Oil Filters – the most commonly replaced mechanical item on your car. It’s job is to filter the oil in your car. There are lots of brands, colors, and prices for filters. You easily have about a dozen good filters to choose from for your Honda. Rumors, myths, and your buddies will tell you what filter they believe to be good, or what will ruin your car immediately if you should decide to use it! Others will tell you to only use Honda OEM filters as any other filter will void your warranty, not true; See Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Who makes the Honda OEM filter? Is it the best filter for your car? What about synthetics, which filter is best for that? I will try and help you answer these questions.
I have been on retainer for both Jiffy Lube and Valvoline Quick Oil change for the last ten years. Currently still on retainer with Valvoline. I have been involved with many oil and oil filter disputes/litigation and have cut apart many a filter and sent close to 50 or 60 filters and oil samples to the laboratory for analysis. The research below comes from numerous manufactures, Boris the Oil Guy, and personal research.
Clearly, there are no BAD oil filters on the market today that will ruin your engine! But, people that have been around cars for a long time all have a buddy that will tell you don’t ever use a FRAM, Purolator, WIX, or add your favorite filter name here as it ruined an engine. With almost 100% certainty, the oil filter did not ruin his engine.
Before we delve into the oil filters, I did want to comment a moment about the oil drain plug. Everyone should be using a good magnetic oil drain plug. Even by their own advertising, no oil filter catches 100% of the particles in the engine. The smallest particles are metal particles and they can hurt your engine. Remember the oil gets picked up from the oil pan, goes through the oil pump and then the oil filter. This means that metal particles can get into the oil pump and a few other places. Using a magnetic drain plug will remove the last bits of metal particles in the engine. Even with the Honda 3.5 Aluminum engine, the moving parts are mostly ferrous metal such as piston rings, cylinder walls, crank, cam, etc. I have used magnetic drain plugs and it is amazing what the oil filter does not pick out. There are cheap magnetic drain plugs on eBay, but I prefer the Gold Plug that costs about $12. Just wipe it clean after every oil change.
Listed below are the numerous and most common oil filters available for the V6, 3.5L 3471cc engine. These filters also fit the Pilot, Odyssey, and the Crosstour. Always double check with the parts catalog or online to make sure these are the correct part numbers and that nothing has been superseded or changed.
I did not list the burst pressure, micron rating, GPH rating, and so forth. For the stock Honda 3.5L engine, it really doesn’t matter. If you have modified your engine with a high pressure oil pump or such, then you might be somewhat concerned about some of the other specifications. But, for the daily driver, any of the below filters will work adequately on your vehicle. The order of the filters listed below have no special significance.
K&N – HP1010 Probably the best filter out there for the Honda. It has a large 17 mm nut welded on the bottom of the filter for ease of correct torque installation and ease of removal. Compatible with all synthetics. Approximately $12 to $20 when priced checked on the Internet. ***** (5 Stars)
Mobil 1 – M1-110 Extended Performance Filter – This filter utilizes synthetic fibers and supposedly works best when used with Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil. $10 to $18 at most Advance Auto Parts Stores, WalMart and other stores. This filter appears to be exactly the same as the K&N above but without the 17mm nut. Normally the K&N is $1 or $2 more than the Mobil 1. Notice the part number similarity? Claims to filter 99.6% of contaminants. ***** (5 Stars)
Below are the two Honda OEM filters. One ends in A-02 and the other ends in A-01. Here is the difference:
The A-02 is a Honeywell/FRAM filter similar to the ToughGuard $5 filter.
The A-01 is the Filtech with the thermo bonded media ends and no end caps about a $6 filter.
The A-01 is the better choice. The Honeywell/FRAM plant in Stratford, Ontario is due to close down in 2012. They made the majority of the Honda A-02 and these filters can be found for about $5 on eBay and other places.
Honda 15400-PLM-A02 – The original Honda oil filter. Your best bet is eBay. 10 filters with crush washers are buy it now for $45. When you add in the $12 shipping, you are paying $5.70 for a filter & crush washer (with S&H) each. Smaller and larger quantities are available on eBay. These are OEM Honda filters. *** (3 stars)
Honda 15400-PLM-A01 – The newer Honda oil filter. A bit better filter than the A02. **** (4 stars)
Royal Purple CHF-10-2867 – Some people are big believers and swear by ‘Royal Purple’ and therefore want the Royal Purple oil filter too. These filters run about $15 to $20 each. Pep Boys carries these filters. It appears they are manufactured by Champ labs (same company which makes K&N and Mobil 1 filters). They are an excellent filter. ***** (5 Stars)
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filter – EA15K13-EA – Features synthetic nanofiber technology, guaranteed for up to 15,000 miles or 25,000 when used with AMSOIL synthetic motor oil. These filters run about $16 each. ***** (5 Stars)
WIX 57356 – A good brand that many local auto parts stores have in stock. Price can range from $7 to $10. **** (4 Stars)
FRAM – There are numerous FRAM filters listed for the Honda:
Xtendedguard – XG7317 (3 Stars) – Claims a 97% dirt catching ability. Designed for long life.
Toughguard – TG7317 (3 Stars) – Claims a 99% dirt catching ability. A reasonable mid line filter.
HighMileage – HM7317 (1 Star) – Claims a 95% dirt catching ability. Includes in the filter a gel additive for your oil. You really don’t want this additive in your Honda.
Doubleguard – DG7317 (2 Stars) – Claims a 95% dirt catching ability.
Extraguard – PH7317 (2 Stars) – Claims only 95% dirt catching ability. The cheap orange filter we all know.
