Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0 dealership oil change; non-OEM oil filter installed, fluctuating/dropping oil level reading

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Hello everyone,

Looking for your opinions and insight. Recently took my 2017 Alfa Giulia 2.0 to the dealership for an oil change. The OEM filter is the Mopar 4892339AB also known as the MO-339. The dealership did not have these filters on hand when I came in (backordered with no ETA), and used a Delco PF48 filter, which cross references the Mopar 4892339AB filter.

The Giulia 2.0 does not have a physical dipstick; you check the level using the electronic display on the infotainment. You can also view the oil level using a scan tool like wiTECH but it is not ”live,” per se, and works the same way as the infotainment display reading … There are a variety of parameters for getting the oil level (both the display and ECM data) to update, but to keep it brief, the car needs to be up to temperature, on level ground, idling for several minutes, etc.

When I got into the car in the service drive, oil change completed, the oil level display showed it was at the max level. I drove across the street, stopped, and noticed it dropped one notch (there are six notches shown on the display, each notch is 250ml). Then it dropped another notch while driving (bizarre, to me), and then the following day, dropped another notch (3 notes, 750ml total). This is when I used a borescope and took a look what filter was on the car (no leaks, thankfully), and what was on the invoice … PF48.

Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.20.10 PM.jpg


2 days and 139 gentle miles later, I returned to the dealership. Ironically, the oil level display goes up one notch, just before I have the oil change entirely redone anyway, and gave them the correct MO-339 I sourced online. Fresh oil, new filter, done.

I monitored the car closely over those days and there were never any DTCs or warnings, etc. Car never told me that its oil level was insufficient. Oil pressure and temperature were normal, too. The car has been entirely normal and without its oil level display fluctuating once the OEM filter was on the car.

What could possibly have been going on with the Delco filter to have caused these fluctuations in the oil level reading? Speculation is welcomed. Lastly, do you think any damage has occurred during this experience? Based on my understanding, it seems quite unlikely? I have done a Blackstone analysis previously, and will do another on the next oil change.

TL;DR -- Alfa dealership installed PF48 filter instead of MO-339 (OEM). Oil level display showed slowly decreasing oil level over 2 days / 139 miles, up to 750ml based on reading. No leaks, warnings, DTCs. Oil change redone with OEM filter. Curious why this occurred, and potential for damage.

Some more photos of visual differences between the two oil filters

Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.30.11 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.30.45 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.30.31 PM.jpg


Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.29.37 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.29.55 PM.jpg


Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 3.38.26 PM.jpg


MO-339 left, PF48 right

Thank you very much!
 

CKN

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Hello everyone,

Looking for your opinions and insight. Recently took my 2017 Alfa Giulia 2.0 to the dealership for an oil change. The OEM filter is the Mopar 4892339AB also known as the MO-339. The dealership did not have these filters on hand when I came in (backordered with no ETA), and used a Delco PF48 filter, which cross references the Mopar 4892339AB filter.

The Giulia 2.0 does not have a physical dipstick; you check the level using the electronic display on the infotainment. You can also view the oil level using a scan tool like wiTECH but it is not ”live,” per se, and works the same way as the infotainment display reading … There are a variety of parameters for getting the oil level (both the display and ECM data) to update, but to keep it brief, the car needs to be up to temperature, on level ground, idling for several minutes, etc.

When I got into the car in the service drive, oil change completed, the oil level display showed it was at the max level. I drove across the street, stopped, and noticed it dropped one notch (there are six notches shown on the display, each notch is 250ml). Then it dropped another notch while driving (bizarre, to me), and then the following day, dropped another notch (3 notes, 750ml total). This is when I used a borescope and took a look what filter was on the car (no leaks, thankfully), and what was on the invoice … PF48.

View attachment 99261

2 days and 139 gentle miles later, I returned to the dealership. Ironically, the oil level display goes up one notch, just before I have the oil change entirely redone anyway, and gave them the correct MO-339 I sourced online. Fresh oil, new filter, done.

I monitored the car closely over those days and there were never any DTCs or warnings, etc. Car never told me that its oil level was insufficient. Oil pressure and temperature were normal, too. The car has been entirely normal and without its oil level display fluctuating once the OEM filter was on the car.

