Monthly Archives: August 2018

Technology Drives Quality

“The quality of a filter really depends on the technology behind it,” explained Kevin O’Dowd Director of Marketing & Communications for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters – part of the company that invented the very first oil filter in 1923 and the first spin-on oil filter, in 1955. “Filtration is all about capturing and holding debris and contaminants that could otherwise cause gradual wear or even catastrophic failure of your engine or transmission,” O’Dowd said.

According to O’Dowd,“When choosing a replacement filter, most people think first about the filtering medium, and that’s a good idea. There’s a great deal of science that goes into the development and manufacturing of filtering media, and the media used in oil filters is not at all suitable for engine air filters or fuel filters. Each type of filter requires a unique media in order to function properly.”

Filter Efficiency And Capacity

Take oil filters as an example. “The filtering media must be fine enough to capture and hold even the tiny particles that can cause engine damage without restricting the free flow of oil to critical internal engine components, ” said O’Dowd. “Our decades of experience allow us to strike the perfect balance of maximum filtration with minimum restriction. So, for instance, the media in our Purolator PureOne premium oil filter is able to capture 99.9 percent of particles that are smaller than a thousandths of an inch. And our Purolator Classic oil filter can capture 97.5 percent of those same tiny particles. This ability to capture particles is known in the industry as ‘efficiency.’”

The capacity of the filtering media (the ability to hold particles) is equally important, continued O’Dowd, “so motorists should insist on a filter with the greatest capacity to hold particulates without compromising filtration.”

Other design features that help elevate quality filters above lesser designs, include the thickness of an oil filter’s housing and end caps. For example, starting an engine in very cold weather when using thick engine oil can cause a brief but dramatic spike in oil pressure that, in some circumstances, may be enough to actually burst the housing.

Likewise, the use of thicker end plates and more reliable crimping procedures during the manufacturing process will yield an oil filter that is much more reliable, said O’Dowd.

Role of Internal Valves

Quality oil filters incorporate two types of internal valving when specified by the original equipment (OE) design engineers. The anti-drainback valve keeps oil from draining back into the oil pan after engine shut-down, which can cause a potentially damaging dry start-up the next time the engine is fired up. The other internal valve found in better oil filters is a bypass valve, which allows unfiltered oil to flow to critical internal engine parts if the filter itself becomes blocked, either by debris or, in the case of poorly made filters, disintegration of the filtering media. Either way, a bypass valve will assure that the engine receives an adequate supply of unfiltered oil. And, while unfiltered oil is not good for an engine, it is certainly better than no oil at all. So the incorporation of a reliable bypass valve is essential, especially in vehicles that experience longer-than-specified oil change intervals.

Effect of Extended-Life Oil Blends

Speaking of longer-than-specified oil change intervals, what about so-called “extended-life” oil blends, including synthetic oils that claim you can go as long as 25,000 miles between oil changes? O’Dowd has strong feelings on this subject. Surely the chemistry of engine oils is far better in most ways than it used to be. And synthetics certainly offer benefits in terms of lubricity and protection.

“However,” said O’Dowd, “No matter how good the oil, chemistry cannot remove particulates and even liquid contaminants like raw fuel and condensed moisture that can collect in engine oil over time. Only draining the oil can remove such materials. Further,” continues O’Dowd, “the high cost of fuel coupled with tough economic times have combined to motivate motorists to take fewer and shorter trips. The result is that engines don’t run hot enough long enough to burn off these potentially-damaging dilutants. “So,” concluded O’Dowd, “give your engine the best possible protection and life expectancy by changing your oil at the car maker’s recommended intervals, with high-quality oil and filter that meet and even exceed the manufacturer’s specifications. And don’t forget that oil change intervals are specified by time as well as mileage.”

Similar considerations relate to your selection of engine air filters and even cabin air filters, which many car owners aren’t even aware of. Clean air for your engine is almost as important as clean air for you, your family and your friends who share the air in your car. And, as with oil filters, design and construction features can greatly affect the effectiveness of these important filters. O’Dowd explains that the design of the filtering media, along with sophisticated assembly processes, assure optimal efficiency and capacity, for a happier and healthier you and your engine.

Change the batteries in your smoke detector

Abrasive dust, dirt and other contaminants that can enter through the engine’s air intake ducts while you are driving can damage a car’s internal engine components, increase wear and ultimately reduce the engine’s power, performance and long life. A vehicle ingests about 10,000 gallons of air to burn a single gallon of fuel and, air along roads and highways contains all kinds of contaminants such as soot, dirt, leaves, straw, tiny bits of rubber, etc. Large quantities of unfiltered air entering the engine compartment can damage critical engine components and cause cylinder wear. Choosing a quality air filter “Capacity and efficiency in capturing the dirt before it enters the engine combustion chamber are key to determining the quality of an air filter,” says O’Dowd. “Capacity is the amount of dirt the filter can hold before it begins to restrict air flow and efficiency describes how well it performs in capturing the dirt.” Modern engines that are built to be more fuel-efficient and have smaller openings and tighter tolerances call for engine air filters that can trap even the smallest particle of dirt threatening to enter the system.

For instance, Purolator’s PureONE air filter’s oil-wetted, high-capacity media offers twice the capacity of conventional filters to trap contaminants smaller than the size of a grain of sand and is 99.5 percent efficient over a range of 1-200 microns using A4 coarse test dust. This means it traps 99.5 percent of particles that size or larger. Likewise, Purolator’s Classic air filter multi-fiber, high-density media traps 96.5 percent of contaminants. Most people should change their vehicle’s engine air filter once a year or every 12,000 miles unless they’re driving in unusually dirty or dusty conditions, suggests O’Dowd. Because of the long intervals between changes it’s important to install the best filter possible for reliable and efficient filtering. Drive to save So, what kind of adjustments will you need to make in how you drive to take full advantage of that improvement? ·

Avoid making “jackrabbit” starts and stops. You need apply a lot less pressure on the gas pedal or the brakes if you give yourself enough time to get to your destination. · Drive gently and smoothly for a more comfortable ride. Aggressive and fast driving will waste gas and lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent around town, according to the EPA. · Stay within speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each additional 5 mph increases fuel usage by about 7-8 percent (calculation based on EPA figures – see Web site mentioned above). In the final analysis It’s always best to opt for a name-brand filter whose quality and design features are reliable and well documented, says O’Dowd. “Experience and documented innovation are key considerations with a product like an engine air filter that can have a major influence on the life of a $4,000 automobile engine. Think about it, if you need surgery, you will certainly want an experienced surgeon who has performed many operations and who has a track record of successful outcomes.”

According to O’Dowd, “that’s where branding plays an important part, especially with products like filters where motorists – even technicians – don’t have direct access to lab test results to properly assess the performance, durability, and value of a filter.” And O’Dowd should know, since Purolator invented the very first automotive oil filter in 1923 and the first spin-on oil filter in 1955. You want a company that pioneered filtration, has been in the business for nearly a century and has both a track record and a reputation to sustain. You want a company that offers a brand with knowledge, experience, and reliability. So, once you’ve made sure that your car is breathing in fresh, clean air with a quality air filter, adjust your driving style to reap the benefits of better performance and smoother driving. Change your car’s air filter; change your driving style.

Identifying these suspect smells early

“Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

1.  The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.

2.  The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.

3.  The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.

4.  The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.

5.  The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.

6.  The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

“When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor,” concluded White.