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Old 01-29-2009, 11:25 AM   #1
DrewDeezy
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Default My First and *Last* Experience with Subaru's New Oil Filter

First off, this is only my experience. Ive heard both positive and negative things from this filter

So the time comes to change my oil. I currently have 67k miles on my 2005 Subaru WRX. Ive changed my oil myself for nearly the entire length of my car ownership which adds up to about 43k miles. I think there has only been one time where I havent changed my oil due to time constraints.

Anyways, I have a friend of mine, also a member on the forums, go to the Subaru Dealership locally and pick up 2 oil filters and crush rings. Nothing out of the norm. He comes over and hands them to me. They are blue. NOW I've already heard bad things about these filters, but ignoring that because I figured hey they had a problem, I doubt it will happen to me.

Doing my normal routine of removing the drain plug and letting the oil drain out, I then remove the oil filter (the old black one) *The seal is still on this filter for those of you who are wondering*. After waiting about 5 minutes for all the oil to drain out, I re-attach the drain plug with the new crush ring, and then unwrap the new oil filter. I prime the filter by putting a small amount of oil in it as well as a ring around the seal.

I go ahead and screw the filter on *being careful not to cross thread*and use a pipe wrench to tighten it to where I cant move it with my hand.

Now time to fill the car back up with royal purple. After filling the car with oil, i start it up and check the oil level. Looks a little low, so I add some more. OK car is good. Turn off the car and remove rear tire stops.

I then proceed to pull my car back out into the street so we can do my other buddies WRX next. Park the car and get out and look behind me...

I pulled the car 3/4 way out of the driveway and then there is a huge splatter of oil. I mean ALOT

Check under the car... yep there is oil EVERYWHERE under my car. WTF??!!?

So... Realizing that its possible if i had my car on for 5-10 more seconds i probably would not have an engine, im a little pissed... There is $60 bucks of oil all over the ground. All over my driveway, and a nice trail to where my car is currently sitting.

So obviously there is no way I'm turning on my car. With the help of my buddy , we push my car back into the driveway, slipping on the oil trying to push my car back up into the driveway. I dont bother jacking the car up because i dont need to, to reach the oil filter. Obviously its the culprit because there is oil dripping all down the side. I grab the pipe wrench to unscrew it, and low-and-behold, the seal failed causing me to nearly loose my engine due to oil starvation.

So, Subaru this is me Please fix your oil filters, or go back to selling the black ones, for they have worked great for me in the past. I also am aware that these have a smaller filter inside of them.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Please post pictures of the "failed seal"

The new filter bottoms out quicker than the old filter and you dont need a pipe wrench to tighten them. HAND Tight
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkis View Post
Please post pictures of the "failed seal"

The new filter bottoms out quicker than the old filter and you dont need a pipe wrench to tighten them. HAND Tight
i'm with you.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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You should snug the filter then do a quarter to third turn more by hand. Only use a wrench (if you have to) to remove the filter, don't use it to put it on!
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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And what exactly do you expect a rubber seal to do when its been torqued, not by hand, but by a so called "pipe wrench" if this was indeed the culprit?
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkis View Post
Please post pictures of the "failed seal"

The new filter bottoms out quicker than the old filter and you dont need a pipe wrench to tighten them. HAND Tight

I'll try and get pictures. I gave the oil filter back to friend to return to subaru.

I do hand tighten it, then give it a snug tight with pipe wrench

Quote:
Originally Posted by method View Post
You should snug the filter then do a quarter to third turn more by hand. Only use a wrench (if you have to) to remove the filter, don't use it to put it on!
I snug by hand and then give it a snug tight with pipe wrench

Quote:
Originally Posted by zomg View Post
And what exactly do you expect a rubber seal to do when its been torqued, not by hand, but by a so called "pipe wrench" if this was indeed the culprit?
Never had a problem before doing this method. snug tight with hand and then quarter of a turn with pipe wrench
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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so did the seal split or break or was it obviously defective?
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zomg View Post
so did the seal split or break or was it obviously defective?
seal was split. I'll have pictures up by Monday as I'm heading out of town here in about 2 hours and Don't have time to go and get the filter and take pictures
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #9
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keep your eye on autozone ads. couple times a year they sell 5 gal of german castrol and a mobil 1 filter for $35.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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I have never done anything more than put the filter on hand tight. It won't fall off....
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
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This is definitely operator error. It sucks that the new filter bottoms out earlier, but they've never needed any more than snug + 3/4 turn on any of my imprezas.

