It’s what’s on the inside that counts
Modern vehicle engines are technically sophisticated and complex. To maintain optimum performance, they require a constant supply of carefully filtered engine oil. On the other hand, poorly filtered or inadequate lubricant can increase the risk of premature wear, even resulting in a worst case scenario to breakdown and engine damage. Specialists recognise this and thus attach great importance to quality when changing the oil filter.
Using a top quality spin-on oil filter really pays off
Ludwigsburg, April 23, 2013 - Satisfied customers like to stay loyal to their workshop or dealer. Customer retention also involves fitting and selling first-class spare parts. The typical service interval for a spin-on oil filter is 30,000 kilometres or once a year. There are however significant differences in the quality and performance of the compact spin-on filters with metal housings currently available in the market. From the outside, the ‘black can’ looks quite similar. ‘Only a high-quality spin-on filter provides optimum protection against engine wear. Viewed from the outside, the efficiency of the various spin-on filters can however be indistinguishable, even for specialists. Quality is to be found inside, and with MANN-FILTER, you can certainly rely on that’, says Joerg Schoemmel, Oil Filter Product Manager at MANN-FILTER. Only a close look inside reveals more about the design, materials and functions of these quality filters.
Locks ensure lubricant supply
Simply constructed spin-on oil filters are essentially made up of the following parts: the screw cap with external seal, a filter housing containing a filter element and an element guide. This holds the filter element in the right position. Many high-quality spin-on oil filters have additional components which significantly enhance engine protection. Typically MANN-FILTER equips its spin-on oil filters with specially moulded, highly elastic anti-drain membranes, ensuring that the oil remains in the filter, even with an inclined mounting position, when the engine is switched off. Overnight, for example, when the vehicle is parked for a long period of time. The engine oil thus immediately lubricates the engine components on re-start. The units are in this way protected against wear. The oil is affected by gravity as soon as the engine is no longer running and the oil ceases to circulate. Without anti-drain valve, it would slowly seep out of the filter and the oil channels and return to the sump.
Engines lubricated even at low temperatures
Top-quality filters from MANN-FILTER often also contain so-called bypass valves. These ensure that lubrication points on the engine are supplied with oil even under extreme conditions. A typical situation is a cold start at sub-zero temperatures. Here the engine oil is extremely viscous and can only be pressed through the filter media with a great deal of force. In such exceptional cases, it is essential that the bypass valve opens at precisely the right time, enabling lubricant to bypass the filter element and thus maintain the supply of oil. As Schoemmel explains: ‘You can certainly say here that unfiltered oil is better than no oil at all. Once it warms up after a short running period and becomes less viscous, less force is required to press the oil through the filter media. The bypass valve now immediately and completely shuts’. He continues: ‘Our bypass valves operate very precisely. They open only when necessary and for the required period of time and provide effective protection against increased engine wear’.
Stability and long-lasting hold
The upper cover of a MANN-FILTER spin-on oil filter is made from up to 5 millimetre thick steel sheet. The massive design of this screw cap provides great stability for the whole filter. Assembly and removal are made easier through its accurately fitting thread. The gasket, providing an oil-tight seal for the spin-on filter to the mounting flange, also has an important function. It prevents oil seeping out and ensures the filter is firmly screwed in when the vehicle is in motion. A specially designed seat gives the gasket a secure, long-lasting seal. The gaskets are made of high-quality elastomer which can withstand extreme cold.
Leak-proof in hardness test
The filter housing itself is made of pressure-resistant and corrosion-protected material. This is verified through extensive tests in which the filter is subjected to pulses under a range of pressures. The number of pulses that a MANN-FILTER product must withstand without damage is defined in the vehicle manufacturers’ specification. Such pulsation tests are used by the development engineers at MANN-FILTER to check the stability and leak-tightness of the products. The filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL also offers special releasing devices integrated into the filter housing which make it possible to remove the filter quickly and easily, even within tight engine compartments, and reduce the risk of the hand slipping during the service.
Optimum pleat geometry for maximum filter surface area
The key part of the spin-on oil filter is the filter element. This carries out the cleaning work and thus undertakes the principle task of the filter. In order to function thoroughly and efficiently, the element contains a high-quality filter medium. The optimum pleat geometry of the MANN-FILTER medium provides the largest possible surface area. In contrast, some inferior filter media do not even cover one third of this area. With regard to optimum filtration and long service life, the material quality of the medium is in fact just as important. The pores of the filter media must be extremely fine and able to retain large quantities of contaminant. MANN-FILTER therefore uses fully synthetic or synthetic fibre reinforced cellulose media. They filter oil efficiently at high temperatures and are even resistant to aggressive additives in synthetic oils. With conventional filter media, on the other hand, there is the risk that the additives reduce the flexibility and strength of the material. It is however also important that the filter element demonstrates high mechanical strength. MANN-FILTER achieves this through stable end caps and a support pipe in the centre, thus providing the necessary strength to the element, even at high differential pressures which occur during a cold start in winter.
Fixing prevents unwanted bypass
Special embossing also ensures that the pleat spacing remains stable and strong. It prevents so-called ‘bunching’ in which the paper pleats consolidate into a block and thus reduce filtration performance. It is also crucial that the filter element stays exactly in position, even when subjected to vibration. To fix the element in place, MANN-FILTER has installed an element guide in the form of a flat spring. This not only supports the element axially, but also radially, thus maintaining a reliable seal at the interface with the screw cap. Unfiltered oil – like in a bypass – can therefore not flow past the filter element.
Quality proves worthwhile
With around 99% market coverage in Europe, MANN-FILTER has a suitable oil filter for virtually every model of passenger car or transporter. The current product portfolio includes approximately 640 spin-on oil filters for widely differing applications. MANN-FILTER supplies spin-on oil filters in OE quality to the independent aftermarket. Inferior filters are not much cheaper. ‘The saving is roughly the cost of a newspaper’, reckons Schoemmel. The small additional cost of a branded product is well worthwhile for workshops and distributors, because the spin-on oil filters from MANN-FILTER reliably protect the engine. They can thus prevent unwanted and often expensive repairs. They are in fact an investment in customer satisfaction and trust for many years.
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Photo: Spin-on filter component parts
Spin-on filters from MANN-FILTER for passenger cars
Contact: Miriam Teige
Telephone: +49 (0) 7141 98-3354
The MANN+HUMMEL Group is a leading global expert for filtration solutions and development partner and original equipment supplier to the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Employing 14,575 people at more than 50 locations worldwide, the company achieved turnover of about 2.6 billion euros in 2012. The group’s product portfolio includes air filter systems, intake manifold systems, liquid filter systems, cabin filters and plastic sound components (known as 'symposers'), as well as filter elements for vehicle servicing and repair. For general engineering, process engineering and industrial manufacturing sectors the company’s product range includes industrial filters, a series of products to reduce carbon emission levels in diesel engines, membrane filters for water filtration and filter systems.