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Old 01-31-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
rebornr1
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Default Subaru new blue oil filter is garbage LEAKING

So hear me out, I bought my 2013 Impreza new, and I'm a mechanic by trade 25 years, quit wrenching about 5 years ago though I still do my own work on my car and select few friends.

I was so proud the first 5 oil changes or so I did as I would hold the oil filter in my hand and think now theres a good oil filter, solid, heavy, nice gasket, just looked nice. The old black toko rokis.

Then one day at the dealer buying my filter they gave me this blue **** that made my stomach turn it looked like a junk honda filter. It was about as light as a roll of toilet paper. I said wtf is this ? The poor parts guy shrugged his shoulders and like aweful isn't it. Because there is no selection here no one loves their cars, I can't find a place to walk in and buy a nice filter. So I hesitantly take the blue. Over the next 3 or 4 oil changes I keep thinking damn is it me or are these things weeping a bit, it must be me ? This morning I did a filter change. Within 80 miles of driving smoke pouuuuuring out of the engine bay. What ? Pull over, oil EVERYWHERE. Its my first subaru I thought I've blown the motor or something cause I do drive hard.

Trace it down to the filter gasket as the entire filter base is full of oil and its wettest around there, run engine and see it bubbling etc. No double gasket, no nothing, no overtorque, everything done the same way I done it for years.

Limp to parts store throw on a k&n and its perfect again, drive to manual car wash engine shampoo clean up nice nice again.

But I'm PISSED !! Mostly cause I was so scared I thought the cars scrap haha. I want to change it as my miles are piling on fast.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
207STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebornr1 View Post
So hear me out, I bought my 2013 Impreza new, and I'm a mechanic by trade 25 years, quit wrenching about 5 years ago though I still do my own work on my car and select few friends.

I was so proud the first 5 oil changes or so I did as I would hold the oil filter in my hand and think now theres a good oil filter, solid, heavy, nice gasket, just looked nice. The old black toko rokis.

Then one day at the dealer buying my filter they gave me this blue **** that made my stomach turn it looked like a junk honda filter. It was about as light as a roll of toilet paper. I said wtf is this ? The poor parts guy shrugged his shoulders and like aweful isn't it. Because there is no selection here no one loves their cars, I can't find a place to walk in and buy a nice filter. So I hesitantly take the blue. Over the next 3 or 4 oil changes I keep thinking damn is it me or are these things weeping a bit, it must be me ? This morning I did a filter change. Within 80 miles of driving smoke pouuuuuring out of the engine bay. What ? Pull over, oil EVERYWHERE. Its my first subaru I thought I've blown the motor or something cause I do drive hard.

Trace it down to the filter gasket as the entire filter base is full of oil and its wettest around there, run engine and see it bubbling etc. No double gasket, no nothing, no overtorque, everything done the same way I done it for years.

Limp to parts store throw on a k&n and its perfect again, drive to manual car wash engine shampoo clean up nice nice again.

But I'm PISSED !! Mostly cause I was so scared I thought the cars scrap haha. I want to change it as my miles are piling on fast.


Been using the blue filters exclusively for over 5 years now. Never have had any of the issues you are describing. You possibly got a bad filter. I work at a shop that specializes in subarus and we have never had a single issue with an oem filter.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Ive heard, but not confirmed, that the OEM blue filter is now made by Fram, formerly made by Honeywell. Not sure if true, but Ive always been told that while the OEM filter is preferred and all, its overall quality and ability to retain dirt is not remotely great.

Never had any leakage issues in 200k mi of oil changes, no matter what the filter. You may have a blemished gasket surface?

After my warranty was up, I switched to the Bosch distance plus. Much better quality product, reported to hold much more dirt and I believe someone dissected one along with many others. Search for the oil filter dissection thread, maybe in maintenance section.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:19 PM   #4
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Honeywell makes Fram. It's all a matter of what the customer specs. Supposedly the Fram X2 is good but the normal ones suck. Not sure if that's still true.
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NutBucket View Post
Honeywell makes Fram. It's all a matter of what the customer specs. Supposedly the Fram X2 is good but the normal ones suck. Not sure if that's still true.
This is the right answer - Honeywell owns Fram, and they make the filter to Subaru's specifications.

I usually run Purolator PureOne, Napa Gold, or Wix (all have the correct bypass pressure for EJ subarus, not sure about FB) as they're all pretty good filter than can be had for less on sale.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:55 AM   #6
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I've been using the blue filters for close to two years without a problem...I may have gotten a case from a good batch though.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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the blue filters did have bad batches at one point and were on recall but I doubt there is many of them floating around anymore...