the last time I changed my oil, actually went hand tight to first contact with the o-ring, then 3/4 turn. I've never needed a wrench to get it any tighter.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
I go ahead and screw the filter on *being careful not to cross thread*and use a pipe wrench to tighten it to where I cant move it with my hand.
Has anyone mentioned that you overtightened the filter? I'll bet dollars to donuts you distorted and/or tore the gasket.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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you're lucky you didn't crimp the filter with that wrench...
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewDeezy View Post
seal was split. I'll have pictures up by Monday as I'm heading out of town here in about 2 hours and Don't have time to go and get the filter and take pictures
But yet you had the time to post the thread? Without a picture even. Half of the time complainers like yourself never come back with empirical evidence anyway.

But anyway, +1 hojillion on user error.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:39 PM   #15
DrewDeezy
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yeah granted i may have over tightened it. I can believe that. All I have in my defense is that ive done this same routine many times, and this is the first time this has happened...

And I hate using the Fram filters
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #16
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Pipe wrench = Bad idea

3/4 to 1 turn past snug by hand is more than enough to seal the filter. And you cant point the finger at Fram. Many MILLIONS of people have used their filters for years without any problems including myself. Worst case take pictures and see if Subaru will help you out.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewDeezy View Post
and use a pipe wrench to tighten it to where I cant move it with my hand.
As everyone else already said, THIS is your problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewDeezy View Post
Now time to fill the car back up with royal purple.
This is another problem, we'll deal with this at a later time.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medamullet View Post
I have never done anything more than put the filter on hand tight.
^^^This. With a Fumoto valve, you can do an oil change on a WRX without any tools (other than something to catch the used oil), although I wish I'd taken my aluminum skidplate off before the last change.

Good golly, a pipe wrench?
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Coati View Post
Good golly, a pipe wrench?
Thats right. A pipe wrench!
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:29 PM   #20
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obviously user error.

LO and behold....

and it's lose, not loose. You don't seem that bright, given "that's the way I've always done it." Well, you've always done it wrong.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:43 PM   #21
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What I think is interesting about this thread is this:

- He has been doing it this way on his car for QUITE A WHILE. Now, he uses the same procedure, and the filter fails. I am sure he is not wrenching down on it more than 20-25 ft/lbs, so the mean margin to failure is quite low.

I am waiting for pictures of this failure as well.

- dow
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dowroa View Post
- He has been doing it this way on his car for QUITE A WHILE. Now, he uses the same procedure, and the filter fails. I am sure he is not wrenching down on it more than 20-25 ft/lbs, so the mean margin to failure is quite low.
- dow
If he's been doing it for "quite a while" - then this is has been a disaster just waiting to happen.

only 20-25 ft lbs with a pipe wrench? I'd bed it was alot more than that.

+1 for pics...
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #23
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hand tighten only!!!!
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
DrewDeezy;25375937]

...So the time comes to change my oil. I currently have 67k miles on my 2005 Subaru WRX...

...Now time to fill the car back up with royal purple.
If you look on the back of that oil bottle, you will see that the API recommends SL rated oils, (like RP 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 with their SL rating ), for 2004 and previous vehicles. The API rating that superceded the API SL rating, is API SM. So the API SL rating is an old rating from almost 5 years ago. If you go to an auto parts store and look at all the oils offered there, you will find that virtually all of them and even the low priced house brand oils, have the modern and up to date API SM ratings. I personally think you would do well to use the more modern API SM rated oils.

Sorry to hear about your disaster, but looking on the bright side, at least the oil filter gasket didn't fail when you were driving down the highway at 65 mph and had an engine blow because of it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:11 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by HiTechOilCo View Post
If you look on the back of that oil bottle, you will see that the API recommends SL rated oils, (like RP 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 with their SL rating ), for 2004 and previous vehicles. The API rating that superceded the API SL rating, is API SM. So the API SL rating is an old rating from almost 5 years ago. If you go to an auto parts store and look at all the oils offered there, you will find that virtually all of them and even the low priced house brand oils, have the modern and up to date API SM ratings. I personally think you would do well to use the more modern API SM rated oils.
Good point.
There is a recent thread around here (or BITOG) that has response letters from RP about why they do not have the most current approval. Basically they said that they'd have to downgrade their oil to meet the new energy/catalyst conserving specs...

Doesnt matter to me though, I wouldnt run it either way...
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