I see what I see. If you paid attention you might too.
The FTC for whatever reason seems to be intensely interested in claims
manufacturer make about automobile related products. They seem to think
it is extremely important to police the after market products for cars.
However, there power is pretty much limited to determining if
advertising claims are valid.
It has been my observation that if anyone attempts to market a product
in the USA that is related to the automobile you had better be prepared
with a mountain of evidence to support any advertising claims that you
make about that product. If Fram filters are not able to prove that
their claim that they meet or exceed all the engine builders
specifications for their filters those filters will soon be removed from
the store shelves. Or at the very least they will be forced to stop
making the claims. And if that were to happen you would have actual real
world evidence that I would believe rather than just internet folk tales
that I find unconvincing.
File a complaint if you think there is a case to be made. This is not
that complicated. It is not as if it takes a rocket scientist to
hydrostatic test and determine the burst pressure of an oil filter.
I think you could go down to your local Walmart and take every single
one of the hundreds of Fram filters they have in stock and you wouldn't
be able to find a single one that is out of compliance.
The manufacturing sector in the USA may be in decline, but it is not
yet as broken as your imagination has conceived it to be. This is just
an oil filter we are talking about. It is not that complicated.
So you're saying that it's all hot air and no Fram filter has failed.
On what do you base that??
I don't think that I am ignorant I take it you have some medical
qualifications to make that diagnosis. I am certainly not superstitious.
Some months ago I bought an espresso coffee machine. Top of the line
model from a reputable manufacturer. An electronic component failed. The
replacement (brand new straight out of the box) arrived friday. Setting
it up today and it fails to produce any steam. Tomorrow it goes back. I
don't think it would be ignorance or superstitious of me to tell friends
and dissuade them from buying that brand.
You got the hot air part right. I have seen no evidence that Fram
filters fail often enough to justify the hysteria you promote. If you
buy a new car and use Fram filters on it and follow the car makers
recommended service procedures, from the real evidence I have seen, you
will have a statistically better chance of having your car run over by a
bus than have it done in by the Fram filters.
You believe in what you think are facts without any real evidence to
And yes I have authentic certified license to spot internet quacks. I
downloaded it from the official international web site for study and
identification of internet folklore and fiction.
I'll tell you waht, Jim. You are free to believe as you like, and to
use Fram filters on your vehicles. Nobody's forcing you to forgo your
The rest of us are free to use anything BUT Fram if we so wish. For
you, it appears Fram Filters are either a religion or a political
party (not that American politics much differentiates) and you have
decided you don't want to hear the facts, your mind's already made up.
When it comes to consumer products, often anecdotal evidence from users
of the product, and reviews from individuals that tear down and evaluate
the build quality, are all you have to go by. For oil filters there's no
independent testing agency that runs around testing every model of
filter from every manufacturer on every different vehicle that the
Based on the teardowns of Fram filters, and based on extensive anecdotal
evidence, the logical thing to do would be to play it safer by going
with an OEM filter rather than risk using a Fram filter. Maybe all the
reports of Fram filter failures are fiction, but those reports, combined
with so many different evaluations by those that disassemble filters,
make it probable that where there's so much smoke that there's probably
No and that would not be very intelligent way to manage Quality
Assurance. You don't need an 1980 air-cooled VW or a 1972 Dodge Dart and
30 below temperatures to hydrostatic test the burst pressure of a
filter. Burst test are in fact done by independent laboratories.
Teardowns by whom? Are you talking about idiots on the internet cutting
filters open? Or are you talking about the Quality Assurance department
(that every engine manufacture has), which carefully examine all the
engines that get replaced under warranty and sent back to the
In some cases the OEM filter is made by Fram. Did your internet sources
for folklore fail to inform you of that?
Yes and that is exactly what an hysterical true believer would imagine.
But where is there any believable evidence? The only thing I see
evidence of is a phenomena I call folklore and mass hysteria.