I buy my filters from amazon usually.

you can get a 6 pack with 6 crush washers for the drain plug and it usually works out to about $6 for each oil change + the oil.

Not too bad...

not sure what the purolator, Napa gold, or Wix's sell for...
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:03 AM   #8
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I'll chime in here considering I work at the FRAM R&D facility. First off, FRAM is no longer an entity of Honeywell (we are now a privately held company under the UCI umbrella). In regards to the OE filter, yes, FRAM is the supplier (from design, testing, manufacturering, etc.). Everything is designed and tested to meet the exact specifications that Subaru demands....and the OE filter does just that. Run an OE filter after every oil change and you should never have a problem.

If you want something other than OE, but still FRAM, I would suggest our Tough Guard or Ultra line (Tough Guard being "better" and Ultra being "best"). Tough Guard is very similar to the OE filter while Ultra will out-perform the OE filter. And yes, we are well aware of the slightly different bypass valve pressure requirements on select Subarus.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BadSubie View Post
I'll chime in here considering I work at the FRAM R&D facility. First off, FRAM is no longer an entity of Honeywell (we are now a privately held company under the UCI umbrella). In regards to the OE filter, yes, FRAM is the supplier (from design, testing, manufacturering, etc.). Everything is designed and tested to meet the exact specifications that Subaru demands....and the OE filter does just that. Run an OE filter after every oil change and you should never have a problem.

If you want something other than OE, but still FRAM, I would suggest our Tough Guard or Ultra line (Tough Guard being "better" and Ultra being "best"). Tough Guard is very similar to the OE filter while Ultra will out-perform the OE filter. And yes, we are well aware of the slightly different bypass valve pressure requirements on select Subarus.
Yup, this is the filter I'll be using on my 2012 Impreza once I use up my black Subaru Roki filters:

http://www.amazon.com/Fram-XG7317-Ultra-Spin--Filter/dp/B000C33MI2/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1431978988&sr=1-2
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BadSubie View Post
I'll chime in here considering I work at the FRAM R&D facility. First off, FRAM is no longer an entity of Honeywell (we are now a privately held company under the UCI umbrella). In regards to the OE filter, yes, FRAM is the supplier (from design, testing, manufacturering, etc.). Everything is designed and tested to meet the exact specifications that Subaru demands....and the OE filter does just that. Run an OE filter after every oil change and you should never have a problem.

If you want something other than OE, but still FRAM, I would suggest our Tough Guard or Ultra line (Tough Guard being "better" and Ultra being "best"). Tough Guard is very similar to the OE filter while Ultra will out-perform the OE filter. And yes, we are well aware of the slightly different bypass valve pressure requirements on select Subarus.
Thank you for confirming this. I worked at an autoparts store for the better part of 10 years, and our main filer supplier was wix. After doing a few blind tests by cutting a few filters open to demonstrate the quality for our customers vs competitors, I will never touch fram again. It had a form of cardboard on the ends, extreemly poor filer elements, as well as a tin flapper instead of a spring. Even the cheapest wix filter had about 2x the filter elements that the fram did and no cardboard. Not saying all fram filters are like that, but the few we tested were just aweful. So, I guess I will no longer be buying the subaru blue filters anymore for my wife's 2014 impreza.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:08 PM   #11
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Funny that the OP mentioned the crap Honda oil filter. It was probably about 10 or so years ago that Honda switched oil filter manufacturers. Their old oil filters used to have a fibrous filter matrix, held together with metal internals, in general, constructed quite robustly. Then they switched. It was discovered that they were using a re-purposed FRAM filter -- paper filter, cardboard backbone, in general, poorly built. It was cheaper and worse all in one fell swoop. Sad that Subaru has gone the same direction, but do you blame them? For their bottom-line, it helps, especially if it incurs more engine issues down the road. I wouldn't put it past any manufacturer to be planning some obsolescence into their products.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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I don't buy this conspiracy theory, that Subaru is selling bad filters deliberately so that their engines will crap out sooner. While the OP might have gotten a dud filter, I doubt that the blue OEM filters are generally crap, and would generally cause an engine to fail any earlier than a better filter. As 1BadSubie said, the filters are made by FRAM per Subaru's specs, and Subaru isn't going to let a generally bad filter damage its reputation for building reliable cars. Nor is Subaru going to want to pay for warranty engine repairs/replacements.