What could possibly have been going on with the Delco filter to have caused these fluctuations in the oil level reading? Speculation is welcomed. Lastly, do you think any damage has occurred during this experience? Based on my understanding, it seems quite unlikely? I have done a Blackstone analysis previously, and will do another on the next oil change.

TL;DR -- Alfa dealership installed PF48 filter instead of MO-339 (OEM). Oil level display showed slowly decreasing oil level over 2 days / 139 miles, up to 750ml based on reading. No leaks, warnings, DTCs. Oil change redone with OEM filter. Curious why this occurred, and potential for damage.

Some more photos of visual differences between the two oil filters

View attachment 99262 View attachment 99263 View attachment 99264

View attachment 99265 View attachment 99266

View attachment 99267

MO-339 left, PF48 right

Thank you very much!
There are many vehicles that the oil pressure fluctuates with the motor rpms..........if you never got to ZERO OIL PRESSURE is there a concern?
 

olio

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Yes of course, this is one of them, but I figured to take a look just to see if anything was out of the ordinary in the meantime. I tried to monitor what I could through the diagnostic scan tool.

Thanks
 
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Aren't Italian cars known to be a little strange now and then?
Let me add this one time I went to a place that has sports cars to drive on a track,I selected a Lamborghini and it took several attemps to start it and my co pilot employee of the track said "It's Italian and kind of normal"
 
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olio

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Thanks.

I agree, it is weird, but I've had the oil change many times previously over the last 5 years and it's only occurred with this PF48 filter.

I guess I am just wondering what the deal is with the filter, considering it does cross reference the MO-339. My thought was that something was up with the flow. Obviously there are tons of visual differences between the two filters that stood out to me, but my knowledge is limited. That is pretty much what I was looking for, to see if any other members had other ideas. I am also wondering if using this PF48 is a concern for the longevity of the engine, though it was only used for 139 miles ... Guessing probably not.

I will take a closer look at the technician training manual and service information for any other ideas

1652127858614.jpg
 
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Thanks.

I agree, it is weird, but I've had the oil change many times previously over the last 5 years and it's only occurred with this PF48 filter.

I guess I am just wondering what the deal is with the filter, considering it does cross reference the MO-339. My thought was that something was up with the flow. Obviously there are tons of visual differences between the two filters that stood out to me, but my knowledge is limited. That is pretty much what I was looking for, to see if any other members had other ideas. I am also wondering if using this PF48 is a concern for the longevity of the engine, though it was only used for 139 miles ... Guessing probably not.

I will take a closer look at the technician training manual and service information for any other ideas

View attachment 99273
Wow, what a ridiculous amount of technology to replicate a dipstick. If the car is not level I could see it affecting the level reading, more or less depending on where the sensor is in the pan. The filter is not going to affect anything.
 

olio

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Haha yeah. I updated the level numerous times though, probably 6 or 7 times over the 2 day period (it was a real waste of time) to ensure I was not experiencing fluctuations based on slope, or errors with the sensor itself. Additionally, it does recognize "longitudinal and lateral accelerations below certain thresholds" which are then interpreted by the ECM to calculate the reading shown when using the scan tool
 

ZeeOSix

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Did you explain this to the dealership technician to see if this is a glitch in the system that they have seen before on other cars?
 

olio

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Did you explain this to the dealership technician to see if this is a glitch in the system that they have seen before on other cars?

No, but it is common on these Giulia/Stelvio that lack the physical dipstick to have customers complain when "max oil level exceeded" shortly after an oil change, because it can be triggered by an exceptionally small amount in some instances. That is more common.

I do not personally find the oil level to be 'glitchy' but acknowledge it can be picky about its parameters for updating the reading. The gradual decline in the oil level reading over a couple days was unusual, and enough for me to investigate further. They also have never used this PF48 filter on a customer's car before, and whatever the 'problem' was on my car has not returned since installing the OEM MO-339 filter that's always been used.