The fact is that millions of Fram filters are used on engines under
warranty. Some of those engines do fail and manufacturers do replace
those failed engines and all engine makers do post-mortems to determine
what causes failures. So if there really was any smoke or fire it would
show up somewhere at some time in that process. But that is not where
the evidence is coming from. The so called evidence is always somebody
with an old beater that has deluded himself and is now trying to
convince others that a Fram filter is the bogeyman out to get his
And all engines that get replaced are sent back to the manufacturer to
be torn down????
Mabee one in 10, or one in 50, or every one that dies a particular
death after they decide they just MIGHT have a quality problem.
Certainly not anywhere close to every failure.
Name me a single OEM filter currently confirmed to be made by Fram and
specify which of the numerous Fram models it actually is.
Ford didn't take my engine back for analysis when they changed it. It
went into the scrap bucket after the"road man" verified it had, in
fact, been replaced. A lot of Chrysler engines were scrapped before
they decided they had a sludge/coking problem that needed to be
addressed - after which they took several hundred back for inspection
You see the same kind of claims by corporations that are as clueless as
Jim. Just look at the Amsoil warranty claims. Even though there are
specific reasons why most Amsoil products cannot be API certified, and
these reasons can have negative effects you get the song and dance about
how no one has ever shown that a failure was related to the oil, as if
that constitutes proof of anything.
Premature engine failure, of engines already out of warranty, are the
key problem with using inferior quality filters. The engine fails at
150K miles rather than 300K miles because of a faulty anti-drainback
valve and there's no teardown of the engine to figure out why it failed.
Well I didn't know much about amsoil but something smelled very fishy in
your story so a quick trip to their web site at amsoil.com and and look
at their 5w30 oil and it claims to have API certification. It also has
ILSAC 4 certification. Then i took a trip to the API webpage and sure
enough Amsoil Inc. is listed in their licensee directory.
So where are you getting your misinformation?
Except that is complete bullshit that you created by pulling it out of
your clueless ass. I have tested the anti-drainback valves on Fram
filters and they do not fail as the mythology claims they do. I have
never heard of any of the internet story tellers who have actually ever
tested the valve on a single filter. Not one person that is passing on
this folklore has checked one single valve.
I have checked them on filters after they were used using the dirty oil
and have never found one that didn't work. The people who claim they are
likely to leak don't have a clue. They are just idiots. If you cut the
filter open, then the valve as well as the rest of the filter will no
longer function properly. The very definition of a retard is someone who
cuts a filter open to see if the anti drain back valve works.
If you want your engine to last 500K miles just buy the cheapest oil and
filter and change the oil every 3000 miles. If you are really concerned
about keeping dirt from harming your engine it makes very little sense
to concoct an elaborate and expensive scheme for storing dirt inside
your engines lubricating system. That is not a fail safe method of
dealing with engine dirt. It makes much more sense to let your
neighborhood recycling center take the dirt rather than trying to store
it inside your engine. Removing the dirt from the engine is a completely
safe way to prevent the dirt from harming your engine. Attempting to
store the dirt in your oil and filter does not always work as
effectively. By simply complicating the process you have increased the
chance that it will fail.
That said there really is no need to try to make your engine last 500K
miles. There are very few people willing to do what it takes to make the
rest of the car last anywhere near that long. If you use any approved
oil and filter and change at the recommended intervals there is very
little chance that the engine will crap out due to a lubricant problem
before the rest of the car is shot.
How are you checking them?
Here is what happened to me...
1997 Ford Expedition 5.4L V8. Cold morning (at least for NC). Started
truck and got a horrible racket for a few seconds (seemed longer).