I don't doubt that the older black Subaru/Roki filters might be superior than the current blue filters, but that doesn't mean that the blue filters are so much inferior that they will damage your engine if the recommended oil change intervals are followed.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:16 PM   #13
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You get a dud filter once in a great while. Make sure there isn't any crud in the seal - if the cup isn't clean it's possible to create a problem.
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
I don't buy this conspiracy theory, that Subaru is selling bad filters deliberately so that their engines will crap out sooner. While the OP might have gotten a dud filter, I doubt that the blue OEM filters are generally crap, and would generally cause an engine to fail any earlier than a better filter. As 1BadSubie said, the filters are made by FRAM per Subaru's specs, and Subaru isn't going to let a generally bad filter damage its reputation for building reliable cars. Nor is Subaru going to want to pay for warranty engine repairs/replacements.

I don't doubt that the older black Subaru/Roki filters might be superior than the current blue filters, but that doesn't mean that the blue filters are so much inferior that they will damage your engine if the recommended oil change intervals are followed.
If you look around, this forum LOVES to believe that subaru is out to destroy engines. However, I do agree with you!
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:23 PM   #15
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Just read through this. Still not sure if I should keep using the blue filter or not. :/

Any advice?
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:53 PM   #16
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Have you already purchased the blue filters? If so, then just use them up, change your oil every 5-6k miles, and don't worry about it. If not, then buy a better filter like the FRAM Ultra that I linked to above. You can buy them on Amazon or at Walmart.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:09 PM   #17
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No, but I have an OEM filter in there now from when it was serviced by the dealer. Previous owner took it to the dealer for oil changes and apparently I have a coupon for the dealer to change my oil for $30. Just bought 5 quarts of Mobil 1 cause I got a low oil indicator and that cost me $40 alone. 2k miles since last dealer oil change and I put in a quart of oil to hit the top dot of my dip stick.

Trying to figure out if I should go to the dealer for an oil change since its so cheap, or do it myself.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingupenguins View Post
No, but I have an OEM filter in there now from when it was serviced by the dealer. Previous owner took it to the dealer for oil changes and apparently I have a coupon for the dealer to change my oil for $30. Just bought 5 quarts of Mobil 1 cause I got a low oil indicator and that cost me $40 alone. 2k miles since last dealer oil change and I put in a quart of oil to hit the top dot of my dip stick.

Trying to figure out if I should go to the dealer for an oil change since its so cheap, or do it myself.
OK, here's what I would do. Put another 3k to 4k miles on your current oil; no point in changing it early. Then go to Walmart and buy the FRAM Ultra filter I suggested above, and also buy some 5-quart jugs of Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 on sale with this coupon:

http://www.springirc2015.com/

In doing this, you will know that you have quality oil installed, with the correct quantity poured by you. And you will have a quality filter installed too.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:40 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info!!
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:53 PM   #20
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The current oil filter is leaking on my car a touch as well. It's not the first time it seems as I cleaned off some dried oil the first time around. I think it's user error oddly enough. first time I change the oil, I took my time and made sure everything was perfect. Didn't have any issue with leaks. This time, I went a little quicker. I'm betting I just didn't get enough oil on the gasket. Just a guess, because I really have no clue. Not going to worry about it because we are talking drops, and my oil level hasn't gone down yet as of 1000 miles (check it every fill up, so every 3 or 4 days), so it's a pretty small/slow leak.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:34 PM   #21
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^^Have you tried tightening the filter another 1/8th or 1/4 turn?
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:45 PM   #22
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Too tight and itll leak too

Last edited by ALOKIN; 06-04-2015 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
^^Have you tried tightening the filter another 1/8th or 1/4 turn?
I did. Filter was tight. I could have probably gotten it to go if I forced it, but I think it's just (a) a bad filter or (b) didn't get the o-ring lubed enough. We'll find out next time. I'm not loosing a lot of oil, so not too concerned. If it gets noticable, I'll take it in and see what subaru says.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by sgoldste01 View Post
Yup, this is the filter I'll be using on my 2012 Impreza once I use up my black Subaru Roki filters:

http://www.amazon.com/Fram-XG7317-Ul...1978988&sr=1-2

I am not sure I understand the logic here. If your going to spend 9+ on a filter then why get a FRAM?
There are so many great filters out there in the $9 range its just not worth rolling the dice. The only thing they are good at is making filters to a price point for the likes of WALMART and OEMs.

Just google "FRAM oil filter cardboard" and have a look at all the great stuff they have put out over the years
Here is a cut open Subaru filter http://s85.photobucket.com/user/mtpo...a/029.jpg.html Yep looks like a fram

Now that I know Fram makes the blue Subaru filters I will just spend the 6bux for the recites until my warranty is up. I not going to actually run that thing on my car.

Last edited by ConnecticutJunkman; 12-30-2015 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:33 PM   #25
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^^The FRAM XG filters are not your average FRAM filter. Do a Google search on it. No cardboard in the XG filters. For example:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...Number=2971076
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