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#2348578 - 08/16/11 04:34 PM Particle count testing of various oil filters
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
As I mentioned some time ago, I have submitted some particle count (PC) tests to Blackstone Labs. So far I have had PC tests done on oil run with two different filters: Mobil 1 EP and Hyundai OEM.

Both runs were done with Valvoline SynPower 5W-30 (SM). The same air filter was in place for both.

A FilterMag was used in both cases as well. Maybe I should have tested without it, but when I submitted the first sample, I forgot I had the FilterMag installed, so I simply kept it in place when I installed the second filter. I figured that if it skewed the results, it would do so the same for each filter.

Maybe it might have been preferable to extend the mileage somewhat. I cut it off where I did because of how the timing worked out; prior to submitting the first sample, I had completed a 1,400-mile road trip. Then, I made plans to repeat the same trip shortly thereafter. I placed a higher value on duplicating the same types of driving than on longer intervals. (As a short-tripper under warranty, I do 3/3,000 OCs anyway.)

I always round to the nearest hundred miles when I do maintenance; I think it's silly to drill down more than that. 50 miles one way or the other is not meaningful to this.

Don't ask me what the significance of the "ISO Code (3)" results are. I've glanced at the explanations myself and still don't get it.

My reaction to the results: I have one more Hyundai oil filter left. Anyone want it?

Mobil 1 Extended Performance M1-104:

Mileage on oil at time of testing: 2,500 miles

ISO Code (3): 15/14/12

>= 2 Micron: 479
>= 5 Micron: 177
>= 10 Micron: 49
>= 15 Micron: 19
>= 25 Micron: 4
>= 50 Micron: 0
>= 100 Micron: 0

Hyundai OEM 26300 35503:

Mileage on oil at time of testing: 2,700 miles

ISO Code (3): 17/17/14

>= 2 Micron: 2474
>= 5 Micron: 916
>= 10 Micron: 253
>= 15 Micron: 98
>= 25 Micron: 23
>= 50 Micron: 2
>= 100 Micron: 0

Next up is a Royal Purple 10-2808. Can't say when, though.
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#2348586 - 08/16/11 04:40 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
tinmanSC Offline


Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 1883
Loc: Oswego, IL
Wow! that's quite the difference.
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#2348590 - 08/16/11 04:43 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: tinmanSC]
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: tinmanSC
Wow! that's quite the difference.

Yeah, I was surprised myself.
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#2348602 - 08/16/11 04:59 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
2oldtommy Offline


Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 834
Loc: Ohio
The science of analyzing partical counts requires a thesis on your objectives. To say that the Hyundai filter is deficient is not to understand the design criteria. The difference in the wear particles getting through the media and CAUSING WEAR DAMAGE is way more important that raw data you are considering. Do not throw out the Hyundai filter just yet. It is doing the job of filtering VS life and flow over the recommended OCI FWIW--Oldtommy. PS " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

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#2348623 - 08/16/11 05:32 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I'm not sure I understand the phrase "It is doing the job of filtering VS life and flow over the recommended OCI", but I cannot comprehend how a hugely increased particle count cannot equate to increased wear. It's not like these particles are soft, happy particles that are "gently buffing the engine clean". I also don't buy the idea that it flows better, which compensates for the worse filtering.
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#2348645 - 08/16/11 05:57 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 541
Loc: Herndon, VA
I have done a number of tests like this myself using particle counts and various filters. I am sure someone will point out that repeatability is key here. The counts on the Mobil 1 filter are quite a bit lower than what I have experienced.

It will be interesting to see how close the counts are for different samples of the same brand and model of filter. I suspect they will come out quite a bit different.

Where are you drawing the sample from? If it is from the sump, then you are not directly measuring the filter performance. Although the filter performance will affect the results, the oil will have passed through the filter, THEN through the engine, into the crankcase and then drawn out for your sample. So, your results will be greatly dependent on how many particles the oil picked up as it circulated through the engine. If operation of the engine was such that there was a large amount of blowby, or unburned fuel right before you took the sample, the results could be greatly skewed (This is speculation on my part).

