What do you get for your money? Fram is a cheap filter.....The extra gaurd is $3.54 at Wallyworld (out here), while the Tough Gaurd is $5.96. Meanwhile....The over the counter Toyota Filter, Made in Thialand, is about $3.99. Words like "Extra Guard", or "Tough Gaurd" lead you to think your getting better protection for your engine. Right? I mean......Fram SAYS so! Hell.....The "Extra Guard" says right on the box, that it gives 3x's the protection, and the "Tough Gaurd" gives 6x's the protection....6 TIMES! They use (according to the box) "Cellulose and Glass blended media" for the Extra Guard, while the Tough Gard uses "Intertwined Synthetic Glass and Cellulose Media". Sounds like good shit to me! What does the Toyota filter use? It doesnt say anything on the box...Right? Its gotta be a basic bottom line filter. What kinda filter can you possably get for 4 bucks? "I'll spend the extra cahs, and get a better filter".....WHOA!!!
Lets see what the differences are!
I bought 3 filters off the shelf, and decided to see for myself. I didnt get the lowest line filter, as...well.....who cares about those. And I didnt get th eK&N, or Mobil 1 as I didnt have enough cash. SO......On with the comparo.
These are the ones I compared:
As you can see, The Toyota filter is taller than the Fram filters....
And the Toyota filter is sealed, and pre lubbed:
And for a short Video Comparo....
I measured the amount of filtering media the 2 Fram filters had, and they both have 115.9 sq. inches of media, while the Toyota filter has 225.9 sq. inches of media. Almost TWICE the amount as the 2 Frams.
More filters with special thanks to KenpachiZaraki for sending them to me to add to this
The new ones added, are the STP, Bosch, K&N, and Mobil 1 filters.
As you can see, THe Toyota filter is taller than the others, with the STP filter being the shortest.
STP part # S3614:
At $3.59 the STP filter is tied with the Fram EG3614 as the cheapest filter. When flipping the filter over, and looking at the underside, you can see the filter media, as there is no steel core as the others have. Instead, STP uses a rign type support, made of plastic. STP claims 96% efficiency, and 20% more dirt holding capacity over the "Nationally advertised brand". They are also the only filter to have listed on the side of the carton to change the oil and filter every 3000 miles.
It has 108 sq. inches of filtering media.
Bosch part #3330:
At $6.49, this filter is close in price to the Fram TG3614. The package claims it to be a "Premium Filter", and remove 99.9% of "Engine oil impurities". It also claims 42% more filtering media, and 30% thicker media than "conventional" filters. I could tell no difference in the thickness of the media than the other filters tested. It has 124.9 sq. inches of filter media.
K&N part # HP-1002:
At $13.99, this is the most expensive filter in the comparo. It boasts a Pre lubed gasket, yet the picture instruction say to oil it before installing. It has a 1" nut on the top of the filter, and claims "removal of 99% of harmfull contaminants". It has 103.6 sq. inches of filtering media.
Mobil 1 part # M1-102:
At $12.99, this filter is on the higher end of the price range. The package claims the gasket is pre lubricated, though it clearly is not. The picture instructions also say to oil the gasket before installing. On the carton, it claims to have a "multi pass" efficiency of 99.2% vs. 94% for the "leading brand". It has 103.6 sq. inches of filtering media.
The K&N and Mobil 1 are virtually identical internally as you can get. Even the bases look the same, and are stamped with the same "AA".
Oil Filter OEM OF 1004:
This filter was provided by RidingonTRD (Rich)
Its made in China, is about the same size as the Toyota filter, and has 134.2 sq. in. of filtering media. THe media is a basic paper type. The end is sealed in plastic, but not pre lubed.
The main concern I have, is the center tube, although perforated, the holes are very small. I think this would cause oil pressure to be a bit higher, and not flow the volume needed for propper lubrication.
I cant find a price online for this filter.
MANN Filter ML 1003:
This filter was provided by one of our New Members, SRD (Steve)
Its made in the USA, and sells for about $2.99
Its about 2/3" shorter in height than the Toyota 90915-YZZD3
The filter media is paper, and has 121 sq. in. of surface area.
Upon dissasembly, I noticed there is some black stuff on teh top of the fitler end cap, that easilly fell away with light pressure of my finger.