Unfortunately this dealer is very low volume and does not have a ton of service customers. They do not see very many problems requiring diagnosis in general. There was previously a Fiat 500 in the family that went to this dealer with many, many problems that were never really solved, and the car was ultimately sold ... :LOL: I go to different dealers depending on what needs to be done.
 

olio

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For what it's worth, the service advisor (who is sort of interim, not dedicated Alfa/Fiat) did not have an explanation for why the oil level continued to decline, despite no leaks. Had no idea why the filter would, or could, be causing it. He found it to be odd as well, but agreed it was a good idea to redo the oil change and use the OEM filter as soon as possible. Was redone with no charge, and gave me a new PF48 to take a look at and examine at home (shown in photos). I typically book 4-5 weeks out for service (normal for Alfa :ROFLMAO: ) and got me back in within 48 hours
 
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I wonder if the ECM is programmed to flatten variations in oil level as reported by the sensor so as to avoid calling undue attention to the display during normal variations in oil level at the sump. Barring a catastrophic failure where oil gets blown out of a ruptured cooler line or something, I can't imagine Alfa sees the value in updating the oil level readout once per second. In other words, unless the oil level is truly down toward the "add" range, does the average driver really need to know that?

Also - and sorry if I missed this somewhere - was there a difference in the updated readout when the engine was running vs. not running? Presumably the oil level at the sump would be lower when the engine is running. Is that difference compensated for in the ECM?
 

ZeeOSix

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Seems to be a glitchy system. It's not the oil filter ... just a coincidence that finally hit your car IMO.



 
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I know you said that the filter crossed, but does AC actually list it for your application?
 

olio

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Yes, you are correct, it does do that (flatten variations) on the electronic display with its six notches, each notch being a range of 250ml. Within the scan tool, you can see the data to three decimal places though, or a level displayed in mm or inches. I agree that the average driver does not even need to know any of this barring a catastrophic failure, you are right. Most owners will probably never look at this page of the maintenance screen on the infotainment ... if there are problems with insufficient oil level, oil pressure, or sensor faults, etc each have their own DTCs and warning lights that illuminate on the TFT cluster

Due to how the oil level gets updated, viewing the display on the infotainment, or using the scan tool, yields the same results running vs not running due to the delay in updating the data. I have compared the two myself. Alfa Romeo training material and service info sometimes has errors, and for example, these conditions listed below aren't entirely needed. If you toggle back and forth on the rotary pad on the maintenance screen, you can get the display to update without shutting off the car and letting it sit

1652135995632.png
 
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olio

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I know you said that the filter crossed, but does AC actually list it for your application?

Thank you for asking this question. Yes, it is the third one shown. The filter came out of a 12 pack the dealership had on hand

1652136999554.jpg
 
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.
So you did check the oil level only, not oil pressure? If oil pressure has been ok
all the time (or at least there's been no sign it wasn't) then I wouldn't worry no
longer. Admittely, it's quite odd this happened while the other filter was fitted,
however correlation still isn't causation.


Wow, what a ridiculous amount of technology to replicate a dipstick.

Not ridiculous at all. This technology is used in the industry for like 25 years.
One of my cars has a similar oil level and temp sensor (as well as several cars
I owned prior) and it still has a dipstick as well.
.
 

olio

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Seems to be a glitchy system. It's not the oil filter ... just a coincidence that finally hit your car IMO.




Yes, I used to use some of those forums extensively back in the day (was moderator/admin for one), not as much anymore. Good times. I will keep your perspective in consideration. Thanks

.
So you did check the oil level only, not oil pressure? If oil pressure has been ok
all the time (or at least there's been no sign it wasn't) then I wouldn't worry no
longer. Admittely, it's quite odd this happened while the other filter was fitted,
however correlation still isn't causation.




Not ridiculous at all. This technology is used in the industry for like 25 years.
One of my cars has a similar oil level and temp sensor (as well as several cars
I owned prior) and it still has a dipstick as well.
.

Yes, I checked oil level and pressure. Pressure was completely normal the whole time, same with temperature. Well said on correlation not implying causation, but it's obviously the only variable that changed. Never experienced this before, using OEM filter. I am glad you think there is nothing to worry about, this is what I was hoping to read on my post on this forum :) Given nothing goes wrong, I will change the oil probably 3-4k miles and do another analysis. I would've appreciated if Alfa could've given us both a dipstick and electronic sensor like they did on the 2.9 V6 and 2.2 diesel engines. Good profile photo of the Alfa GTA at Targa Florio :love:
 
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