If you can find a way to draw a sample immediately after the oil goes through the filter (but before circulating through the engine) I suspect the results will be more consistent. Even then, keep in mind filters are not high-precision devices. I suspect (again, speculation on my part) that even in lab conditions, there are differences between each sample of the same make and model of filter.

Nevertheless, I am glad someone else is doing this besides me - perhaps you might find out something I did not. Thank you for doing this and posting the results!

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#2348662 - 08/16/11 06:09 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Oh, yeah, believe me, I know. Ideally the tests would be done by more than one lab, would involve many different filters, engines, oils, mileage, etc. etc. etc. but I am just one man and I don't drive that much.

I have nothing against sending another sample the next time I use an M1EP. I can't guarantee the 1,400-mile road trip will take place each time, however.

I have no way of knowing for sure obviously, but I would be very surprised if the vastly different results were not mainly due to the filter. I did draw from the sump. I tested the same way each time--drove more than long enough to reach OT, then quickly pulled into the garage, raised the car, let a few ounces of oil out of the Fumoto Quick Valve (that oil was disposed of), then filled the sample container.

I mean, we're looking at over 5 times the PC count at 2 microns, and nearly 6 times at 25. People keep harassing me that this isn't a test of the filter, but the reasoning consistently fails to impress me. If my results are simply because the oil passed through the engine and caught more blow-by or whatever, would that really affect all the PC sizes as much as it did? It's not like just one PC size range was different; they're all seriously in favor of the M1EP.

I'm not saying it's 100% definitive, but it beats the typical faith-based reasoning I see here, and, right or wrong, it has biased me against the Hyundai OEM filter.
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#2348704 - 08/16/11 06:57 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
btanchors Offline


Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 541
Loc: Herndon, VA
glum,

I'm not positive, but someone pointed out to me that the way Blackstone reports the particle count breakdown is different than what you might think. What I've been told (which is worth exactly what you're paying for this :-)) is that Blackstone does not perform actual counts within each particle size range. Instead, only one count is performed, and the rest of the ranges mathematically extrapolated. I might have this slightly wrong - someone else with a more thorough understanding please chime in -but Blackstone doesn't report an actual count within each size range.

I also agree that the tests you are performing are far better than simply taking things on faith - it's actual data. Just be aware of the limitations of the type of testing you are doing.

Also, beware, this testing is addictive and repeated tests may be harmful to your wallet :-)

Again, good luck with this project - I look forward to hearing more of your results in the future.

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#2348729 - 08/16/11 07:19 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
Bluestream Offline


Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 3814
Loc: Waterloo, ON
Is there any evidence that 2u or 5u particles do any damage to an engine. Also, what about flow, or more accurately restriction to flow?
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#2348746 - 08/16/11 07:48 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
A quick search found many references to an old SAE test that basically (read: supposedly) says that particles 2u - 20u (or even 2u - 10u) cause the vast majority of engine wear. Some of the sources citing these tests were laughable however.

But assuming the figures mean anything, the 25u and 50u figures are significantly different as well.

Some oil filter producers provide flow specs. I have not seen any for the M1EPs. Napa provides this info for their own filters. I don't know what the specs are for the Hyundai OEM filters. I do know that too-restrictive oil filters tend to give Hyundais telltale engine noises, which resulted in Hyundai issuing a well-known TSB on the matter. Good question. Obviously it's no good to filter nearly everything at the expense of oil flow.
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#2348752 - 08/16/11 07:52 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
chubbs1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 4574
Loc: Merritt Island FL, USA
>15 Microns is what causes the most wear. I think since it is such an obvious difference there has to be a valuable meaning to this data.

