Micron Ratings - Wix vs NAPA Gold

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As we all probably know, we've taken it for granted that Wix oil filters and NAPA Gold oil filters are the same filters, just re-branded. However, sometimes we come across different information for the filters when comparing O'Reilly's and Wix's data to NAPA's data. I took it upon myself to first try to find some answers via chat on NAPA's and O'Reilly's websites. Being unable to get an actual answer from those technicians, I went ahead and emailed my question to O'Reilly, NAPA, and Wix. I am currently awaiting response from all three, and it may not be until tomorrow that I get them. In the mean time, I figured I'd make a thread here in case anyone would like to hear the answers I will get. The question I sent to them is in regards to 2 Wix filters and their NAPA Gold equivalents, but I'm hoping the answer(s) I receive should be able to correlate with any discrepancies found between Wix and NAPA Gold filters. Question: "I know that currently Wix oil filters and NAPA Gold filters are the same, or are supposed to be anyway. I have a question regarding two oil filters, and their NAPA Gold equivalents. 1) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51592 has a nominal micron rating of 19, but according to NAPA the Gold 1592 has a nominal micron rating of 16, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). 2) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51087 has a nominal micron rating of 25, but according to NAPA the Gold 1087 has a nominal micron rating of 24, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). What is the reason for these discrepancies in micron ratings, and shouldn't the Wix and NAPA Gold filters be rated the same if they are indeed technically the same filters?" I will post the responses I receive from them in this thread as I get them.
Click to reveal..
Chat with NAPA Tech: 04:05:47 PM [Freya] Hello, my name is Freya. I would be happy to assist you today! How may I help you? 04:06:04 PM [ME] Hi, are you an ASE certified NAPA employee? 04:06:31 PM [Freya] I am an ASE Certified parts professional, how may I help you today? 04:07:01 PM [ME] Okay. Sorry this is kind of a long message I'm about to copy-paste... 04:07:04 PM [ME] I know that currently Wix oil filters and NAPA Gold filters are the same, or are supposed to be anyway. I have a question regarding two oil filters, and their NAPA Gold equivalents. 1) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51592 has a nominal micron rating of 19, but according to NAPA the Gold 1592 has a nominal micron rating of 16, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). 2) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51087 has a nominal micron rating of 25, but according to NAPA the Gold 1087 has a nominal micron rating of 24, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). What is the reason for these discrepancies in micron ratings, and shouldn't the Wix and NAPA Gold filters be rated the same if they are indeed technically the same filters? 04:10:24 PM [Freya] Suppliers of the products listed in this catalog are subject to change at any time. While the individuals and entities responsible for this catalog attempt to provide accurate supplier information, for these reasons and others, the suppliers noted in this catalog may not be the supplier of the product ultimately sold by NAPA Auto Parts stores or distributors of NAPA products. If you have further questions regarding NAPA Filters, you can contact the NAPA Filter hotline at 1-800-949-6698 They should be able to provide you with the correct information for those filters. Sadly I am limited to the information that is listed on the site. I would not list the reason that the microns differ online. 04:11:31 PM [ME] Okay, that's fine - could I just send an email to [email protected] to get further info? 04:11:59 PM [ME] Or, is there a different email for filter support? 04:12:30 PM [Freya] Yes you could forward this to customer support as well. I only have the customer support email available to me. 04:12:53 PM [ME] Okay, thanks Freya. Have a good one. 04:13:02 PM [Freya] You certainly are welcome! 04:13:04 PM [Freya] Is there anything else I may assist you with today? 04:13:13 PM [ME] No, that was all. 04:13:18 PM [Freya] Thanks for contacting NAPA Online. Please feel free to let us know if you need any further assistance. You can email a transcript of the chat after the chat concludes during the survey. Also, if you haven't signed up yet, you should join our NAPA email list so we can give you the latest news, tips, special offers & discounts. Chat with O'Reilly Tech: Bob: Hi, my name is Bob. How may I help you? ME: Hello Bob. Sorry, I'm about to paste a mildly long question: ME: I know that currently Wix oil filters and NAPA Gold filters are the same, or are supposed to be anyway. I have a question regarding two oil filters, and their NAPA Gold equivalents. 1) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51592 has a nominal micron rating of 19, but according to NAPA the Gold 1592 has a nominal micron rating of 16, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). 2) According to O'Reilly's and Wix's data, the Wix 51087 has a nominal micron rating of 25, but according to NAPA the Gold 1087 has a nominal micron rating of 24, and can filter down to 8 (at a lower percentage). What is the reason for these discrepancies in micron ratings, and shouldn't the Wix and NAPA Gold filters be rated the same if they are indeed technically the same filters? Bob: Wix manufactures filters for multiple suppliers and they are not just relabeled filters. Wix makes other brands for them to sell. The filters could be coming from different factories that measure the specifications differently. Note (sometimes the physical dimensions of the canister are also different from each supplier) . ME: "The filters could be coming from different factories that measure the specifications differently" - isn't the standard ISO test (I don't remember the ID# for it) used for all oil filters? How could the micron ratings be different if the same ISO test is conducted? It would seem that either they would have the same micron ratings, or, if not, they are actually using different filtration media. Bob: I recommend contacting the manufacturers for details, we just sell the products ME: Okay, I think I'll try to email Wix directly. Thanks for the help. Bob: Thank you for contacting us today.
 