Scared the crap out of me. I checked with a mechanic I trust and he
told me that was a sign of a leakig anti-drain back valve. The Ford
5.4L engine uses oil pressure to tension the chains. If the anti-drain
back valve leaks, the oil will leak back out of the system. On a cold
morning this can extend the lenght of time it takes for oil pressure
to build up and tension the chains. Loose chains rattle. The mechanic
told me it was extremely important to use a filter with a silicone
anti-drain back valve like the Motorcraft FL820S. I researched it
further and it found that the commonly used nitrile anti-drain back
valves do sometimes have problems with sealing. This is the type of
anti-drain back valve in the Extra Guard Fram filter. Turns out in my
case that was the type of filter on the truck when I had the problem.
From then on I only used FL820S filters on that truck and never had
the problem reoccur. To be fair, Fram does include silicone anti-drain
back valves on their more expensive filters (like the Tough Guard).
If you cut open the filter carefully and the anti-drain back valve is
hard and/or deformed I think you can decide it is a poor design. From
what I have seen the only difference between the Extra Guard and Tough
Guard anti-drain back valve is the material (design/dimensions are
identical). If nitrile is just as good as silicone, why would Fram
note that as a reason that the Tought Guard filter is better and cost
twice as much? For some engines, the anti-drain back valve is not
particularly important. For others, it can be very important.
You change the filter yourself?
How's the filter set on the 5.4? Horizontal, or somewhat bottom down?
Do you fill the new filter with oil?
If so, how much is retained while putting the filter on?
Do you get the clatter on the start up after an oil change?
Think about it.
You should. Every time.
Unless that clatter had absolutely nothing to do with the filter.
On Mon, 07 Dec 2009 23:39:29 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Looks like I wasn't clear, so let me say it a different way.
You hear clatter (or whatever you deem oil-related bad sounds) when
you start your car.
You blame it on the filter anti-drainback not working right.
Basically a dry filter.
A simple test to prove that is to replicate the conditions with a dry
filter when you do an oil change.
If all else if equal - temperature and time shut down, you should hear
the same sound.
Personally, I always change my oil warm, and usually have it done and
running again within 1/2 hour or so.
If you only hear the clatter after the engine is shut down for say 12
hours, you would have to leave it shut down for 12 hours after the oil
change to replicate that condition.
Seems you would hear the same noise after the oil change.
But it's not that simple.
What if you don't hear the noise after changing in a dry filter?
That might indicate the anti-drainback valve isn't the problem.
Maybe the old filter was clogged and delayed pressure build-up at the
parts being lubed.
Maybe the old filter developed some sort of cavitation or airlock
issue as it aged.
Anyway, Mr White's case is just inconclusive. I've heard plenty of
transitory "rackets" when starting engines that had nothing to do with
oil. Not saying it wasn't the filter. Just inconclusive to me.
Not taking a stand on the Frams because I don't use them.
But it's not real hard to test filters yourself if you set down some
test parameters on paper and follow them diligently.
I never will, because I've not had lube issues on my cars.
If I did, I'd probably just try a few different filters to see if that
helped, as some here have done.
And I never fool around soaking a filter or pulling the ECU fuse.
Can you imagine the Jiffy Lube guys pulling ECU fuses?
hehe. New can of worms there.
Except I know of cases where the problem STARTED with an oil and
filter change. And cases where filters were changed immediately
thereafter and the noise went away (with another Fram filter, even).
They don't ALL leak - but in my experience too many did years back
(I'm talking '70s and '80s) - and I never found a reason to go back to
using them myself, or when I had any say what was going onto
I believe Canadian Tire had Fram making some of their filters in '75/
'76 and we had issues with them over the couple months I worked there
on my return from Africa. The lube guys would do an oil change, and a
couple days later the car was in the shop with complaints of the oil
light taking too long to go out, or valve noise on startup.
When I ran the service bays at the Shell station ( I was shop foreman
- 6 bay garage) we didn't use Fram filters - Shell filters were
Kralinator, I believe , and we'd get customers coming in complaining
of oil light taking too long to go out, or valve noise on startup.
Asked the customer when it started, and when they last had an oil
change - could be the oil had broken down/gone thin / been fuel
diluted etc. If the oil had been changed recently and the oil
felt/smelt good we'd check the filter.
