Filter Manufacturers Council – Light Duty Oil Filters

Light Duty Oil Filters

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does the printing on the dome of your filter mean?
A. This is a production date code. It is a manufacturer’s unique way of identifying the day, the year and, in some cases, the production facility where a particular filter was manufactured.

Q. Does your filter contain a “check” valve?
A. Depending on the vehicle application, a filter may contain a by-pass valve, an anti-drain back valve, neither or both. Whether the filter contains any type of valve or not is the engine manufacturer’s design decision. Contact the filter manufcturer for detailed product specifications. Information for filter manufacturers is located under FMC Member Links on the Website.
Reference FMC TSB 88-3R2 and 97-5 for further details.

Q. What is the by-pass valve in your filter set at?
A. Bypass valves monitor differential pressure-between the oil pressure coming into the filter and the oil pressure leaving the filter. Oil filters with integral by-pass valves are set for oil pressure differentials as specified by the engine manufacturer, and tested at all operating temperatures. Contact the filter manufacturer for detailed product spectifications. Information for filter manufacturers is located on the FMC Website: www.filtercouncil.org. Reference FMC TSB 88-3R2 and 97-5 for further details.

Q. What is the thread size of the filter?
A. Thread size varies from filter part number to filter part number. Contact the filter manufacturer for detailed product specifications. Information for filter manufacturers is located on the FMC Website: www.filtercouncil.org. Reference FMC TSB 94-3R and 97-5 for further details.

Q. Why do the threads in your filter look “damaged” or improperly made?
A. Most filter manufacturers provide formed or rolled threads matching the engine filter mounting stud. Although these look very different from cut threads, for spin-on applications they provide a much stronger fit.
Reference FMC TSB 94-3R1 for further details.

Q. What causes the gasket of the filter to become displaced?
A. The filter mounting seal may be ‘sticking out’ for the following reasons; old gasket not removed during service, filter improperly tightened during installation, engine mounting stud doesn’t match filter mounting threads, wrong gasket material or an over-pressurized condition. Please verify oil filter mounting specifications.
Reference FMC TSB 83-1R290-1R193-3R197-5 and 99-1R2 for futher details.

Q. Why did the filter fall off my engine?
A. Make sure the correct filter for the application was used and it was properly tightened when installed.
Reference FMC TSB 90-193-3R1 and 97-5 for further details.

Q. Why do I have low or no oil pressure after changing my oil and filter?
A. Make sure the correct filter has been properly installed. In some applications, loss of oil pump prime may have occurred.
Reference FMC TSB 83-2R293-1R1 and 97-5 for further details.

Q. I installed your filter and now my oil light stays on a few seconds every time I start the engine. Why?
A. In some applications, a filter with an anti-drainback valve may be required. Make sure the correct filter has been installed.
Reference FMC TSB 83-2R290-1R193-2R1 and 97-5 for further details.

Q. Does the use of an aftermarket filter void the warranty on my new car?
A. No. This type of statement is likely in violation of Federal law, such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Reference FMC TSB 85-1R2 for further details.

Q. I went to install your spin-on filter and there was no sealing gasket on it. Should I use the filter?
A. No, return the product to the store where purchased and exchange it for another filter. DO NOT use the sealing gasket from the old filter.
Reference FMC TSB 93-1R1 and 94-4R1 for further details.

Q. When I took your spin-on filter out of the box, the gasket was laying in the box. Can I still use it?
A. Yes, as long as the gasket has not been damaged. Simply put it back in the retaining groove on the filter’s base plate making sure it is fully seated. Lubricate it with clean engine oil and install the filter according to the installation instructions printed on the filter or on the box.
Reference FMC TSB 93-3R1 and 94-4R1 for further details.

Q. Your filter leaked oil after I installed it. Why?
A. Make sure the correct filter was installed and the installation instructions were followed. Other common causes include the presence of an old sealing gasket on the filter mounting surface, a damaged or warped mounting surface, a damaged or loose threaded stud, or a filter damaged during installation.
Reference FMC TSB 93-3R194-4R1 and 97-8R1 for further details.

Q. Is interchanging filter part numbers the best way to determine the correct filter for my application?
A. Product interchanges are for reference purposes only. Always consult manufacturer’s application recommendation for proper filter selection.
Reference FMC TSB-97-5 for further details.

Q. When I took your spin-on filter out of the box, there were no threads in its base plate. Can I use it?
A. No, return the product to the store where purchased and exchange it for another filter.

Q. What is your product warranty?
A. Please contact the outlet where you purchased the filter or the filter manufacturer for a copy of the manufacturer’s product warranty.

Q. I think your filter caused my engine to fail. How do I file a claim?
A. Each filter manufacturer has a specific process of warranty consideration. If a warranty consideration inquiry is to be made, contact either the outlet where you purchased the filter or the filter manufacturer. They will be able to instruct you on the proper procedure. For warranty purposes, the filter will have to be returned to the manufacturer.
Reference FMC TSB 85-1R2 for further details.

Q. Do your filters meet or exceed original equipment specifications?
A.  When the manufacturer assigns the filter to an application, filters are designed and manufactured to meet the requirements for that application. Vehicle warranties remain fully in effect when FMC members’ filters are properly used.

Q. My engine lost oil pressure after using your oil filter. When I took it off, its center was collapsed. 
A. Extreme differential pressure can damage internal filter components, such as the filter center tube.
Reference FMC TSB 88-3R2 for further details.

Q. What is the service interval of the filter?
A. When the manufacturer assigns the filter to an application, filters are designed and manufactured to meet the requirements for that application. Therefore, the use of an aftermarket filter will not affect the service interval recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer.
Reference FMC TSB 94-198-1 and 04-1 for further details.

Q. How do I dispose of used oil and filters properly?
A. All used oil filters and oil must be disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws.
Reference FMC TSB 94-7R11

Q. I took your filter out of the box and found it was dented and/or damaged. Can I still use it?
A. NO! A dented or damaged filter should NEVER be installed. Dented or damaged filters often result in metal fatigue fractures. Please take it back to the outlet where you purchased it and exchange it for another filter.
Reference FMC TSB-97-8R1 for further details. 

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 it that is used in. Using a filter with very high efficiency may lower the dirt holdling 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. 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 micron rating and efficiency of the filter?
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.
Reference FMC TSB -02-2 for further details.

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.

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