Alternative oil filters

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Aug 24, 2019
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Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
This thread comes more out of desperation than pure curiosity but may be interesting for others in a similar situation. I'm the proud new owner of a BMW G310GS , a really outstanding bike perfectly suited to the mix of twisty mountain roads and gravel/sand side roads which lead off down to the many beautiful beaches here in Palawan. However living on a seemingly 'paradise' tropical island, albeit a rather long one with a 10 hour drive end-to-end, comes with it's own problems.....AVAILABILITY! I bought my bike slightly used with only 3000km odo and 14 months of use. It's had it's first BMW service at 600km but now is a little overdue for it's 12 month service. Personally I would have done this before I sold it, but the original owner didn't want to spend out to have it done. However it's now down to me. Getting the oil is no problem, in fact I have enough Mobil 1 fully synthetic left over from my VStrom service. The problem is the OIL FILTER. There is NO BMW dealer here on my island province (in fact there are NO dealers of ANY bikes apart from a Yamaha dealership). There are 1 or 2 Japanese car dealers and that's about it. So here comes the crunch! For me to buy an official BMW oil filter on-line and have it shipped from the dealer in Manila will cost me just short of $40!!!! (actually 1950 Philippine Peso). OK I realise I'm paying for the 'BMW' badge, but this seams ridiculous for what is a pretty standard looking and rather small filter. Then my friend (a Husqvarna Nuda 900r owner who had a similar problem) told me that he used 'alternative' oil filters which were more readily available and only a few hundred peso! So, my question is - what are the issues with using a 'similar' oil filter, maybe from a car, which is the same diameter, has the same oil-seal diameter, the same internal thread (M20x1.5?) but maybe slightly different length (8 or 10mm longer) on your bike?? For example the readily available oil filter for my Mazda CX5 is same diameter but 10mm longer than my BMW G310GS bike, and is 1/3rd of the price!
 
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If the threads, mounting gasket, and bypass pressure are same/very similar there shouldn't be any reason you can't use an 'auto' filter. I'd done it plenty on the 3 Kawasaki's I owned over the years and never had any problems. Never saw any abnormal wear when doing valve adjustments. There's not a lot of information out there about the Mahle OC1141, but that's the one you'll be wanting to match those specs on.
 
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blupupher

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If filter mount, gasket diamater, bypass pressure, burst strength are similar, and no clearance issues, no problem using it. Many use "car" filters on motorcycles with no issues at all (I am one of them). Many aftermarket car oil filters are probably "better" than motorcycle specific filters. The Fram Ultra is used by many. I like the Fram ToughGuard myself (although I currently have a Bosch Distance + on the bike now).
 
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Mahle is OE Supplier for BMW. The MAHLE part number is OC1141. Here are the specs: • Filter type: Screw-on filter • Housing diameter [mm]: 65.0 • Height [mm]: 51,0 •: M20x1,5 - 6H • Seal diameter [mm]: 62,2 • Opening pressure of the bypass valve [bar]: 2,5 • Tightening torque [Nm]: 18 • Article number of the recommended special tool: OCS 4 Seems that there's a standard hiflofiltro that would screw on but not suitable.
 
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This is actually a more complex question. Is the bike still under manufacturers warranty ? If yes, then you probably want to stick with a filter that is either OEM or a Mahle. In the US , any filter that meets the OEM specifications can be used according to US consumer law, and it will maintain your factory warranty. I think this applies to Canada as well, and also for many Euro countries. But in real life the problem is a little more complex. First, according to your signature, you are in the Philippines and this consumer law may not be the same as in the US- in fact a lot of countries do not have the same laws on the books. Second, if you have a warranty claim you might get pushback from service people that are not familiar with the law, or may be hoping that you do not know the applicable laws. (this goes for both US and non-US areas). So even if the law applies they may try to deny warranty coverage by blaming a "non-factory part" as the cause of the problem. According to the applicable US laws , it is up to the manufacturer to specifically find that the problem was caused by the non-OEM part, which is quite rare. And for warranty coverage pushback, the problem is usually solved by either speaking to the BMW Service Manager, or escalating to the BMW Zone Rep. Failing that, a simple call to the filter manufacturer explaining the problem will almost always get support from the filter company to call your service guy and make them "prove" the part is at fault. As an example, if you call the Champion Labs customer service line (they make M1, Amsoil, RP and a ton of other brands and OEM filters) one of the choices is something along the lines of "claims" where they handle these type of issues. To get this sort of support, make sure the filter you use is authorized to be sold in your country, in which case its a fairly easy process. If the filter is "grey market" for your country, then your taking a bit more risk upon yourself. Again, in the USA they cannot just blame a non-OEM oil filter without proving their case. However this does not rule out that they may attempt to do this- I very recently had a 30+ years Ford mechanic tell me to keep all my receipts for oil filters and oil "just in case": This is the same Ford that has been giving Focus owners with the DPS-6 transmission the runaround for years. I recently had a warranty repair on a Ford, and the problem was clearly a warranty issue, but I had to keep my guard up as the service writer tried to pull a lot of tricks to get more money out of me. I might suggest trying Amazon or eBay for OEM or Mahle filters, and buy 4-6 and have them delivered. I also locate and arrange parts for my motorcycle groups and boat groups.
 