Most of these FRAM filters can be purchased at WalMart or some other local auto parts store. Cost will run you between $5 and $10 depending on which filter you choose. The FRAM HighMileage has a gel additive which is PTFE or rather Slick 50 (Teflon) which is a solid. I would stay away from the HighMileage filter. The PTFE tends to bond with areas of low flow instead of areas of high friction. FRAM has recently discontinued the use of PTFE in their DoubleGuard filters and probably will for the HighMileage soon too.
Purolator – L14610 – This is a name brand filter that has been around for a long time. These can be found at various auto parts stores with a cost of around $8. There are two qualities of this filter, one is called the Purolator Classic and the other is the Purolator Pure One. **** (4 Stars for the Purolator Pure One) *** (3 Stars for the Purolator Classic).
Beck Arnley – 041-0812 – Beck Arnley uses a lot of the same manufactures that the OEM’s use and it tends to change all the time. It's sometimes difficult to know who they are using to make their filters from one day to the next. Quality is always reasonable. Price will be around $8. *** (3 Stars)
Bosch – 3323 - Another main brand of oil filter. This filter will cost you about $8. Robert Bosch has been around a long time. Their top of the line filter is called the Bosch Distance Plus. ***** (4 Stars).
NAPA – FIL 7356 Gold Oil Filter. WIX makes the NAPA filters. NAPA lists various filters that end in 356. The standard filter is a paper element and the NAPA Gold is a cellulose. These filters will sell for between $6 and $9, but occasionally NAPA will run a sale and bring the price down a dollar or two.
NAPA Gold *** (3 Stars)
NAPA Silver *** (3 Stars)
NAPA Platinum **** (4 Stars)
Car Quest – 84356 Another WIX product, I’m told that on the box of every Car Quest filter it will say WIX Filtration. They have two lines of filters being Blue and Red. The Blue is their premium line. Their premium line will run about $8. **** (4 stars)
Motorcraft FL822 – Another name brand oil filter. These can sometimes be found at WalMart and other mass merchandisers. Alternative part number is F32Z6731A. Certainly a good filter. Somehow just doesn’t look right to have a Motorcraft oil filter on a Honda. Either way, a good solid filter. **** (4 stars)
AC Delco PF2057 – The filter choice of Mr. Goodwrench. They claim a 98 percent single pass filtering with a cellulose media. Again, like the Motorcraft filter, it just seems odd having an AC filter on a Honda. *** (3 Stars)
MANN ML1008 – Another filter manufacturer that makes a respectable filter. Not as popular as some of the others, but still a good filter. **** (3 stars).
So, there you have it, the oil filter run down. But now let’s go back and answer some of the tough questions. These answers are just my opinion.
What filter should I be using? If you are going to be using Dino (regular oil) and follow your MM (Maintenance Minder) in your Honda then any of the above filters 3 stars or better should be your choice.
What if I want to run Mobil 1, or some other synthetic? Keep in mind, that your MM (Maintenance Minder) has no idea what quality oil you are running. It does not sample your oil to decide how much life is remaining. It uses mileage, RPM, WOT, idle time, temperature and other factors to determine how much oil life you have left. I would use any of the above filters 4 stars or better.
What if I want the BEST filter for my Honda? I would use any of the 5 star filters above. The K&N with its 17mm welded on nut seems like it would help installation with correct torque, and uninstallation. The K&N brand is the street racers favorite right now.
Won’t a $5 FRAM (Orange Filter) work? Sure it will work! It's also likely what you have on your vehicle right now disguised as a blue Honda filter. If I was leasing or didn’t plan on keeping my Honda very long, I would probably use the cheap FRAM filter. I do intend to keep my car for 300K or 400K miles and want to give it that extra protection, especially since the MM (Maintenance Minder) could have my oil changes extended to well over 10K.
How many defective oil filters have you seen ruin an engine? Zero
How often do people claim an oil filter ruined their engine? Very often
Any special tips about the oil filter? Don’t over tighten. Check for leaks before you drive away. Clean the mounting boss with a clean rag before installing the a new filter. Always stick with the oil filter manufacturers part number. Some people try and find the biggest filter that has the same gasket diameter and mounting threads on the logic that it will have more filtering capability. This trick can void your warranty.
How tight should I make my oil filter? There is a torque specification for this, but when I was attending various training by the OEM manufacturers, they recommended that you install spin on oil filters as tight as you can with your bare hands. Unless you are Gorilla Jim, it’s virtually impossible to over tighten an oil filter using just your bare hands.
Do I need to prime my oil filter to prevent dry starts? Not really. Most vehicles have their oil changes when the oil is hot or the vehicle was just driven into the shop, therefore the engine parts are covered with a fresh layer of engine oil. The one to two seconds it takes for oil pressure to move through the filter is insignificant. I’m not aware of any engine ever being damaged by not priming the oil filter.
How do I know if Jiffy Lube or some other quick oil change shop really changes the filter as opposed to just wiping it clean? This is a big problem and many shops have been caught doing this. My suggestion is to take a good marker and sign your initials on the filter. You can then easily tell if the shop changed the filter or not. I worked with a TV station to test this out on some of the quick oil change shops and it was about 20% of shops who just wiped down the filter instead of changing it.
Can I change my own oil and filter and still be covered by the Honda or other extended warranty? Absolutely Yes. Just make sure to keep some sort of record when you changed the oil in case there is an oil or filter issue.
How long should I leave the oil drain plug out to drain the oil? Normally when there is one drip every 10 to 15 seconds. Too often shops in a hurry put the drain plug back before all the old oil has drained out.
Should I use magnetic drain plugs on the transfer case and differentials too? Yes.
Where are the best deals to be had for filters? Check Amazon, eBay, WalMart, and your local parts stores and the sponsors of this board. Sometimes buying in quantity can get you a better price or at least reduce the shipping and handling cost.
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