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Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines #4441574
06/25/17 11:33 PM
06/25/17 11:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
I've been seeing a LOT of these "made in China" filters coming out of Mini Coopers lately. Cars equipped with N12, N14, N16 and N18 engines. I'm assuming these are coming from quickie lube joints because cheap.

Every time I pull one out, the remaining oil in the filter housing and filter cartridge cap are FILLED with metal particles. Literally looks like someone threw a handful of glitter in the oil. It makes me cringe. I never see that when removing an OEM purflux filter.

Upon closer inspection I found the China filters are roughly 1mm shorter than the OEM. I'm thinking they're allowing oil to bypass them due to the fact that they're short. The media looks decent enough, and I never see them torn.

I cannot find any branding on the filters. Even trying to look up the numbers on the filters yields no results. My best guess is Ecoguard X5830.

One review on Amazon complained that the drain plug washer provided with the Ecoguard X5830 is just a copper washer, instead of the nice silicon impregnated folded crush washer you get with OEM or other high quality filters. And it seems like that's what I see in conjunction with each and every one of these [censored] tastic filters.

Sorry for the weak pics, but I only have my phone to work with.

The China filter:



China on the left, OEM filters on the right. You can see that it's shorter.


I tried REALLY hard to get good pics with the glitter in the oil, this is the best I could do with my phone. Turned up the brightness with editing software so it stands out a little better... still doesn't do it justice. This is the inside of the cartridge cap. You can see the particles in the oil near the edge of the cap.



I know there's not many Mini owners on bitog, but I'm not on any Mini forum, (because I don't own one) and even though I'm not particularly a fan of Mini vehicles, this kind of thing really irks me, and I had to share. DON'T BUY CHEAP FILTERS!!1

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441598
06/26/17 01:42 AM
06/26/17 01:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,621
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
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Posts: 4,621
Taiwan
Not saying these filters fit, but, assuming they don't, it still seems unlikely they can be actually putting this metal in the oil, unless they come with it from the factory.

I suppose if they don't take it out you probably would have secondary generation of more fragments, due to the circulating shrapnel, but I'd expect such bits would be smaller.

That seems to imply that, if this is a widespread observation, (a)there's something badly wrong with these engines, since jiffy lube/non-oem filters implies this is not running-in debris, and (b) the OEM filters should have quite a lot of metal in them.



Do the OEM filters have quite a lot of metal in them?

EDIT:

Re-reading I see above you say you don't see this with the OEM's. That's a puzzle then. Could the zig-zag pleat pattern be retaining it better, so you don't see it even although its there?

ENDEDIT

Last edited by Ducked; 06/26/17 01:52 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Ducked] #4441696
06/26/17 07:10 AM
06/26/17 07:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Not saying these filters fit, but, assuming they don't, it still seems unlikely they can be actually putting this metal in the oil, unless they come with it from the factory.

I suppose if they don't take it out you probably would have secondary generation of more fragments, due to the circulating shrapnel, but I'd expect such bits would be smaller.

That seems to imply that, if this is a widespread observation, (a)there's something badly wrong with these engines, since jiffy lube/non-oem filters implies this is not running-in debris, and (b) the OEM filters should have quite a lot of metal in them.



Do the OEM filters have quite a lot of metal in them?

EDIT:

Re-reading I see above you say you don't see this with the OEM's. That's a puzzle then. Could the zig-zag pleat pattern be retaining it better, so you don't see it even although its there?

ENDEDIT


Correct. This is not running-in debris, although it looks similar. I see it on engines that are far beyond the scope of run in.

It is very strange. The filters aren't putting it there, my only thought is that they aren't filtering, and there is a sort of snowball effect of particle accumulation and wear.

It is ONLY with these cheapo filters. I've looked really hard at some oem filters and haven't seen any metal flake in them.

Last edited by Seventh; 06/26/17 07:15 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441702
06/26/17 07:17 AM
06/26/17 07:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,621
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
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Posts: 4,621
Taiwan
Thinking about it a bit more, if you consistently see metal in the Chinese filters, and you consistently don't see it in the OEM's, isn't the simplest interpretation that the Chinese filters are doing a better job than the OEM's?

(Again, assuming that they didn't come metal-filled from the factory)

I can see the "snowball effect" argument, (and mentioned something like it in my first post) but I think you'd need something fairly large to start such a snowball rolling, and I don't think that's typical.

My unscientific impression is that engines that are run-in and unfiltered don't normally have a lot of glitter in them.

I've only personally had unfiltered motorcycles, which didn't.

There are also classic unfiltered 4-wheel vehicles like the aircooled VW and the Citroen van but I've not had one.

Last edited by Ducked; 06/26/17 07:27 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Ducked] #4441729
06/26/17 07:43 AM
06/26/17 07:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Thinking about it a bit more, if you consistently see metal in the Chinese filters, and you consistently don't see it in the OEM's, isn't the simplest interpretation that the Chinese filters are doing a better job than the OEM's?

(Again, assuming that they didn't come metal-filled from the factory)


I haven't taken any of the filters apart, but when looking at them real closely, neither of the filters have any obvious metal flakes in the pleats, only the oil does.

After I started noticing this many months ago, I look closely at the inside of the housing as well as the inside of the cap when doing oil services on these cars.

