What Are The Best Brands Of Oil Filters

Posted in Oil Filters | Asked on May 29, 2010

What are the differences between common brands of oil filters? Are they all basically the same in terms of quality or do some perform better than others?
To be more specific, the three brands I’m comparing are-

Motorcraft (OEM for my Mazda3) – $7
FRAM – $10
K&N – $14

I have a 2006 Mazda3 which uses a cartridge-type oil filter. There were only a handful of brands that made them four years ago when I got the car, but a lot more now.

I’ve decided to start doing most of my auto maintenance (which I did for years) to save a few bucks. I’m just trying to decide if the FRAM or K&N are worth the higher cost compared to the Motorcraft.

I’ve been using Castrol Syntec (Full Synthetic, not the Blend) since 1993.

There are 10 Answers for "What Are The Best Brands Of Oil Filters"

  1. Joshua says:

    The difference in brands are quality that they filter oil. take a high end bran like K&N their filters clean the oil twice as it flows through. if you look in side one different brands you can see the size of the filter and what its made of. of course the ones with like a filter cloth do not last as long and get clogged up with out being changed routinely. The high end ones use a chamber system to filter the debris out of the oil. i have noticed with my old changes that my oil has not been as black as it use to be when i change my oil since i started using K&N.

  2. Theneelster says:

    I buy whatever’s not made in China. Otherwise…you won’t be able to tell the difference between filters (performance wise). I can’t remember what brands aren’t made in china but I think Fram makes a bunch in China so I just use the walmart filters (made in Bulgaria! or used to be) that I’ve stockpiled for my car. Most of these filters are made by the same company and rebranded I’d assume.

  3. Sam says:

    Hello, if you take some old oil filters and cut them in half you will see folds of paper used to filter oil. Well, most of the good filters have many folds in the can and filter oil many times when the engine is started while, others are made just to filter oil and not remove all the sediment from the oil. Also, using the best oil that suits you is just as important. Good Luck

  4. cam2 says:

    if your changing your oil on a regular basis dosent really matter,fram is good,keep in mind you get what you pay for.

  5. mailbox1024 says:

    K&N, Fram, Purolator always worked well for me. I also use the manufactures brand while the car is under warranty…GM AC DELCO

    good luck………

  6. Howard L says:

    Higher quality filters remove smaller particles and more of them than a lower quality filter. Particle size remaining in the oil has a noticeable effect on engine wear. Higher price doesn’t necessarily mean mean better, frequently it only means more advertising.

    Arguably WIX makes the best filters. They are sold under the WIX brand as well as NAPA and Amsoil. Fram filters are among the worst.

    Just Google oil filter comparison to find quite a few sites with test results.

  7. Jon P says:

    Howard’s reply is good. You can research oil filters. He and I did. There are differences in material used. Most notably the filtering media or element. The better filters use synthetic rather than paper. Plus there is a difference in the size of the microscopic particles that are trapped and the area or filtering surface. There are differences in o-ring and seal material and by-pass valves. Purolator, Wix, and Bosch are highly rated. Fram (Pennzoil and others are made by Fram too) is not.

  8. BMW M3 says:

    I use Wix oil filters. they last long and increase performance. You could also use a Mobil 1 extended performance they work good too. The difference is the quality. If you buy a cheap filter you will notice that the oil will get dirty fast. Wix oil filters and air filters are great.

  9. Pilsner Man says:

    I belonged to a Subaru message board, and there were several guys that tore the filters apart to see what the difference was. The two filters that got top honors were the regular Purolator and the WIX.

  10. bandit_60 says:

    well you have the AC filter, puralator, STP, fram,mobile makes 1. they all basically function the same way except some catches more dirt then others. at least that,s what i heard. myself i always use fram or puralator.

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