Monthly Archives: September 2016

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.

The Best Possible Oil Change

Getting an oil change on your car according to the maintenance schedule specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual is probably the single best thing you can do to maintain its longevity. Otherwise, in a very short time, you may have to say ‘goodbye’ to what may be your second largest investment.

However, all oil changes are not alike. And whether you do it yourself or have it done for you by a professional, the same rules will apply.

So how can you make sure that your vehicle gets the best possible oil change? Simply follow the tips outlined below.

1. Allow your vehicle’s engine to warm up fully. Once an engine is warmed up completely, all the dirt particles and contaminants that settled at the bottom of the oil pan when the engine was off get churned up and suspended in the oil. This will ensure that most of the contaminants get removed when the oil is drained. In other words, they will be drained out with the old oil.

2. Make sure the vehicle is level when the oil is being drained. This enables the old, dirty oil to drain out as completely as possible.

3. Examine the waste oil as it is draining into the pan – look and feel. Look for signs of contamination such as water because with every drain, water will settle at the bottom of the pan. Also, feel for bits of metal which could suggest internal engine problems. You may not have noticed the last time you took your car in for an oil change but a good mechanic normally will run his fingers through the oil while it is draining to ‘feel’ for grit, metal and other contaminants that signal possible engine problems.

4. Remove and inspect the old filter carefully. Most modern cars use a spin-on oil filter. Spin-on oil filters were invented in 1955 by Purolator, today, the supplier of high quality oil, air, cabin air, fuel and transmission filters as well as PCV valves and breathers to the North American aftermarket and car manufacturers. Most important, when removing the filter, make sure that the gasket sealing ring comes off with the filter. If it does not, use your fingernail to pry it loose and remove it.

5. Now choose your new filter carefully. Select one that has been manufactured by a company widely known for the quality and efficiency of its filtration products like Purolator for example. Purolator has been in the business for the last 90 years since it introduced the first automotive filter in 1923.

“The performance of a filter is determined by its efficiency in capturing contaminants and its capacity to hold that debris,” said Kevin O’Dowd, spokesman for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters. Purolator’s premium grade PureONE oil filter, for example, is 99.9 percent efficient and can hold up to 13 grams of debris, the equivalent of 31 standard size paper clips. Purolator Classic oil filter, on the other hand, according to O’Dowd, features a multi-fiber high-density media that holds back engine-damaging dirt and pollutants and is 97.5 percent efficient in capturing contaminants. Where applicable, both filters also feature an anti-drainback valve that protects against engine dry stars.

6. Install the filter properly. Make sure to coat the sealing ring with fresh motor oil and install it hand tight only. Purolator PureONE’s unique 100 percent grip control feature keeps fingers from slipping and makes installation trouble-free at any angle. Additionally, its PTFE-treated sealing gasket makes removal and installation easy and problem-free. Purolator Classic features an internally lubricated Nitrile gasket that makes filter removal easier.

7. Choose the correct grade of new oil. Oil is the lifeblood of the engine and choosing the appropriate grade will ensure proper performance. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct service designation. It will be specified as an API (American Petroleum Institute) rating. If you happen to be working on a vehicle with a diesel engine, then remember it requires oil that is specifically formulated for diesel service and has a separate API rating. While there are pros and cons to using synthetic oil versus conventional oil, you can’t go wrong if you follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual.

8. Choose the correct viscosity or thickness of oil. It will vary by make and model of car and the climate in which the vehicle is operating. The viscosity of the oil will be specified in the owner’s manual as an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) number. For example, a typical multi-grade oil is the 5W30. Choosing the proper thickness of oil can affect cold starting, engine protection and fuel economy. For example, 5W-30 oil chemically ‘acts’ like fairly thin 5 weight oil in cold weather to all for easier engine starts, yet ‘acts’ like thicker 30 weight oil when it’s hot to afford more protection under conditions in which you’d expect oil to get thinner as it gets hotter.

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.

