An oil filter ensures your engine runs smoothly and offers a lasting service life by filtering the oil. This removes contaminants and sludge from the motor oil that would otherwise wear internal engine parts.
However, not all motor oil filters are made equal. Some brands deliver overpriced or substandard products that can harm your engine. Such oil filters include Fram Extra Guard, Borg & Beck, Purolator PureOne, Champ Labs, Frantz, Supertech, etc.
Let’s dive in for details about some of the worst motor oil filters to avoid. We will also discuss factors to consider and the best alternatives when shopping for these products.
Oil Filter Brands To Avoid
Many substandard or overpriced oil filters exist in the market. However, we will only discuss the most common ones. We compiled the list after considering many factors, including lifespan, functionality, user reviews, internal structure, etc.
Fram Oil Filters
This product tops this list because of its defective design. It is luring many car owners because of its affordability, but the quality is below the standard.
Many users and mechanics have criticized these Fram oil filters because of their poor structure. The first oil filters from this company came without an anti-drain back valve. This means the oil had no way of flowing back, leading to a dry start.
Another downside of Fram oil filters is their thin filtration system. This is not strong enough to hold back dust, dirt, and other debris, allowing them to flow directly into the engine.
Some users are also not satisfied with the quality of the material. Notably, components such as end caps are made of inferior material that does not last long.
Purolator PureOne Oil Filters
Like Fram, Purolator One oil filters are also relatively cheaper than most products. However, don’t let the price deceive you, as you may end up with costly repairs on your car engine.
Once again, Purolator PureOne oil filters have design flaws. Many users have noticed their seemingly larger holes that allow debris and particles to pass through. This eventually leads to dirt build-up in the motor oil, which hastens engine wear.
Also, Purolator PureOne oil filters are not the most durable products. They are not the best option if you are looking for a high-performance and long-lasting oil filter.
Champ Labs Oil Filters
Champ Labs oil filters have made it to this list of the worst oil filters. That is because of limited information about their features. The product is listed on Amazon without an accompanying description of the material used in the construction.
Additionally, the manufacturer does not specify the lifespan and how to use it. Everything is left to the potential buyer to guess, which is unethical.
Borg & Beck Oil Filters
Try Borg & Beck oil filters if you have never been frustrated when changing an oil filter. Nothing disappoints more than spending on a product that does not fit the car it was designed for.
Many users have reported that Borg & Beck’s BFO4006 oil filter does not match the OEM specifications. The stated hassle-free installation is a hoax. It will leave your car unusable until you get another oil filter that fits in. Avoid it if you can!
Supertech Oil Filters
Avoid Supertech oil filters by all means. These products come cheap with unimaginably low quality. They have paper top plates that can potentially induce rust and cause leakages if not frequently checked.
Supertech filters are also less durable and might allow debris into the engine. Also, there is no information regarding certifications, which makes them seem suspicious.
Baldwin Oil Filters
These products feature on this list because of a lack of information regarding marketing and application. You are just left in the dark without specifications and application. It’s nearly impossible to know whether or not it will fit in your car.
Most automakers design and manufacture oil filters tailored for their engines. These can fit other cars’ make and models, but you should avoid them.
Reputable brands are most likely expensive, and you may spend more on an inferior quality oil filter. They often don’t offer the best value for money!
Instead, look for an oil filter from a third party or brand that offers better quality, efficiency, and convenience at a more affordable price.
Pentius Premium Oil Filters
Pentius oil filters come last on the list of oil filter brands to avoid because of their unsuitability for newer car models. According to the manufacturer, the product is the best for all models, but that is far from the truth.
These filters are also of inferior quality and have a shorter lifespan. Their rubber gaskets and anti-drain back valves weaken fast when exposed to heat. The oil filters also get damaged easily due to their sturdy coil spring that can’t withstand pressure from heavy cold oil flow.
Factors To Consider When Shopping for Motor Oil Filters
Buying a reliable oil filter as a first-timer can be challenging because of the many available options. You have to consider many factors to get the best value for the money, which include the following:
- Price: This is one of the primary factors when shopping for a new oil filter. As a rule of thumb, cheaper products are not always the best since manufacturers often cut corners to make them affordable. Also, an overly priced oil filter may not offer the expected quality. It is better to go with an average market price.
- Filter Media: This determines the reliability and durability of any oil filter. Cheaper products have less filter media and do not last long. They fill up pretty quickly and may allow dirt and debris to pass through your car’s engine. Quality products have better filtration systemsto keep your engine healthy.
- Anti-Drain Back Valve: This component ensures oil does not flow back to the main tank once filtered. Without it, the oil will drain back. This results in a dry-start that can potentially damage your engine.
- Service Life: Most oil filters have rated service life. Some can last as long as 10,000 miles or more, while others can barely reach 3,000 miles. Choose oil filters that can last as long as possible if you have the budget.
- Weight and Build Quality: It is easy to identify a reliable oil filter by its weight. A heavy product implies high build quality and more filter media.
The Best Oil Filter Brands to Consider
High-quality, reliable, and long-lasting oil filters come from highly reputable brands. These include the following:
- Mobil 1 oil filters
- Bosch oil filters
- K&N Premium oil filters
- Royal Purple oil filters
- AMSOIL oil filters
- Motorcraft & OEM oil filters
- Hastings and Napa Gold oil filters
How can you tell a fake oil filter?
The first hint is the price. An underpriced product is likely of inferior quality. You can also check the weight, build quality, and imperfections on the seams. Online user reviews can also give you an idea.
How often should I change my oil filter?
The response to this question depends on many factors. Typically, change your oil filters once every 5,000 miles. But the service should be sooner if you often drive on dusty roads or use an inferior oil filter.
Do synthetic oils require a special filter?
No. Any quality oil filter should effectively trap debris and dirt from any motor oil type, provided it has a reliable filtration system. The filter should block all contaminants.
Buy high-quality oil filters from reputable brands to increase the service of your car’s engine. An [inferior filter allows contaminants to pass through with motor oil to the engine. This increases wear on the internal parts.
Also, an inferior oil filter may not have an anti-drain back valve. This will result in a dry start, causing more friction between engine parts. Take your time and get the best oil filter on the budget for your car to keep the engine in the best working condition.