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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I usually get my oil changed at a local dealer for $21.95 and they always seem to do a good job. (No long waits, friendly service etc.)

This time I did it myself to save some time and I went to Wal-Mart to purchase my oil and filter. While looking at the four or five kinds of Fram filters they seem to only have a 94-96% Single or Multi-pass efficiency. I then picked up a "Super Tech" filter, distributed for Wal-Mart, and they claim a 98-99% efficiency. The cost was only $2.07 and it's actually stamped "Made in the USA". Am I the best shopper ever or is this the most stupid move I could have made?

Any thought?
 

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If you change your oil every 3000 miles, SuperTech is probably ok. It's the automotive version of Wal-Mart's "Equate" brand. Probably made by Fram or Purolator and sold under the Wal-Mart brand.
 

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Oil Filters

Take this for what it's worth - but oil filtration and oil type are the most important concerns for me in regard to the engine in any of our vehicles. I think we get what we pay for here. In regard to the high cost of replacing an engine in a late model minivan vs. a $2 dollar filter or a high grade $10 filter - to me I choose the MOBIL1. I just look at it as real cheap insurance. We tend to keep our vehicles alittle bit longer than most folks probably do also. Didn't mean to get on a soap box here - just my 2 cents worth - hope it helps. Take care.
 

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BuzzBob, I think the Super Tech should be fine. Take it from someone who has never used boutique synthetic oils or high-priced filters. My oil of choice is usually Pennzoil, Valvoline, or Havoline, and I've always used ACDelco oil filters on all of my vehicles. I keep cars forever, and this approach has worked for me. My '84 Cutlass had 13x,000 miles when I sold it, and my '97 Cadillac is less than 1,000 miles from the 150k mark. Hasn't even had a cam cover off.

There are oil filter studies out there. Google for "oil filter study" and the first return is a good link.
 

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I am in the "Pay me now , or pay me later" mode with oil filters. While I know that everyone has his own opinion on this, I prefer a BETTER grade of filter to protect the 'lifeblood' of my engine. I use a CarQuest filter which is made by WIX. More expensive, but my vehicles are worth it.
I 'always' used Fram for many years, until about 12 years ago when it was found that they have gone "CHEAP" on making them. I have cut many filters apart and was surprised at the cheapness of the Fram. I used to buy them by the case and used them on everything, but NEVER AGAIN.
Yes, as was stated before, the filter you bought will probably be ok. For most people ,that is fine. I find that MOST people on here do not want just 'OK'. They are here because they want the best for thier vehicles and they do what is necessary to get it. Now that you know, it is up to you to make your decision the next time you do it yourself. Oh, I know this won't make you feel anybetter, but MOST quick change oil places use a cheaper (cheapest) filter when they change your oil/filter. That is how they can do it at such a low price.
 

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Actually I have shopped at Wal-mart for filters, and purchased them in the past, but I don't anymore.

I have heard the info about Fram filters being cheapened, and based on all of the info, I believe it. Google "Fram oil filter study," and one of the links is to this guy's web page, where he cut open a number of filters to see how well they are made. He found that Fram's filters are put together in such a way as to cause potential concern.

The reason I am digressing to this is because I suspect the Super Tech filter for this van may be now manufactured by Fram. To quote the website, talking about the Fram filter: "If you look into the center hole all the way to the top of the filter, you will see a kind of 'button' in the end cap of the cartridge (which looks like it's made of metal from there). This is the plastic bypass valve."

Assuming stores like Wal-Mart and Advance Auto do not manufacture their own filters, I use this simple visual test as a telltale sign of a fram-manufactured filter. I look for it whenever I am considering buying an off-brand filter. The last time I was in Wal-mart, I vaguely recall that when I looked at the SuperTech filter, I looked into the center hole and it sure looked like the same "button." So I am shying away from SuperTech filters.

My recollection is sometimes cloudy, though. On edit, as I write this, I am wondering to myself if I am mistaking that experience for Advance Auto's filters. So I encourage you to look for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after reading all of your posts (THANKS!) I went to one of the web sites and read about the study done in 2003 by a Russ Knize. In a nutshell, he's OK with about 18 different ones but he says not to buy Fram.

I guess the SuperTech that I purchased from Walmart is made by Champion Labs which also produces for AC Delco, Mobil 1, Bosch etc. It may not be THAT bad.

He claims that even some Mopar filters are made by Fram which may explain why my 5-Star Chrysler dealer can sell me an oil change for $21.95 cause he knows in a few years I'll be back to have the engine damage fixed? (Did I really say that out loud?)

Russ is (or was in 2003) using a Baldwin filter which I've never heard of until today so maybe I'll check those out.

