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post #1 of 8 Old 10-11-2008 Thread Starter
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Oil filter defect!

I use Sierra/Teleflex oil filters on all of my vehicles since I can get them cheaper at West Marine than the generic filters at the two local autoparts store. They say "Marine" on them so they have to be good right???

So, I changed the oil on a new-to-us minivan with the Mitsu 3.0 which called for the 7878. I changed the oil, and about 50 miles later got an intermittent oil pressure warning light. It would come on for a second and go away. It was, of course, raining Noah's flood at the time. Being a new vehicle and driving it for the first time I figured maybe the intense rain was aggravating a faulty electrical connection. Not so... Seems the o-ring on the filter had failed! Upon examination I found that the seating surface on the oil filter was not flat, there was a noticeable angle on one section that had apparently enabled the o-ring to fail. Grrr.... So I don't think the engine was damaged, but should I report this to Sierra? This was certainly a result of a defect in their manufacturing. What if the engine exhibits signs of damage in the near future? It only has 65,000 miles on it. I would have never have thought to look so carefully at an oil filter. The o-ring is pressed in and held in place, so for all I know it was true when I put it on, and the defect didn't cause trouble until it was pressed into its seat....

This section was blown out of its groove/seat causing loss of oil:

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-11-2008
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The oil filter business is one of many where counterfeit parts have been a huge issue, so yes, report it to the maker. It may be a manufacturing defect, it may be counterfeit, it may be an internal failure or even the correct design--in the wrong box.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-11-2008
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I agree, not hurt to say something.

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
The oil filter business is one of many where counterfeit parts have been a huge issue, so yes, report it to the maker. It may be a manufacturing defect, it may be counterfeit, it may be an internal failure or even the correct design--in the wrong box.
I do want to mention; I always compare the old with the new to see they match, during the comparison I can be sure the old gasket stayed on the filter and not the engine. Only once have I seen the gasket stay on the engine, and when it did, it not take long to pump all the oil out. The new will not seal with the old gasket stuck in the way, if you understand.
I not say this happened, but, just wanted to mention.

All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
Ecclesiastes, 1:7
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-11-2008
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Report it but

if you drove the van with the oil light on, that seems like your problem.

If the light was just flickering, I doubt it did any major damage. If you drove it very far with the light on...
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-12-2008
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I always remove the seal and oil it, reinstall it, before putting them on to be sure I get a good seal. This is also why I never allow someone else to change my oil (not that you did). It probably was not seated properly before you put it on. I would take it as a lesson learned and hope no damage was done.

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-12-2008
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I assume you changed the oil after this incident. How much oil came out? If there were still a couple of quarts in there, I'd feel OK. If it was dry, I'd suspect some engine damage. I would for sure report it to the manufacturer. Worst case you get nothing. Best case they cover engine repairs. Most likely case, they give you a free filter.

PS, I read test results a while ago that deemed Purolator Pure1 filters the best. I use them on everything now. At 3000 mile oil changes on my '98 Camry, the oil is still translucent when it comes out, not jet black. That seems like a good sign to me............

Last edited by Quickstep192; 10-12-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-12-2008
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This guy has done...

Russ Knize has done a great job exploring filters and filter construction and the results can be surprising compared to general consensus.

Oil Filters Revealed (LINK)



I use Westerbeke filters in my Westerbeke. I know they are not made by Westerbeke but if one ever failed my engine I'd have more of a leg to stand on. I also use Honda filters in my wifes Pilot and Honda tranny fluid and Honda VTM-4 diff fluid and Honda antifreeze. I've had Honda's go well over 200k and there is a guy at our dealerhisp with a photo on the wall of him standing next to his 750k Honda Accord that always used and was always serviced by the dealer..

For the extra dollar or two I use OEM... Engines are expensive filters are not and there is a difference in construction quality!

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-Maine Sail / CS-36T


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post #8 of 8 Old 10-12-2008 Thread Starter
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I remember looking at the website long ago when I had a VW Scirocco. I always used Bosch (German) filters. You can tell the difference for sure. But Sierra filters seem pretty well made; so this was suprising. I understand Sierra is made in the USA (edit: never mind, they are made in Taiwan), but are they the actual manufacturer or just a brand name? BTW: I don't think any damage was done to the engine, although it only had about a quart in it. The oil light never came on solid, just flickered a couple times. As for OE filters on my diesel: I think it benefits more from me changing the oil once ever 3 months, which may only be a dozen or so engine hours. I would be less inclined to do this if I had to pay $10 plus another $10-20 shipping versus $3.

Last edited by sailboy21; 10-12-2008 at 01:17 PM.
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