Triton_330

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Originally Posted By: BigD1
You may find this interesting. I think they have the old Wix data too. http://www.fleetfilter.com/comparison-wixLD-filter.html
Wow! That is odd. The Wix in that case has 3 more pleats and a slightly larger media area. I would presume the media itself is the same material, but of course that is relevant to the question I sent to the three companies. In my case, it shows the Gold as having better filtration data, of course your link doesn't show micron ratings.
 
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Kalifornia Kollective
And then the question comes down to what you are filtering for ... If absolute clean oil is the goal, by-pass filtration in conjunction with OEM filter is the best option. Are you going to compare the answers to Fram Ultra and maybe Baldwin?
 
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Need to ask them what their definition of "nominal" is, it typically means the efficiency at 50%. Also, it would be nice to know what the efficiency is at 20 microns for each of these filters. WIX used to show the beta ratio on all of their filters at one time, but they've removed that information for most of their filters.
 

Triton_330

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Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
And then the question comes down to what you are filtering for ... If absolute clean oil is the goal, by-pass filtration in conjunction with OEM filter is the best option. Are you going to compare the answers to Fram Ultra and maybe Baldwin?
Uh, you're missing the point. I'm literally only asking about Wix vs NAPA Gold BECAUSE they are supposed to be the exact same, but the data shows different micron ratings. Don't overthink things, okay? The point of this is ONLY to find the answer to the question "Are Wix and NAPA Gold filters actually the same filter or not?"
Originally Posted By: BigD1
http://www.fleetfilter.com/ld-filters-chart.html Look at the individual Wix filters on their website for the flow and micron ratings. Here is yours. Pretty sure this was the old data that disappeared from the Wix website. http://www.fleetfilter.com/filter/51592.html
Honestly, I don't know how I feel about trusting a third party site, rather than Wix themselves.
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Need to ask them what their definition of "nominal" is, it typically means the efficiency at 50%. Also, it would be nice to know what the efficiency is at 20 microns for each of these filters. WIX used to show the beta ratio on all of their filters at one time, but they've removed that information for most of their filters.
I'm pretty sure it isn't 50% because: "Laboratory Test Performance per ISO 454812 18 grams dirt (WIX 51515), 99% efficient at 23 microns (Based on WIX 51515, WIX 51356, WIX 57060)" (Even though for those 3 filters, O'Reilly lists the micron rating at 21, but that's been talked about here before).
 
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Does anyone actually believe the ratings these manufacturers/retailers post for their products? I would be wary,maybe a bit of puffing or embellishment going on.Maybe some of the filters need to be sent to an independent lab for testing...but who would actually pay for that? I say take everything you see/read with a bit of doubt.Especially when $$ are at stake. Do batteries that claim 1000cca really deliver that? Do PTFE engine additives really reduce engine wear? Do SplitFire spark plugs really raise HP and MPGs over a conventional plug?
 
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Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Need to ask them what their definition of "nominal" is, it typically means the efficiency at 50%.
That is the question! Baldwin sends out the information pronto. Wix could/should provide the information. They have it.
 

Triton_330

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Originally Posted By: BigD1
Baldwin sends out the information pronto. Wix could/should provide the information. They have it.
Yeah, I hope when Wix responds to my email (as well as O'Reilly and NAPA) they give me a plethora of information like Baldwin does. It would be a benefit to our collective knowledge here on BITOG.
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
Good thread.
A good thread that has the potential to become a great thread, depending on the information I receive from their email responses - I hope they reply tomorrow.
 
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Originally Posted By: Triton_330
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Need to ask them what their definition of "nominal" is, it typically means the efficiency at 50%. Also, it would be nice to know what the efficiency is at 20 microns for each of these filters. WIX used to show the beta ratio on all of their filters at one time, but they've removed that information for most of their filters.
I'm pretty sure it isn't 50% because: "Laboratory Test Performance per ISO 454812 18 grams dirt (WIX 51515), 99% efficient at 23 microns (Based on WIX 51515, WIX 51356, WIX 57060)" (Even though for those 3 filters, O'Reilly lists the micron rating at 21, but that's been talked about here before).
I would only trust info from WIX since they are the manufacturer of both lines of filters. If you Google the definition of "nominal efficiency" you'll see it's typically the efficiency at 50%. So who knows where they're getting those numbers.
 
