Dealer installed wrong filter?

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Jan 6, 2021
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I have just recently purchased a 2014 Caddy XTS. The dealer had changed the oil when the car came in on trade, so it only had a few miles on the oil when I bought it. Regardless, I'm paranoid and by the time I got to around 3000 miles on the oil I couldn't stand it any more and wanted to change it so I can send a sample to blackstone labs and get a UOA done.

I flipped open the owners manual to get the specs and picked up 7 QT of my usual Penzoil Platnium and a new ACDelco PF63 filter. To my surprise, the filter on the car was a PF64, one I recognize well because my old Malibu used the same one. The problem is the PF63 is almost twice the length although they have the same housing diameter and I would guess the flow rate is not similar either, one was for a 2.0L engine and the other is for a 3.6L engine. Also, my XTS is the higher performance VSport model with the twin turbo LF3 so it should be much harder on the oil than a standard 3.6L.

I'm just wondering if this could cause any damage? The car only carries a 90 day warranty, and I'm about 45 days into that period. I haven't detected anything really out of the ordinary but the car does not idle well at all if I shut the A/C off and the idle drops to its lowest point which is set at 500RPM.

I put the old filter in the new filter box so you can see how much smaller it is.

20220906_094909.jpg
 
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You should be fine, many people upsize their filters for additional capacity when other specifications, such as bypass pressure, are the same. Many oil change shops also consolidate their inventory to certain part numbers.

As an example, some newer Fords spec a FL-910s and its pretty common to upsize to the FL-400s

Based on what I can see, the PF64 and PF63E both have a bypass pressure of 22psi, so their shouldn't be any real harm in using the larger PF63 if it physically will fit.

It does sound like you may need to clean the idle air control valve to work on that idle problem
 
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According to FRAM, their equivalents for the 63 has a bypass pressure range of 16-28 psi and the 64 has 19-25 psi. The median value of both is 22 psi. That filter is fine.
 

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You should be fine, many people upsize their filters for additional capacity when other specifications, such as bypass pressure, are the same. Many oil change shops also consolidate their inventory to certain part numbers.

As an example, some newer Fords spec a FL-910s and its pretty common to upsize to the FL-400s

Based on what I can see, the PF64 and PF63E both have a bypass pressure of 22psi, so their shouldn't be any real harm in using the larger PF63 if it physically will fit.

It does sound like you may need to clean the idle air control valve to work on that idle problem

The larger PF63 is the OEM filter for my car, they installed a smaller filter. Sorry if it was confusing. I'm hoping everything is OK like you said but the GM high-feature V6 is very prone to oiling problems causing timing chain failure which is why I'm a little nervous.

The car doesn't have an IAC valve at all, although I have had the throttle body cleaned and intake ports walnut blasted for carbon (the car only has 70k on it and it was THE WORST carbon build up I've ever seen, 200k mile VWs have nothing on this thing).
 
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Short interval of 3k? No issue with a smaller filter IMO. Probably would want the larger filter for longer intervals. You should see how small my filter is for my 7qt V8 Titan.
 
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The larger PF63 is the OEM filter for my car, they installed a smaller filter. Sorry if it was confusing. I'm hoping everything is OK like you said but the GM high-feature V6 is very prone to oiling problems causing timing chain failure which is why I'm a little nervous.

The car doesn't have an IAC valve at all, although I have had the throttle body cleaned and intake ports walnut blasted for carbon (the car only has 70k on it and it was THE WORST carbon build up I've ever seen, 200k mile VWs have nothing on this thing).
Oh I apologize! Thanks for the clarification, I should have read that again.

There may have been some marginal differences due to the limited size of the downsized filter, but because the oil pump is positive displacement (meaning it will pump the same volume regardless, as long as the oil can flow), the effects were minimal. It's more important that the filter got replaced.

There was a big Engine Masters video comparing different brands of oil filters, including an undersized filter, and there was not enough of a difference with the operating characteristics of the undersized filter to raise concern.
 

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Short interval of 3k? No issue with a smaller filter IMO. Probably would want the larger filter for longer intervals. You should see how small my filter is for my 7qt V8 Titan.

I think it was closer to 2600 but I'm not sure of the exact mileage when they changed it previously. The car also sat on the lot with that oil in it for about 6 months.

Normally my OCI is 4500 miles regardless of the car or the oil used as long as my oil analysis comes back good. I'm not super concerned with long intervals, rather have a little extra expense doing conservative oil changes than having problems in other areas.
 
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I've gone with a smaller filter at times being they didn't have the right one called for, and none to be had for a month or so, worked out fine so bigger shouldn't be any problem i usually do 3K oil changes
 
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two things that may ease your mind a bit...I have read where GM dealerships have used the PF64 in place of the PF63 when the OM called for the PF63 without issue and your High Feature V6 (3.6L) should not be one of the ones with worrisome oil issues (older, non DI engines with too long OCI)...enjoy your XTS

Bill
 

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two things that may ease your mind a bit...I have read where GM dealerships have used the PF64 in place of the PF63 when the OM called for the PF63 without issue and your High Feature V6 (3.6L) should not be one of the ones with worrisome oil issues (older, non DI engines with too long OCI)...enjoy your XTS

Bill

Well, I thought so but I can tell you the poor idle has decreased dramatically since yesterday. Since today is my weekend I had time to sit and datalog it and feel the difference and oh boy is it much better than it was. My base idle with no A/C has increased from bouncing and stumbling/misfiring (mostly in cyl 2 and 5 - they were picking up just below the MIL threshold)~500RPM to a very steady 600RPM with only a slight vibration and much lower misfire counts, actually I only saw 2 which I was watching while normally it would shoot up to 8-10 before resetting. A/C on has gone from 600RPM with a discernable stumble to 750RPM, again very steady.

To be clear, chasing this idle problem around has cost me almost $2500 at this point. Just the carbon cleaning service alone was $1200. 6 new plugs and coils was almost $500 just based on the price of OEM coils alone. The only difference between yesterday and today is the oil and filter change, so it brings up some interesting questions about what is actually happening to this car.

I wish I had a better scan tool, I haven't been able to locate the oil pressure PID with the janky bluetooth thing I have.
 
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