GeoffPD

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Originally Posted by rubberchicken
This is actually a more complex question. Is the bike still under manufacturers warranty ? If yes, then you probably want to stick with a filter that is either OEM or a Mahle. In the US , any filter that meets the OEM specifications can be used according to US consumer law, and it will maintain your factory warranty. I think this applies to Canada as well, and also for many Euro countries. But in real life the problem is a little more complex. First, according to your signature, you are in the Philippines and this consumer law may not be the same as in the US- in fact a lot of countries do not have the same laws on the books. Second, if you have a warranty claim you might get pushback from service people that are not familiar with the law, or may be hoping that you do not know the applicable laws. (this goes for both US and non-US areas). So even if the law applies they may try to deny warranty coverage by blaming a "non-factory part" as the cause of the problem. According to the applicable US laws , it is up to the manufacturer to specifically find that the problem was caused by the non-OEM part, which is quite rare. And for warranty coverage pushback, the problem is usually solved by either speaking to the BMW Service Manager, or escalating to the BMW Zone Rep. Failing that, a simple call to the filter manufacturer explaining the problem will almost always get support from the filter company to call your service guy and make them "prove" the part is at fault. As an example, if you call the Champion Labs customer service line (they make M1, Amsoil, RP and a ton of other brands and OEM filters) one of the choices is something along the lines of "claims" where they handle these type of issues. To get this sort of support, make sure the filter you use is authorized to be sold in your country, in which case its a fairly easy process. If the filter is "grey market" for your country, then your taking a bit more risk upon yourself. Again, in the USA they cannot just blame a non-OEM oil filter without proving their case. However this does not rule out that they may attempt to do this- I very recently had a 30+ years Ford mechanic tell me to keep all my receipts for oil filters and oil "just in case": This is the same Ford that has been giving Focus owners with the DPS-6 transmission the runaround for years. I recently had a warranty repair on a Ford, and the problem was clearly a warranty issue, but I had to keep my guard up as the service writer tried to pull a lot of tricks to get more money out of me. I might suggest trying Amazon or eBay for OEM or Mahle filters, and buy 4-6 and have them delivered. I also locate and arrange parts for my motorcycle groups and boat groups.
Thanks for your reply. The warranty is up (we only get a miserable 12 months here in Philippines) so there aren't going to be any warranty claims. However obviously we want to protect the contents of our engines, so for me it's a case of finding a suitable and available alternative. Sadly due to locals' extremely limited available funds the marketplace can be littered with cheap Chinese 'lookalikes', so buying a reputable alternative is paramount (for example a K&N or similar). Also, buying in bulk from Amazon or similar is equally dangerous because then you're at the mercy of the notorious Philippine customs who seem to be a law in themselves. They can literally keep your items for WEEKS then charge you a ridiculous import duty (40, 50 or even 100% is not uncommon) together with a 'STORAGE' fee while they left in untouched in their warehouse! (An example is an Amazon $12 dvd that I paid also pre-paid $6 for 'express' door-to-door delivery that ended up taking 7 weeks to arrive, costing me an additional $22.......and I had to drive 35 minutes into the city to go and pick it up!!!). Anyway....back on topic, I need something that a car retailer will likely have on the shelf :-)
 
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As long as keep the oil clean, the filter will last a long long long long long time. There is no need to change the filter every oil change.
 