2oldtommy: I really do not understand what you are saying.
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'12 Charger SXT
QSUD 5w30 OEM filter

'12 Charger SXT
Edge FST EP 5w30 OEM (Mine;)

'11 Hyundai Sonata GLS
QSUD 5w20 OEM Filter


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#2348916 - 08/16/11 11:00 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
chubbs1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 4574
Loc: Merritt Island FL, USA
Glum, I looked at the link you posted where I and many others tried to discourage you from doing the PC because we thought it would make little difference during a short run. I eat my words. It is quite a difference and it makes me wonder about accepting the free OC's at the dealership. I know it would be more expensive for me to do my own OC's but I would like to at least use my own filter now. It is really kind of a tough spot for me because if I do the dealer option I think it would be better for the warranty BUT... would it really be better for my car? shrug
_________________________
'12 Charger SXT
QSUD 5w30 OEM filter

'12 Charger SXT
Edge FST EP 5w30 OEM (Mine;)

'11 Hyundai Sonata GLS
QSUD 5w20 OEM Filter


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#2348934 - 08/16/11 11:21 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
musicmanbass Offline


Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 620
Loc: Smyrna, TN
Thank you for going through the expense of these tests and sharing the results with us! It makes me warm and fuzzy inside as I am using a lot of M1 filters lately. I can't wait to see the results from your RP filter. I have one waiting to go in wifey's MKX. I keep putting it off because I have 9 more M1s on the shelf. Dunno why I keep shying away from using it... it's like it's so pretty and exepensive, I don't wanna use it!

Yea yea yea.... I'm a junkie.
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#2348951 - 08/16/11 11:42 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: musicmanbass]
glum Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 820
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: chubbs1
I know it would be more expensive for me to do my own OC's but I would like to at least use my own filter now. It is really kind of a tough spot for me because if I do the dealer option I think it would be better for the warranty BUT... would it really be better for my car? shrug

That type of thing is always an easy decision for me. When I bought this car, I was offered free oil changes (can't remember; I think it was 3 free OCs?) and I didn't even consider it. I can't stand people touching my cars, even for OCs. Stripped drain plugs, off-brand filters (even at dealerships), junk/mystery oil, fat idiots leaning on my car as if it were a park bench (actually saw that happen last time; it's as if they don't realize that the glass between the shop and the waiting room is transparent), and on and on. I don't want this to turn into a thread about dealership problems, but thought I would chime in on that FWIW (not much probably).

Originally Posted By: musicmanbass
I can't wait to see the results from your RP filter. I have one waiting to go in wifey's MKX. I keep putting it off because I have 9 more M1s on the shelf. Dunno why I keep shying away from using it... it's like it's so pretty and exepensive, I don't wanna use it!

Pretty, expensive, and a bit hard to get your hands on! (Well, for some of us.)

Next question--to all: Say you were doing two PC tests, each with ~2,500 miles on the oil. One was done with lots of highway miles, the other mostly short-tripping. ALL ELSE WAS EQUAL, including the filter. Would you expect the short-trip-miles PC to be higher, lower, or the same, compared to the highway-miles PC?

The more I think about it, the more I believe the short-trip PC would be maybe a bit higher, but not much. I don't think it would be lower, for sure. I think a given filter catches what it catches, and the PC will only be askew if the mileage is so "gentle" that there was hardly anything for the filter to do (i.e. that would give an artificially low result). I don't think that will be the case with a short-tripper.

The reason I ask is that I have no road trips planned, but I want to test an RP filter. If the PC test comes back with really low numbers, I don't want it claimed that short-tripping is the reason.

Only problem is that my SynPower stash is now all SN. I'll have to go out and try tracking down SM SynPower 5/30 before this next OC.
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#2348955 - 08/16/11 11:50 PM Re: Particle count testing of various oil filters [Re: glum]
cp3 Offline


Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2547
Loc: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Thanx for doing this. Interesting results to be sure. Anyone know Doug Hillary's take on particle counts?
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