OEM filter = Never see flakes in oil

Chinese filter = Always see flakes in oil

You can draw your own conclusions on which you might prefer

Again, I don't own one of these cars, but if I did, I'd rather not see flakes in my oil.

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441743
06/26/17 07:59 AM
06/26/17 07:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,990
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
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Posts: 2,990
MN
Seventh, appreciate the pics & posting.
Those Purflux filters do appear to be the best, zig-zag pattern giving lots of filtering area, etc.
About the shortness of the Chinese Cheapies, does it really matter? I thought it was spring loaded. It rests on a spring, so any slightly (1 mm) shortness is taken up nicely. Am I wrong? This reminds me of my previous car, a BMW that has cartridge filters in a housing.

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: oil_film_movies] #4441758
06/26/17 08:21 AM
06/26/17 08:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,990
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
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Posts: 2,990
MN
There may be a little cushy spring tension keeping it from rattling, but as long as the inside diameter of the oil filter itself fits over the metal sleeve below, and the cap's plastic sleeve, then no oil can accidentally bypass. ... Snug on tube aligner, then no oil bypasses. Length of oil filter doesn't matter that much.
Metal sleeve shown in the center of the housing (cap has a plastic sleeve like it which fits snugly inside the center of the oil filter too):


Last edited by oil_film_movies; 06/26/17 08:22 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: oil_film_movies] #4441763
06/26/17 08:29 AM
06/26/17 08:29 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies
Seventh, appreciate the pics & posting.
Those Purflux filters do appear to be the best, zig-zag pattern giving lots of filtering area, etc.
About the shortness of the Chinese Cheapies, does it really matter? I thought it was spring loaded. It rests on a spring, so any slightly (1 mm) shortness is taken up nicely. Am I wrong? This reminds me of my previous car, a BMW that has cartridge filters in a housing.


There is no spring loading feature for these filters. The only springs are at the bottom of the filter housing. The filter depresses two little spring-valves when tightened down. The filter itself isn't sprung, which is why I think the length (or lack of) is a problem.

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: oil_film_movies] #4441765
06/26/17 08:34 AM
06/26/17 08:34 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies
There may be a little cushy spring tension keeping it from rattling, but as long as the inside diameter of the oil filter itself fits over the metal sleeve below, and the cap's plastic sleeve, then no oil can accidentally bypass. ... Snug on tube aligner, then no oil bypasses. Length of oil filter doesn't matter that much.
Metal sleeve shown in the center of the housing (cap has a plastic sleeve like it which fits snugly inside the center of the oil filter too):



The cap doesn't have any of the innards like a BMW does. And it (edit:) the filter (end edit) doesn't press tightly into the sleeve at the bottom of the housing.

Last edited by Seventh; 06/26/17 08:37 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441769
06/26/17 08:40 AM
06/26/17 08:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,990
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
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Posts: 2,990
MN
Interesting. I shouldn't assume a Mini Cooper oil filter housing is similar in design to a BMW one, although Mini is made by BMW, and BMW outsources that housing to Mann-Hummel:

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441772
06/26/17 08:46 AM
06/26/17 08:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,990
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
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Posts: 2,990
MN
Some Mini Coopers had an alignment/sealing sleeve in the cap. Other ones had a fat rubber washer for it to rest against (with plastic cage which aligns it).

Last edited by oil_film_movies; 06/26/17 08:50 AM.
Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: oil_film_movies] #4441777
06/26/17 08:53 AM
06/26/17 08:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies
Some Mini Coopers had an alignment/sealing sleeve in the cap. Other ones had a fat rubber washer for it to rest against (with plastic cage which aligns it).


These are 1st gen mini

W10 and W11 engine

They fit real tight, and are not the engines I'm referring to here

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: oil_film_movies] #4441780
06/26/17 08:58 AM
06/26/17 08:58 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline OP
Seventh  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies
Interesting. I shouldn't assume a Mini Cooper oil filter housing is similar in design to a BMW one, although Mini is made by BMW, and BMW outsources that housing to Mann-Hummel:


The N series engines are somewhat of a Frankenstein build. Bottom end is BMW built, cylinder head is BMW design but built by Peugeot,and all the filter housings are made by Purflux. It says that right on them.

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441781
06/26/17 08:59 AM
06/26/17 08:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,990
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
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Posts: 2,990
MN
There is no alignment sleeve which seals? Hard to believe they didn't isolate clean vs. dirty side like that.
To mount the filter and align it seems difficult with no alignment sleeves in both cap and housing, as shown:

Re: Terrible oil filters for Mini N1x engines [Re: Seventh] #4441790
06/26/17 09:16 AM
06/26/17 09:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 209
NY
DdDd Offline
DdDd  Offline
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 209
NY
Simple answer: BMW/Peugeot engineered a lousy engine. Timing chains gone by 50k miles, DI carbon buildup, cooling systems made of sugar and plastic water pumps yay!!!

You're only seeing it on some models because only some engines are shedding metal. When they do the timing chain is usually to blame. I'd also bet the Chinese filter Minis are not keeping up with oil level. Engines burn it and 16k interval was a sorry joke. It gets low it eats timing chain.

Yes the bmw filter is nice. No to their rolled copper washer which sealed worse than a proper one. Always had drips using the rolled.

Fun car to drive. Lousy to maintain. Def like all bmw products lease do not buy!

BMW the ultimate (insert choice words here) machine.

Last edited by DdDd; 06/26/17 09:18 AM.
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