Dirty Air While Driving

The Council states, that children, by virtue of their physical size and lifestyle, are more exposed to pollution and also more susceptible to its adverse effects than adults. Whether at school or at home, on the soccer field or at a softball game, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor pollution. They are also more likely to being driven to these venues in cars, vans or SUVs that potentially only add to their exposure. Particulate and exhaust fumes such as fine dust, diesel soot, pollen bacteria and nitrogen oxides enter the vehicle through the vents and concentrations of these toxic substances inside can be higher than at the side of the road in urban traffic conditions.


All this when children’s immune systems are not developed enough to be able to resist and overcome the toxins they encounter. Plus, because they are young, there is plenty more time for these toxins to get absorbed into their systems and affect children’s growth and development. However, the news is not all bad for parents and guardians who want to shield their young charges from environmental toxins … especially when driving or stuck in traffic even if the vehicle’s windows are rolled up in the car. The Skinny On Air Quality Inside Your Vehicle “The air inside your vehicle can sometimes be even more polluted that the air outside,” said Kevin O’Dowd, spokesman for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, a leading supplier of automotive filters to the aftermarket in North America. Many motorists are not aware that, for more than a decade, most cars and light trucks (1995 and newer) have been factory-equipped with cabin air filters that are designed to clean the air that you and your passengers breathe.


If a filter is clogged it can actually multiply the dangers from particulate matter and other pollutants that get trapped inside a vehicle and blown about when the air conditioning system or heating system is in use Furthermore , the contaminants that build up on a filter over time, become a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth. So, according to O’Dowd, even if you roll up the windows and turn on the air conditioning before you get on the road, the vehicle’s interior is still vulnerable to environmental pollution – if the cabin air filter is not clean. “If you want to actually see the value of cabin air filters, just ask your auto service professional to show you an old, dirty one,” said O’Dowd. “One look at a clogged cabin air filter will convince you that there’s a great deal of dust, dirt, and other contaminants floating around in your car’s cockpit. Breathing that debris can be damaging to your health, especially if you happen to suffer from seasonal allergies or ailments like asthma,” O’Dowd explained. Investing In Your And Your Children’s Health “A good rule of thumb, therefore, is,” as O’Dowd suggested, “to replace the cabin air filter about every 12,000 to 18,000 miles to ensure that you and your family breathe clean, fresh air.” Purolator offers two types of BreatheEasy® cabin air filters – the standard particulate filter that traps all types of airborne particles including those originating from molds and spores and an upgraded filter that also removes unpleasant odors from the air like pungent, stinking and placid odors.


The standard BreatheEasy filter features a non-woven scientifically engineered media formed into a multi-layer design with pleats, which provides more surface area to filter out pollen and particulate matter. These filters are also electrostatically charged to ensure that even the minute particulate matter gets trapped in the filter media similar to many household HVAC filters. Other features include foam perimeter gaskets and an injection-molded frame, when specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The upgraded BreatheEasy filter, on the other hand, features an activated charcoal filter layer that adsorbs most toxic and foul-smelling gases, such as ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons. Cabin air filters are easy to replace. But, where do you find the cabin air filter in your vehicle? “The cabin air filter is normally located in the cabin air intake, under the dash or sometimes behind the glove box,” said Nuñez. “Replacing the filter generally takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on its location and the design of the vehicle.” BreatheEasy cabin air filters are available for most late-model domestic and import vehicles. They are packaged with clearly illustrated vehicle-specific instructions for many makes and models that make installation simple for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) or professional technicians. Vehicle-specific instructions are also available on the Web site so the motorist can determine the skill level needed to replace the cabin air filter.

Treat Your Engine Nice

We all know that the Golden Rule reads, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, here’s your chance to implement that rule and enhance the life and value of your car at the same time. Over the last decade or so we’ve learned that breathing dirty air can be hazardous to our health. The same logic applies to the engine in your car, SUV, or light truck or van. Keeping the inside of your engine clean will keep it healthy, longer, and will enhance its value if you decide to sell or trade it. MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters is one of the largest suppliers of filters for cars and trucks, so they know a thing or two about treating engines nice, and their spokesman Kevin O’Dowd offers the following advice: “Internal engine parts are made to extreme levels of precision.