If the filter was orange we'd change it first.
USUALLY solved the problem.
At the Esso station I ran we used Atlas Filters - made IIRC by
Then at Toyota we used the Toyota supplied filters (Purolator or WIX)
and when we ran out Mopar/AutoPar filters which were also made at that
time by Purolator. The Chrysler dealer up the road was pretty
agressive with their wholesale pricing and we used their filters on
all the non-Toyota vehicles we serviced.
I likely replaced a few non-Fram filters for the same problem - but
definitely not very many and I could not tell you what brand or on
On Toyota 3K engines I remeber we had a lot of issues with lazy oil
pressure lights - which were USUALLY caused by the infamous "Oil
Pisser" switch. If the switch wasn't wet, the filter was the next
thing we looked at (filter was base down)
The 8R and 18R engines were the same. On the T engines the filter was
horizontal and the filters were less critical. Same with the M series
and the 20r and 22r engines. On these engines it was USUALLY the "oil
pisser" switch when oil lights were slow going off. They all had solid
lifters, so valve clatter was not an issue. On the 8 and 18R series,
the hydraulic timing chain tensioners would complain very loudly on
dry starts - lots of chain rattle and not infrequently broken chain
guides. Funny, virtually NEVER had problems on vehicles we did all the
The early F had a remote mounted filter, base up and didn't need an
anti-drain valve. (the old "stovebolt" Chevy engine made under
Back "in the day" we ALWAYS pulled the coil wire and cranked the
engine 'till the oil light went out or the needle moved. it was
POLICY. Then we got those darn integrated ignition units on the
Toyota " A" series engines - no coil wire - so we soon had to back
down on "policy" - but it was still recommended that the engine NOT be
allowed to come up to speed before the light went out. Crank it, and
if the engine started, shut it off and crank it again if the light
didn't go out right away.
Your not keeping up with the folklore. Most of the Fram bashers I have
read say that Fram made good filters back then. According to all the
folklore I have read on the internet it was only after the companies
ownership changed in the 90's that the filter became cheap and
unreliable. Before that according to most folklorists they were good
You missed the point of the post you were responding to for the second
But all of this is ancient history and not particularly useful to most
people today. It may interest you to know that in the period from 1950's
to the 90's almost every multigrade dino oil on the market gave
inadequate protection if the engine oil temp exceeded 240F. That means
if your engine overheated you were basically screwed. And the affect of
heat on the oil was not temporary in most cases it was permanent. that
means if you didn't change the oil immediately following the overheating
incident you were doubly screwed. The fact that you have horror stories
that revolve around engine lubrication problems from 30 years ago is not
at all surprising. But what does this ancient history have to do with
OK so you have been superstitious for a long time. I have never seen a
filter of any type cause problems in a clean engine. I've never seen a
dirty engine that wasn't in a death spiral. The fact that you were very
good at treating the symptoms and ignoring the root causes of problems
is not very impressive.
That's because you are superstitious. You see and remember what you
want to see and remember don't see and remember what you don't want to
see and remember. Take the guy with the motocraft filter that had
missing threads. That story till now was mostly forgotten. Had that been
a story about a Fram filter, you would by now be able to google and find
that story on 50 web pages. All I see is evidence that you are not the
only one. There more than just you that predisposed to selectively
Yes and this means what? Again all i see is someone who is only
interested in symptoms not root causes. Foe example, take the case of
an engine with hydraulic lifters. If the engine and oil is kept clean
then the check valve in each valve lifter should keep the lifter filled
while the oil is being changed. In a properly working engine you really
shouldn't be getting valve clatter when you start the engine after the
oil change. It is only in dirty and/or worn engines that lifters will
bleed down wile you are doing an oil change.
Well that is mostly just superstition. There are plenty of engines that
use cheap oil and filter and they get changed and started up after the
oil change without any special procedure and the engine ends up lasting
longer than the rest of the car. There is no evidence that your
precautions would make any difference to the life of the engine.
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