Filter Manufacturers Council – Heavy Duty Oil Filters

Heavy Duty Oil Filters

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the filter cause low oil pressure?
A: While some pressure drop across the filter is normal, the oil filter is not capable of regulating the lube system pressure. Low oil pressure is generally the result of another malfunction in the engine such as the oil pump losing its prime or the pressure-regulating valve not functioning properly.
Reference FMC TSB 83-2R2

Q: What causes a gasket to displace from the oil filter?
A: Gasket displacement is the result of insufficient gasket compression during installation, excessive lube system pressure or a combination of the two. Any deformation to the filter, from which the gasket was displaced, is a clear indicator that the filter was exposed to excessive lube system pressure. Excessive lube system pressure is most likely the result of a malfunctioning pressure regulating valve that is failing to open properly.
Reference FMC TSB 99-1R2

Q: Is it better to use a filter with higher efficiency, regardless of the capacity of the filter?
A: The correct filter for an application will have a good balance between efficiency and capacity for the application that it is used in. Using a filter with very high efficiency may lower the dirt holding capacity of the filter enough to shorten the life of the filter on the application, increasing the risk of the system going into by-pass.

Q: Can some filters be substituted for other filters?
A: This question is presented when customers are trying to consolidate some of the filters that they carry. The filter manufactures will not approve of such consolidation. While there are some filters that may work in the place of others, filter manufacturers recommend against consolidation, because each filter is designed after a specific OEM filter. Additionally, if changes are made to a specific filter to keep it up to date with the OEM filter that it replaces, it may no longer be an acceptable substitute for another filter that it could be used in place of, previously.

Q: What is the difference between a by-pass lube filter and a full-flow lube filter?
A: The oil that goes through the full-flow lube filter goes on to lubricate the engine. The by-pass lube filter receives about 10% of the amount of oil that flows through the full-flow filters and filters that oil at a much higher efficiency. The oil that flows through the by-pass lube filter then returns to the sump. Due to the high efficiency of the by-pass lube filter, it cannot handle the same volume of flow as the full-flow filter. A metering orifice is commonly used to meter the flow of oil through the by-pass filter.

Q: What is the purpose of a by-pass lube filter?
A: A by-pass lube filter is used to continually filter the oil in a system at a higher efficiency to remove contaminant that is not efficiently removed by the full-flow filter.

Q: What is the micron rating and efficiency of the filter?
A: The micron rating of a filter represents the size of particle that the filter can remove from the fluid passing through it. The micron rating should be associated with an efficiency or beta value to indicate how efficient the filter is at removing that size of particle. Any given filter will remove various sizes of particles. The difference between filters is how efficient they are at removing certain sizes of particles.

Q: What type of media does the filter use?
A: There are many different types of media that can be used in lube filters. Earlier filters used a depth type media, that type of media is still used in some filters today. Most lube filters now use pleated cellulose or cellulose blended media. Some lube filters in specialized applications use synthetic media (glass) or glass-blended media.

Q: What are the advantages of glass media?
A: Glass media has more uniformity in the size of the opening in the media, which can provide for better flow performance. Glass media also has more dirt holding capacity per square inch of media than most cellulose media blends.

Q: What is the service interval of the filter?
A: After-market filter manufacturers design their filters to meet or exceed the performance requirements of the original equipment manufacturer, for which the filter is applied. Therefore, the use of an after-market filter will not affect the service interval recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer.

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