For instance, hydraulic valve lifters are manufactured to tolerances as stringent as one ten thousandths of an inch (0.0001”). So even tiny particles can interfere with the engine’s operation, and can cause damage to piston rings, engine bearings, and other critical engine components.” Filters are the guardians of your engine, and can do a very effective job of preventing potentially damaging particulates from getting to where they don’t belong. The three key filters protecting your engine are its oil filter, its air filter, and its fuel filter. Here’s what you need to know about each type. Oil Filters During the course of normal engine operation particles can collect in the engine oil. These particles can include bits of carbon resulting from combustion, pieces of engine gaskets and seals that can erode over time, and even small bits of metal that can flake/break off of various engine parts. O’Dowd suggests that an oil filter can capture and safely hold such particulates, but the protection depends on the quality of the oil filter and the frequency with which it is changed. “The two key characteristics of oil filters are efficiency and capacity,”


explains the Purolator expert. “Efficiency describes the ability of the filter to capture particulates of a given size. For instance, Purolator Classic oil filters are 97.5 percent efficient, meaning that they have the ability to capture 97.5 percent of particulates 20 microns in diameter or larger. A micron is a millionth of a meter, or about one-thousandths of an inch. And our top-of-the-line PureONE oil filters are 99.9 percent efficient.” “The other key measure of an oil filter’s performance is capacity, which is a measure of the amount of contaminants an oil filter can hold before becoming completely blocked and directing unfiltered oil to the engine’s moving parts. While unfiltered oil is slightly better than no oil at all, it surely offers substantial opportunity for irreparable engine damage. Our Purolator PureONE oil filters have a capacity of 13 grams, which is the equivalent of 31 standard-size paper clips.” In addition to efficiency and capacity, O’Dowd recommends that you also consider other features when selecting an oil filter.


Things like the quality and configuration of the pleated filtering medium and the integrity of the housing, end plates, seals, and valving are all features that separate quality oil filters from inexpensive and inefficient filters. Air Filters Automotive engines need air flow for combustion. And we all know that the air, especially on our highways, can contain all kinds of particulates – soot, bits of tire rubber, and all manner of natural materials, like pollen, bits of leaves, and much more. All of these materials can be harmful to your car’s engine, and must be carefully and efficiently filtered out before air reaches your engine’s combustion chamber. O’Dowd advises that the same parameters, efficiency and capacity, that define an oil filter’s effectiveness, also apply to engine air filters. A significant difference, explains O’Dowd, is found in the impact of clogging. As an air filter gradually collects contaminants, it steadily chokes off the flow of air entering the engine.


The result, explains our Purolator expert, is reduced engine power and efficiency, which can make the engine harder to start, impair it’s power output, and can cause a major degradation in fuel economy, a significant factor in today’s world of three dollar-a-gallon gasoline. “Happily,” adds O’Dowd, changing your car’s air filter is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Older cars most often had an oval-shaped air filter resting in a round housing under a lid held in place by a wing nut. Today’s more sophisticated fuel-injected engines normally make use of a flat, rectangular panel-type air filter that most often lives in black plastic air intact system in the engine compartment. Usually all that’s needed is to release several clamps, separate the housing halves, lift out the old filter, and install the new one. It’s usually that simple, says O’Dowd. As with oil filters, it’s best to choose a name-brand filter whose quality and design features are reliable. After all, says O’Dowd, you’re only changing your air filter once a year, unless you’re driving in unusually dirty or dusty conditions, so it pays to select a filter that will provide reliable and efficient filtering.


Fuel Filters Fuel filters are often overlooked during vehicle service because they’re tucked away under the car in many cases, says Purolator’s O’Dowd. But the need for regular replacement is more important than ever thanks to the precision of the fuel injectors used in most of today’s cars, light trucks, and SUVs. Contaminants can easily enter your car’s fuel system through accidental entry during fueling. Plus, small bits of contaminants can flake off of the inside of your fuel tank and fuel lines, and there’s always the possibility of small bits of contaminants in the storage tanks at your local gas station. All of this is normal, and can admit small particles to enter your fuel system, potentially wreaking havoc with your precisely engineered fuel injection system. And as your fuel filter gradually becomes obstructed, it can cause your engine’s electronic management system to make adjustments to try to compensate for the diminished fuel supply.