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Originally Posted by Linctex
As long as keep the oil clean, the filter will last a long long long long long time. There is no need to change the filter every oil change.
I am not familiar with that bike or appropriate filter, but in the case of wet clutches on motorcycles my preference is to change the filter every oil change. It seems the filter is priced about the same as other OEM motorcycle filters- https://www.beemershop.com/product/mahle-oil-filter-2633.html $14.99 in US funds.
 

blupupher

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Originally Posted by rubberchicken
... It seems the filter is priced about the same as other OEM motorcycle filters- https://www.beemershop.com/product/mahle-oil-filter-2633.html $14.99 in US funds.
Did you read the original post?
Originally Posted by GeoffPD
... The problem is the OIL FILTER. There is NO BMW dealer here on my island province ... So here comes the crunch! For me to buy an official BMW oil filter on-line and have it shipped from the dealer in Manila will cost me just short of $40!!!! ...
And buying off Amazon or e-bay is not any better:
Originally Posted by GeoffPD
... Also, buying in bulk from Amazon or similar is equally dangerous because then you're at the mercy of the notorious Philippine customs who seem to be a law in themselves. They can literally keep your items for WEEKS then charge you a ridiculous import duty (40, 50 or even 100% is not uncommon) together with a 'STORAGE' fee while they left in untouched in their warehouse! ...
GeoffPD, if it were me, I would just buy an equivalent automotive filter locally for the bike and be done with it. The link Troop posted gives you quite a few part numbers to choose from. What filter are you looking at that fits your Mazda that is variable, that may be the easier way to figure out if you should use it or not.
 
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Standard Bosch is what I use on my Harley. If you can find a Bosch that fits it will be fine, they are great filters. Have torn many of them open, it's all I've used in 60,000 miles.
 
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Blupupher- Quote- "Did you read the original post?" - yes I did, and I replied "$14.99 in US Funds" with a link from a US reseller, and my earlier posts went into great detail about potential differences in US vs Philippines. I am thinking you did not read my previous replies and took the comment out of context, which is quite understandable if you only read my reply in isolation. I work with a lot of contacts in both motorcycles and boats worldwide to address this sort of problem with parts availability. Recently I have been shocked at how strict certain Euro countries are in enforcing import duties: I shipped some used boat parts as a gift to a Scandinavian country with a total value of about $10. Yes they were hard to find, which explains why anybody would want used parts, but the recipient had to pay another $15 in import duties on a gift. But corruption by Customs enforcement is a topic I have not had to address in the past.
 
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Unless you can find and verify a correct alternative oil filter, I'd fall on the sword and pay the $40 for an OEM BMW filter. BMW's are not cheap! I'm not familiar with BMW service intervals, but you mentioned in original post it's due for it's 12 month servicing. If you only change the oil once a year then pay the $40 and be done with it.
 
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You will be fine using any compatible filter, even more so in your warm climate, not much concern about the by-pass pressure. GO for it and dont worry about it. REALLY Nice place where you live too!
 
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To the OP; fwiw, the Mann site is a useful resource for finding equivalents that might exist in your market. https://catalog.mann-filter.com/EU/eng/oenumbers That, coupled with the listings on the previously mentioned US X-ref site http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/FilterXRef.html will doubtless throw something up that you can obtain locally and be sure it's genuine. Fwiw, I did a spin-on filter conversion on my Yamaha and wanted something a bit larger than the standard Yamaha filter, so used the above sites to find a Mann Mazda MX-3 filter that fits my requirements and is available locally fairly cheaply.
 
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That CALSCI link is a great resource for alternative motorcycle filters. I've ran all kinds of filters over the years, TBH right now im kind of hooked on Wal Marts Supertech filters, Can't beat two dollars and some change for an oil filter but they're advertised as 5k mile filters so for extended intervals you'll need a more premium media. But my point is, ive used everything over the years, Purolator, Fram Ultra, K&N, Supertech and despite the price, ive never noticed a difference. Have also never cut any of them open so who knows? But I feel if you change your oil often, you can get away with the cheaper filters. As anectodal as it is, ive never had an oil filter related issue but i also very rarely extend my oil change intervals over 5k miles.
 
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