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'Nominal' rating is 'generally' taken to be efficiency @ 50%. However, that doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule, open to interpretation, ie., vague. The topic was discussed HERE. So I don't put much credence into a 'nominal' rating when I see it. Further I take word of mouth information from secondary distributors like O'R with a grain of salt. And unfortunately if previous postings of information provided by Wix CS is an indication, it's unlikely anything particularly illuminating will be gleaned or added to the topic. All that said, I'm confident that Wix label filter and Napa Gold are the same filters.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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This isn't actually new; it's be discussed many times before over the years. The data each company puts out can vary depending upon the marketing style. For a long time, Wix had individual, unique Beta data for all their filters. Then, for some unfathomable reason, they when to a "whitewashed" approach were everything was "2/20 = 6/20" on nearly every listing. But you could still go to the Fleetfilter site (which markets the NG stuff and now other brands) and get the old raw data. But then their data morphed as well. WAY BACK WHEN, the two websites had matching data. Now they don't. But, I've noticed now that Wix is updating their website again with individual beta data. Overall, there is a general understanding that the good qualilty Wix and the NG are identical; we used to be visited here by a member named "Pete C" who worked at Wix, but he's not posted here for many years. We took him at his word. Gary Allan used to have a decent relationship with him and got some inside info, but it was not typically shared. I think what you're seeing is the typical influx of two things: - different marketing approaches of different companies - time delays in information releases It is my general assumption that a Wix filter = NG filter. However, things do change. Good luck trying to get an answer out of Wix, though. Every angle of their "customer service" facet will leave you in disgust. Whether it's email or phone calls, all you'll get on the other end is a trained monkey regurgitating something they read off a boiler-plate monitor. I've tried many times and just given up; their idea of sharing tech data is laughable. Many years ago Gary and I were interested in the filter for the Dmax I have. The beta listing at the time was "2/20=5/8". Not bad at all! I found that a bit hard to believe, and I called them and asked; got the canned response of "Yes Sir - that is the right info on the 57202 listing." GREAT! I thought; what a fantastic filter for a full flow performance at a good price. Then a few years later, the "correction" came out; it was actually 2/20 = 5/18. Note that the "8" became an "18"! That is much more believable, but not nearly as exciting. And when I called them back to ask about the "new" listing, again all I got was a boiler-plate response. Now it's just the obligatory 2/20=6/20 .... so go figure ... My point is that Wix products are good IMO, but the customer service sucks.
 
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Triton_330

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Well, Wix got back to me. "Hi (ME), WIX 51592 and Napa 1592 are both 19 microns. WIX 51087 and Napa 1087 are both 25 microns. The only difference in the WIX and Napa Filters are the decals and paths of distribution. Thank you for your interest in WIX Filters. Product Information (800) 949-6698 Mon-Fri, 8:30am-6:00pm, (Eastern)" I just don't get it. Why would NAPA list the Golds as having better filtration? I hope NAPA responds to my email today. We'll see what they have to say, if they even reply.
 

4WD

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Is that "nominal" (50%) a single pass - and if so let's take the Wix XP - when I have cut them open it's hard to find better looking internal/external construction... so at 50% - if the mechanicals are producing "dirt" at a rate slower than that 50% - is is keeping up by means of multiple passes... The other thing giving rise to that question is the low efficiency of some OEM filters ...
 
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I contacted Wix recently without mentioning a specific filter model. Their answers on efficiency were 99% at 21 microns for the standard filters, and 99% at 35 microns for the XP filters. It's interesting how others are getting different answers in the space of two weeks.
 
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Originally Posted By: Astro_Guy
I contacted Wix recently without mentioning a specific filter model. Their answers on efficiency were 99% at 21 microns for the standard filters, and 99% at 35 microns for the XP filters. It's interesting how others are getting different answers in the space of two weeks.
When I contacted WIX awhile ago about the XP they told me 50% at 20 microns, and their website showed a beta ratio that reflected the 50% at 20 microns. I think they show no beta data now. 99% at 35 microns could equate to around 50% at 20 microns depending on the efficiency curve shape. The filter manufacturers have learned to use the "99% at XX microns" statement to make the efficiency seem high. Non-BITOG types see "99%" and think it's stellar.
 
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Originally Posted By: Astro_Guy
... Their answers on efficiency were 99% at 21 microns for the standard filters, and 99% at 35 microns for the XP filters......
The XP number is interesting and first time I've seen/heard that info posted here as 'via Wix CS info'. However, those are the same numbers that have long been used by O'R in their advertising of efficiency rating for XP filters as can be seen in the link. Click "show all details" in the link HERE. As I don't use the XP, I'll leave it to others to guesstimate what an interpolation to 20um might be. As for the Wix/(Napa Gold), whether it's 95%@20um as the betas say or 99%@21um either works fine for me. It is the first time I've seen the latter reported though.
 
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Originally Posted By: Sayjac
As for the Wix/(Napa Gold), whether it's 95%@20um as the betas say or 99%@21um either works fine for me. It is the first time I've seen the latter reported though.
Because WIX has now adopted the "99% @ xx microns" statement instead of the "xx% @ 20 microns" statement. Everything seems better when it's at "99%". grin
 
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