Cutting open oil filter...?

Messages
2
Location
Santa Rosa
I am new to the forum so please excuse my ignorance. It seems several members who I assume are doing their own repairs are taking the time to cut open the oil filter during an oil change. Can you enlighten me (I am being serious and sincere) as to the reason for doing so? Also, are there any techs currently in the trade doing this. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
 
Messages
911
Location
California
Welcome. Today I was in Santa Rosa at the Safari West preserve. It was a really fun tour!!! I was a tech for Chevrolet in the 1980's and I cut open a few oil filters when instructed to by Chevrolet. I believe it was to check for metal shavings when performing warranty work.
 
Messages
26
Location
North Texas
lol, yeah this was a new one for me too. I kept seeing all these post about filters and would open one up and see all these pics of cut open oil filters and thought to my self w.t.f! Of course now, I have done my own filter cutting and have been looking for another one to inspect, great forum and tons of info for the diy guy!
 
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Messages
1,723
Location
Virginia
Looking for anything abnormal, and checking out how the filter media held up. Consider this, without them doing that, we wouldn't have found out about the media tear issue currently going on with Purolators.
 
Messages
1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
Originally Posted By: sicko
Looking for anything abnormal, and checking out how the filter media held up. Consider this, without them doing that, we wouldn't have found out about the media tear issue currently going on with Purolators.
And neither would Purolator..
 
Messages
8,306
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I cut open oil filters to see how they held up under usage in the vehicles I maintain. I look for stressed pleats, tears, amount of pleats, construction, etc. and I use my analysis to help me choose which filters to continue using and which not to use.
 
Messages
5,932
Location
DFW
Originally Posted By: MrQuackers
And we get bored.
There you go. I have been accused of practicing compulsive, neurotic car maintenance for years. But, I have never cut open an oil filter. For some reason I don't even care if it has a huge hole inside. It's not one of those things keeping me awake at night. But, I still do enjoy checking it out when others do it.
 
Messages
1,084
Location
Colorado
Initially, it was curiosity. I cut one open with a hack saw to check the media on a Mobil-1. Obviously, after using a hacksaw, checking for metal shavings is not really an option... I wonder whether shavings are really observable unless an engine is really in bad shape. I also think it is a way to keep filter manufacturers honest, and hold their feet to the fire, as they do on this site. I should add that I have since invested in a filter cutter (Proform 66490 Oil Filter Cutter). Haven't yet used it.
 
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Messages
4,240
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: Wordfreak
I am new to the forum so please excuse my ignorance. It seems several members who I assume are doing their own repairs are taking the time to cut open the oil filter during an oil change. Can you enlighten me (I am being serious and sincere) as to the reason for doing so? Also, are there any techs currently in the trade doing this. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
Oil filter changes are maintenance, not repairs. Maintenance can be anticipated and scheduled based on mileage and/or the calender. Repairs are generally not anticipated until actually needed. The reason I cut open filters is primarily to assess the condition of my engine oil, and by relation, my engine. If there is sludge, debris, water, or metal shavings present, I have learned something. If there is a trend towards more filter loading, I have learned something. If everything looks OK then I know certain aspects of my engine are still in good shape. Actual filter failure is relatively rare. While I always look for it in a cut filter, I don't expect to find it. I found my first one just recently.
 
Messages
6,168
Location
Illinois
I cut them open to separate the steel from the rest for scrap. That and I have a super duper oil filter cutter opener.
 
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