Thanks again for "opening my eyes". I appreciate the feedback!

B
 

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BuzzBob said:
He claims that even some Mopar filters are made by Fram which may explain why my 5-Star Chrysler dealer can sell me an oil change for $21.95 cause he knows in a few years I'll be back to have the engine damage fixed? (Did I really say that out loud?)
Buying a Fram filter is not a guarantee that you'll have engine damage. The main problem with Fram filters is that they're fairly cheaply made. Like what 2002LXi said, if you're the type of person that does 3,000-3,500 mile oil changes, you're probably OK with just about anything. Like what DSMLVR said, they're OK. Not great, and by all means not the best filter out there, but OK. If you want the best, I'd probably second his recommendation of the WIX filter.
 

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Check valve?

I have heard talk about some filters having a valve that keeps oil up in the system so that there is less wear during cold starts.

Is that still an issue or have they fixed issue with our engine types?
 

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I have never heard of that, but if I did, I would avoid it. Filters allow the oil to circulate, and filter it. Any filter that blocks the system is not going on my vehicle.
 

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If your filter is mounted vertically (open end up) a check valve is really not necessary...but it won't hurt anything either. The 3.3/3.8's used in the DCX vans AFAIK all have use a vertical mounted filter.

OTOH - on my 4.0 Jeep it becomes much more important due to a horizontally mounted filter. In this case I personally prefer a WIX filter with their silicone rubber valve.

My 2 cents...
 

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I copied this list from the Bob is the Oil Guy forums website. It is just a list of who makes what for whoever. I have not copied any of the postings text/dialogue what so ever.

Updated List;
Fram

Fram Extra Guard (std)
Fram Tough Guard (different media?)
Fram X2 (Silicone ADBV, Fuzzy media)
Fram Extended Guard(same as the X2)
Mileguard (Jiffy)
Honda (although some are alleged to be made by Filtech)
Chrysler line up except for the Cummins
Penzoil
Deffense
Canadian Tire

Champion Labs

Bosch
Car and Driver
Deutsch
Mobil 1
STP
SuperTech
K&N
Valvoline filters
Mighty
Service Champ
Lee
AutoZone Value Craft
Some AC Delco
VW (some)
Warner
Luberfiner
Trust

Wix

Carquest blue
Carquest red
Napa Gold
Napa Silver (lower quality with nitrile ADBV)
Kralinator (in Canada)
ALLIANCE (Freightliner aftermarket)

Purolator (Arvin Meritor)

Purolator premium plus (nitrile adbv)
Purolator Pure One (silicone adbv, different media)
Havoline
Maxlife Valvoline (some)
Group7
Promotive
Powerflow
Quaker State (less media)
Advanced Auto Total Grip. (less media)
Pep Boys Pro Line
MotorCraft
Superflo

Denso

Toyota

Mann+Hummel

Mann
Volvo

Clarcor

Baldwin
Hastings
Amsoil
Casite

KC.
 

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BABYGRAND said:
I have heard talk about some filters having a valve that keeps oil up in the system so that there is less wear during cold starts.

Is that still an issue or have they fixed issue with our engine types?
In general, that's called an "anti drain-back valve", or ADV. I think almost every modern oil filter includes that, so it's nothing you can choose to have or not have. It simply doesn't allow the filter to empty itself after shut-off, effectively keeping the oiling system always "primed" and ready for the next restart.

Perhaps the Fram filters didn't have this ADV in the past, and that contributed to noisy startups when using those filters. That may also explain why moving to a better filter ceased the noise.

Again, it's a valve in the filter rather than the engine, and most every modern oil filter has an ADV to my understanding.
 

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I don't see ACDelco in that list, but I do believe they're made by Champion Labs, for what it's worth. It should be pointed out that just because a filter is made by a certain party, it doesn't mean that the attributes of another filter made by that same party apply. For example, just because Chrysler's filters are made by Fram, that doesn't mean that they necessary include the really cheap components that Fram puts into their own filters. Especially for the OE filters (like Chrysler, ACDelco, Toyota, etc), the filters are made to exacting specifications, and anyone who CAN get that contract to make them (like Fram or Champion Labs) will do so, even if it means assembling better filters than what they might put their own name on.
 

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Does anyone know of a cross reference for the 3.3 L generation IV engine oil filters for the different known makes that can go on our vans?:ask_wsign
KC.
 

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Fram PH16
Supertech ST16
Advance AA16
Purolator L14670
 

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If you want a little extra capacity try a NAPA 1068 or WIX 51068. I've been using them for years on all my 3.3's.
 
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