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#4812398 - 07/12/18 03:46 PM What exactly is your oil filter removing?
Elkins45 Offline


Registered: 05/07/18
Posts: 6
Loc: Northern KY
Has anyone cut open a used oil filter to see if itís actually catching anything? Iím going to saw open a couple of the next ones I remove. As well sealed as most new engines are I wonder if the oil filter isnít just primarily an insurance policy.

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#4812405 - 07/12/18 03:52 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
JMJNet Offline


Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 950
Loc: TX, USA
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#4812407 - 07/12/18 03:53 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11210
Loc: Idaho
Oil filters catch metals and crud. Oil filters greatly prolong the life of the engine.and the oil change interval.
The air filter is the most important filter the engine has.
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#4812411 - 07/12/18 03:56 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1232
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Search this forum for posts by member "car51". He has compiled enough cut-open filters to educate anyone on what a filter removes from the engine. He's also a veteran, so IMHO this board owes him two sincere "Thank You For Your Service(s), Mr. Car51!"

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#4812423 - 07/12/18 04:11 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 831
Loc: US
Mine's removing particles of 20microns or larger, and some smaller.

To be fair, long ago engines didn't have oil filters...and they didn't last.
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#4812424 - 07/12/18 04:11 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9504
Loc: Upper Midwest
If you want to know what it catches you'll have to remove the media and perform a solvent wash while capturing the particles. You'd at least get a weight this way and maybe be able to distinguish carbon or non-metallic particles from metallic ones. Obtaining an overall view of the composition of the particles would require an acid digestion and ICP analysis, I don't know if Blackstone is capable of doing that (we used fuming nitric acid, very dangerous stuff). If you want to know the size and composition of individual particles that would take something like SEM/EDX to determine.

Just a filter wash and capture might be interesting, along with looking at it with a magnifying glass or microscope if you have one. Another crude analysis would be to use a strong magnet and see what ferrous particles you can pick up out of the particulate.
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#4812428 - 07/12/18 04:16 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
JC1 Online   content


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3057
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
The first oil filter on my caravan had quite a few bits of metal in the pleats.
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#4812469 - 07/12/18 05:03 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
CR94 Offline


Registered: 03/20/16
Posts: 1173
Loc: Western S.C. since 1996
As far as stuff that's visible to the naked eye or with a simple magnifier, I typically find a few tiny black (carbon?) particles, and only occasionally a tiny shiny (metal) particle or two on my used media. I don't know about the quantity or composition of microscopic stuff, but I know there's not enough of it to change the appearance of the media surface much, and not enough to restrict air flow through the used filter much (after I soak out most of the oil).

The original factory-installed filter of my Mazda had one large metal shaving stuck part-way through one of the entrance holes of the base plate.
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#4812472 - 07/12/18 05:06 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4253
Loc: Atlanta
No one here has ever cut open an oil filter, that is just crazy talk... hornets hide

Oil filters do - oil filter stuff...
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#4812485 - 07/12/18 05:33 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3109
Loc: NJ
It's like the lint trap in your dryer.
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#4812502 - 07/12/18 05:57 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: JLTD]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1879
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: JLTD
Mine's removing particles of 20microns or larger, and some smaller.

To be fair, long ago engines didn't have oil filters...and they didn't last.


They lasted as long as the engines with filters at the time. SBC V8 '55 no filter boss, added in '56. You'd get 100K Miles out of either of them. 120 was an outer.
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#4812542 - 07/12/18 06:47 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Elkins45]
UncleDave Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1703
Loc: Ca.
This is my Ridgelines break-in oil filter Honda wanted me to leave in for 10K.


It's removing the white substance whatever it may be pretty well.
Every pleat has something in it.

It's not removing very fine metal particles very well, nor does any full flow filter really.
The dark bands are ferrous particles that went round and round till the magnet caught them.

I'm glad I used it.

Uncle Dave






Edited by UncleDave (07/12/18 06:52 PM)
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#4812561 - 07/12/18 06:58 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: Johnny2Bad]
ecotourist Offline


Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 1073
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
They lasted as long as the engines with filters at the time. SBC V8 '55 no filter boss, added in '56. You'd get 100K Miles out of either of them. 120 was an outer.

Oh for the days of smoking cars. People would try to figure out which side of their V8 smoked - though I don't suppose it mattered very much.

Engine rebuilds (or at least valve and ring jobs) were once fairly common. Engines simply wore out. They must be pretty rare nowadays (with the notable exception of engines with having some sort of defect).
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#4812572 - 07/12/18 07:09 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: ecotourist]
UncleDave Offline


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1703
Loc: Ca.
Originally Posted By: ecotourist
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
They lasted as long as the engines with filters at the time. SBC V8 '55 no filter boss, added in '56. You'd get 100K Miles out of either of them. 120 was an outer.

Oh for the days of smoking cars. People would try to figure out which side of their V8 smoked - though I don't suppose it mattered very much.

Engine rebuilds (or at least valve and ring jobs) were once fairly common. Engines simply wore out. They must be pretty rare nowadays (with the notable exception of engines with having some sort of defect).


Cars don't wear out a lot anymore unless totally neglected. They just don't have a lot of load and as a consequence, they have little wear.

Hard working mid-size and 1/2 ton trucks Trucks maintained with OEM stuff and mid-grade oils and fluids wear out all the time.
Top ends go first around 1-150K and 10 years then at 15 the rings clap out.

I see this more than most guys because I have had clients with the same boat for 20-30 years that have worn out 2-3 trucks in that time towing the same routes.

UD





Edited by UncleDave (07/12/18 07:09 PM)
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Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
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#4812574 - 07/12/18 07:11 PM Re: What exactly is your oil filter removing? [Re: JLTD]
jongies3 Offline


Registered: 03/11/16
Posts: 842
Loc: MT
Originally Posted By: JLTD
Mine's removing particles of 20microns or larger, and some smaller.

To be fair, long ago engines didn't have oil filters...and they didn't last.

Yep, and they only had a few hundred mile OCI's. Oil filters definitely do a lot to keep engines going!
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