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Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics #5143301 06/24/19 10:37 PM
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san123chez Offline OP
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Took this out of my '04 chevy cavalier. The top cap completely came off the rest of the filter. I didn't even notice until I tried to put the new filter in, the plastic top (on the left in the pictures) was still attache to the filter housing cap. I have no idea how long these two parts were detached. If it had been a canister, I might never have known. Oh well. I had ~3300 miles and over a year on this thing (no name quick lube brand). Thought it was interesting.

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Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143304 06/24/19 10:43 PM
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Not good. On my Ecotec I have used AC Delco, Wix and Mobil 1 filters, all without problems.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143310 06/24/19 10:51 PM
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san123chez Offline OP
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Yeah. Its what I get for being lazy. They also way over tightened my drain plug. It was a Pennzoil branded place, btw. A nice Hastings (Casite) has taken its place.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143312 06/24/19 10:54 PM
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oldhp Online Content
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Not saying it didn't.......But the media was probably cheaply made and cracked when you unscrewed the oil cap. I've used NAPA Gold 7082, FRAM XG9018 and never had a problem.


"None of us are getting out here alive.....drink that beer.....eat that pizza......drive that Hot Rod"
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Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143319 06/24/19 11:02 PM
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The filter is fitted pretty tight into the cap and sometimes takes force release it. Did the filter and cap come out as one piece? That would have been the first thing anyone would have noticed if the filter was still in the housing. When the filter is installed, it is compressed against the filter housing and the cap fairly tight, prevent oil to by-pass, It likely seperated when you unscrewed the cap.

Last edited by Talent_Keyhole; 06/24/19 11:05 PM.
Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143322 06/24/19 11:15 PM
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san123chez Offline OP
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The filter and cap came out as one piece. They must have been together strong enough to make it out that far and came apart when I pulled it off the cap to put in the new one. I wasn't paying much attention until I tried to click the new one in and couldn't because the top part of the filter was still clicked into the cap. So they were still at least loosely attached until I pulled on it.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143409 06/25/19 05:31 AM
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daves87rs Offline
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Scary.....i’ve Had an Ecotec engine for the last 16 years, and never a failure like that.....


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Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143455 06/25/19 06:27 AM
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blupupher Offline
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I doubt there was any issue in service, cap held everything right.
Squished filters are kind of the norm for these engines unless using OEM.
I agree I have never seen one come apart like this though.


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Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143499 06/25/19 07:28 AM
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WobblyElvis Offline
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The printing on the side of the end cap reminds me of old Purolator filters. I had two of them fail a few years ago but not like this. They developed holes in the media. The filter housing cap has a spring loaded plate that secures the filter in place so how tight the cap is screwed down does not place more pressure on the filter itself. ACdelco sells a filter and cap combo for this application, might be worth a try. I've had filters of all types, including OEM delco/hengst come out twisted but it doesn't seem to bother anything. Wire backed Fram Ultras have always held up perfectly for me.
Perhaps this filter is very old and the plastic has become brittle.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: blupupher] #5143534 06/25/19 08:15 AM
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Sayjac Offline
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Originally Posted by blupupher
I doubt there was any issue in service, cap held everything right.
Squished filters are kind of the norm for these engines unless using OEM.
I agree I have never seen one come apart like this though.
Fwiw I agree with this conclusion. It reminds me of what's known as an endcap popper on some spin on filters. In both as long a compression maintained during oci, filter functions as designed. Difference here housing cap holds things tight/together as opposed to compression spring. Disconcerting to find and see, but likely no effect on function during use.

Also true that based on anecdotes posted here, ecotec cartridges are particular prone to less than pleasing looking results, (squished, twisted). Even the best imo, the Hengst labeled US made ACDelco OEM can be found with a search to have that issue.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143544 06/25/19 08:28 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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https://www.autozone.com/external-engine/oil-filter

Looks some what similar to the filter on my 2015 Chevy Sonic 1.8l NA . We have used several brands , ordered 6 to 12 at a time from RockAuto.com . No problem yet , with any of them , but I only run them to 55% & 5% on the OLI . So changing oil / filter twice as often as GM suggests .

But we do live in a some times dusty semi-arid climate .

Best of luck to you , :-)


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God bless
Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143640 06/25/19 10:26 AM
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metroplex Offline
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I have an Amsoil filter on hand ready for the next install. The Hengst made Delco is still cellulose media. The Amsoil/Champion uses a synthetic media with wire-backing. Not sure if it will last much longer.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143659 06/25/19 10:42 AM
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walterjay Offline
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Wow! That is really bad.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: WobblyElvis] #5143766 06/25/19 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
The printing on the side of the end cap reminds me of old Purolator filters. I had two of them fail a few years ago but not like this. They developed holes in the media. The filter housing cap has a spring loaded plate that secures the filter in place so how tight the cap is screwed down does not place more pressure on the filter itself. ACdelco sells a filter and cap combo for this application, might be worth a try. I've had filters of all types, including OEM delco/hengst come out twisted but it doesn't seem to bother anything. Wire backed Fram Ultras have always held up perfectly for me.
Perhaps this filter is very old and the plastic has become brittle.


HI WobblyElvis, what was the make of the filters that developed issues with media. I have filter that I just pulled out and that did the same thing. I found that sometimes the filter can be inserted off center in the cap and possibly brush up against the sharp edges of the casting inside the housing. I have made it point to hold the cap with both hand and using my fingers, compress the filter in the cap against the spring to center it. This works well.

I highly recommend filters with wire mesh backing, and extra plastic cage inside the filter to prevent the twisting and deformity. The higher end filters have this. There are several GM TSB about filter media coming loose and clogging oil port lead to the head and cams.

Re: Ecotec filter failure - w/ pics [Re: san123chez] #5143885 06/25/19 03:05 PM
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wemay Offline
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After reading how compressed so many of these filters look after their OCI, this sounds more like a defective or at least difficult to use filter housing design. But along with Sayjac, i doubt any damage occurred since the pleats are intact.


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