Oil Filter Warning: Avoid Fram


Engineer In Residence

I did an oil change on my van this morning. About 10,500 miles ago I changed my oil in Western Canada. Due to the fires we changed our route last minute, and were not able to get the desired filter type. The local parts place had Fram, and we bought that. When I get the chance to do an oil change in a covered garage, I rarely say no! (Thanks Glasseye!)

I noticed the end seals were a bit janky. A felt material stitched onto the end cap. They seemed solid enough, so I put them in.

Here is what they should look like.

Here is what the bottom side came out like.

The seal was just floating loose in the bottom of the filter cavity. Lucky I looked down and saw it, otherwise it could have caused the new filter to seal improperly.

DONT USE FRAM! The new Mahle has a formed rubber seal in the end cap. Other acceptable brands have a felt ring formed into the cap (not sewn on the surface).


2013 144" low top Passgr
The "avoid Fram" mantra has been good advice since I started working in the garage with my dad some 50+ years ago. Like you, I've used a few over the years in other vehicles - mostly out of necessity. But those were spin-on filters that are a bit harder to screw up and where you can't easily see inside to see how well - or poorly - they're made.

Out of curiosity, was that bottom seal in the right position inside the housing? Did it perhaps simply fail to come out with the filter body even though it might have served its purpose well enough?

Still, failing to come out with the rest of the filter is still a problem. It would be far too easy to overlook it as you note, and have problems down the road - long after removing the Fram filter.


Engineer In Residence
The bottom seal was a crumpled mess on the side of the filter housing when I found it. So it was likely broken before I removed the filter. Though it may have come loose during removal.

I am generally not a fan of Fram. I cut apart a few of their filters over the years. Their 22re filter used cardboard to make the element fit tight in the metal casing...

Aqua Puttana

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