Which Oil Filter Brands to Avoid and Why? Explained

Oil filters keep your engine oil clean and free from dust and particles. It is a very important part of the engine. If you don’t choose a proper oil filter, you will end up with unclean oil. And that can be damaging to the engine for the long term too.

In this article, I will discuss which oil filter brands to choose and which ones to avoid. I will also discuss the best alternatives you can pick for your engine. So, stay tuned till the end.

Does It Matter What Brand Oil Filter You Use?

The oil filter prevents dust and contaminants, including metal scrapings (up to some extent) to be dispersed in the engine oil. It uses small pores through which it catches the by-products or the particulate matter.

The efficiency of the fuel filter decreases with more particulates entering the engine. Particles sized between 5-20 microns usually do the damage.

The performance of an oil filter is measured through the micron efficiency number. The lower, the better. The price increases with the lower micron efficiency number. The best fuel filters have a micron efficiency number of 10.

According to the research of The Society of Automotive Engineers, installing a 30-micron oil filter from a 40-micron one reduces engine wearing by 50%. And if it’s switched to 15-micron, engine wear reduces by 70%.

This is why the brand of an oil filter matters. It signifies how efficient your fuel filter is. Whether it is for regular oil or synthetic oil, oil filter brands have a reputation in the market. Try to go for more expensive brands. Because they deliver what they put value to.

On What Basis to Select an Oil Filter?

Cheaper oil filter brands will do more harm to your engine than good. Keep the following considerations in mind while selecting the oil filter. 

  1. Filter Media: This is what does the filtering in an oil filter. In the better fuel filters, the media is twice in amount than in the cheaper ones. This provides longer and more efficient filtering power.
  2. Build Quality: The filter will be built with heavier and thicker material compared to those of avoidable brands.
  3. Anti-Drain Back Valve: This is not present in cheap brand valves. It prevents oil from draining out entirely to the bottom of the motor. This prevents dry starts.
  4. Service Life: A longer service life is necessary to get non-expensive maintenance. A good oil filter lasts up to 10,000 miles. Any good brand will give a mileage around this number. But cheaper ones will give service around 3,000 miles.

Which Oil Filter Brands to Avoid?

The oil filters brand to avoid are discussed below:

  1. Fram Oil Filters: They produce low-cost fuel filters. There have been reports of Fram filters getting damaged as soon as new ones were installed. This happens as some filters are defective right out of the box. They also do not have a drain back valve. This allows for dry start every time you start the car. It has thin filter media, lesser media in the cannister, built out of cheap metal, no spring, carboard end caps etc.
  2. SuperTech Oil Filters: These fuel filters use paper cover plates. There is an enhanced steel cover plate version however. They are almost similar to the quality of Fram.
  3. Frantz Oil Filters: This is popularly known as an aftermarket filter. Yes! It is that bad! It has a cannister and two oil lines made out of replaceable element.
  4. Motorcraft Oil Filters: These fuel filters are not reliable. They might be selling used ones already at the store. Filters are often defective from the get-go. The filter may have a broken plastic cage, or may have a tilted build.
  5. PG Oil Filter: This filter has heard many complaints over the years. It does not fit for the Land Rover Range Rover Sport car. It also does not work with gasoline.
  6. Premium Engine Protection Cartridge Oil Filter: This oil filter gives up as soon as the engine hits a mileage of 5,000 miles. It also does not match the white threaded adapter.
  7. Pentius Red Premium Line Spin-On Oil Filter: The rubber gasket and valves are weak in this filter. It suffers easily from heat exposure. Also, it somehow advices the wrong size. It also does not work in the cars of recent model. As it’s bypasses are made with plastic, it cannot maintain the heavy cold oil flow.
  8. Other Brands: Don’t buy oil filter from manufacturer brands, that is the brands that make cars. They can be overpriced and poorly built.

Best Alternatives to the Avoidable Oil Filter Brands

The best alternative to avoidable oil filter brands is discussed below:

  1. Royal Purple: This oil filter has 99% efficiency at 25 microns. It is built with compact synthetic fibers and prevents all pollutants from passing. It provides service up to 10,000 miles and has a nice bypass valve.
  2. Mobil 1: This filter has extraordinary media capacity. It holds twice more contaminants than other filters (around 28 grams of it). Moreover, it comes at an affordable price. It provides service up to 15,000 miles. Its anti-drain back valve is made of premium silicone. It offers 6% cleaning efficiency at 25 microns.
  3. Motorcraft: This filter also comes with an anti-drain back valve. This filter serves as protection against dust, sand, metal pieces and carbon. They claim to keep the engine oil as clean as possible. Because of the pressure-relief valves, bad oil cannot return back to the engine. The filter also supports the oil supply to the engine in cold conditions.
  4. Ford HD Racing: Have a high-performing engine? A Ford Mustang car? No worries! This is the oil filter for you! This filter is comparatively bigger in size than other filters. Thus it can catch more impurities. It combines cellulose-fiber materials with synthetic-polymer components. This allows it to handle 50% more impurities than any regular oil filter. However, this oil filter is a bit more expensive.
  5. Purolator: It is one of the most durable oil filters out there. It gives 10,000 miles of usage easily under reasonable price. The silicone anti-drain valve offers protection. The metal bypass valve further solidifies that. It filters upto 99% of the dirt. The capacity of that stands at 15 grams.
  6. Hastings and Napa Gold: These filters are quite long-lasting. And their cost makes up for that. Although buying price is more, replacement is not often needed. This actually saves money. The hasting ones are 8psi. This does sound a bit low. However, their overall performance is satisfactory.

Which One is the Best?

I would suggest Royal Purple as the best filter for abudget-friendly option. However, Ford might also be a very good one if you have the budget.

What to Do When the Oil Filter Has Gone Bad?

When your oil filter has gone bad, you should change it. The signs to not ignore are: sputtering, metal clanking noises and the pressure gauge dropping. A lot of accidents happen because of the pressure gauge dropping and the car stopping in the middle of the highway.

Final Words

When buying an oil filter, you should always take the build and media material in consideration. Silicone valved ones are more durable. And the efficiency of cleaning engine oil speaks for itself.

I hope this article supplies ample information on that. And you will be able to choose the best oil filter while avoiding the bad ones.

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