Also, The Bypss valve is made of cardboard, and did not seal well at all. The gap between the bypass valve, and the housing easilly allowed light to be seen in between. This will allow a percentage of un filtered oil to flow back into the engine. Also something interesting....The paper filtering media would begin to fall apart when rubbed lightly with my finger.
Pic of the Bypass valve:
Retail price is $5.79
Filter is Made in USA.
As you can see, this filter is a bit smaller than the OEM Toyota filter:
This filter is rated at 99.9% Efficency. On the package, It advertises its ability to hold 13 grams of contaminants, and then lets you know that that equates to 8 nails, 13 nuts, or 31 paper clips. It claims to use "Micronic media", but in reality, its just cheap paper media. It brags about its textured surface, and while I think this is cool, I would rather the filter media be where the money is spent when making a filter. There is 131.2 sq. in. of filter media. The baypass valve is a simple metal disk, and it does not seal against the top cap of the filter. The gasket is pre lubed with a teflon coating.
Retail price $3.99
Made in USA
This filter has 115 sq. in. of paper filtering media. The bypass valve is very well done, and seals nicely. As you can see, this filter is also much smaller than the OEM Toyota filter, with about half of the filtering media. Wix advertises this media as "Advanced" media. At an overall height of 3.5", the media takes up only 2" of height inside the housing.
Retail price of $14.95
Made in USA
This filter is very much like the Wix, except for the filter media is a synthetic, with a unique mesh backing. With only 66 sq. in. of media, this is the least amount in a filter I have seen yet. Much like the Wix, only 2" of space inside the housing is used for media. Amsoil claims 98.7% efficiency when filtering down to 15 microns. They also claim its is guaranteed up to 15,000 miles. Against what, they dont say. The anti drain valve, and housing have the same part numbers, and manufacture as the Wix, which leads me to belive they are made in the same factory.
Here is a pic of the mesh backing:
And compared to the Wix:
Wix and Amsoil base plates:
Royal Purple 10-2835
Retail price $14.95
Made in USA
At 56.25 sq.- in. of filtering media, this is the least amount of filter media in a filter (in OEM replacement apps) thus far. Despite this, RP claims this filter will support extended oil change interrvals, up to 12k miles. The media IS 100% synthetic, with a wire mesh backing. RP also claims the anti drian back valve is "High performance", and it IS a cool Purple color......so....take that for what its worth. They also claim the filter housing is "Ultra Strength", and I will attest that this filter was THE hardest filter to destroy. Again.....take that for what its worth. I dont know of any Fram filters (despite them being absolute garbage) blowing apart under the hood. Anyway, construction is much like the Amsoil, but there are no part numbers on the base, and other parts. Once again, it is much smaller than the Toyota OEM filter.
Special thanks to thunderone for sending the 2 newest filters to check out. A NAPA Gold 1516 ($5.99), and a Mobil 1 M1-209 ($11.99). Both of these are a +1 size up from the OEM replacements, so lets see how they stack up!
First, here are the 2 side by side:
The NAPA is slightly taller than the Mobil 1:
The NAPA Filter has larger holes, allowing for less restriction (NAPA on left):
The NAPA has a unique anti drain valve, as its an "All in one" unit:
And the components of the Anti drain back valve:
The NAPA Gold has 210 sq. in. of paper/cardboard filter media:
Here is the Mobil 1 M1-209 ($11.99):
The Anti drain back valve, although claimed to be "Patented", is very similar tot he NAPA:
Upon disassembly, the filter canister had all sorts of flaws, including this dent. The outside was perfect, but there were all sorts of bends, and dings in the filter canister. Not a big deal, as this doesn't affect how it works, but for the money, you would expect a little better quality control:
Mobil 1 claims the filter media is "Synthetic Fiber Blend", however, its the same media as in the NAPA Gold filter, but only 171.5 sq. in. of filter media.
I had to bust my ass to get the internals of the anti drain back/by pass valve apart:
The adhesive that Mobil 1 uses to hold the media, and center tube together, makes epoxy resin look suitable for use by pre school children. Never in the past, have I had to fight a filter this hard to get it apart. I have a strange desire to Email Mobil 1 and tell them either:
A. Well Done!
B. HA! I BEAT YOU!
C. Go fuck yourselves!
Regardless, this filter shouldn't come apart unless your truck explodes, and even then, I would bet on the filter.