No more Fram Air Filters, STP only! (56k beware)

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Apr 11, 2003
Spring HIll
Purchased a new Fram filter for the 04 Vue V6 today. So I went to install it tonight when I changed the oil (PP 5w-20 for those with inquiring minds). First thing I noticed was that it looked different and that it was a bit lighter in weight.

The box was in perfect shape, yet the outboard pleats are crunched. The rubber perimeter comes off easily.

Two Side-by-Side pix:


The old filter, an STP filter with about 14K on it, has 24 pleats. They are rather sturdy and unflimsy.


Conversely, the Fram has only 18 pleats that are easily flexible. Cheap is a better word to describe this $12.47 + tax filter at WalMart:


It doesn't matter what foreign country these are made in IMO, the STP filter is a better product. I won't be purchasing Fram air filters any longer. STP has my business from now on.
Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
Maybe a customer looked at the filter and shoved it back in the box and it got damaged ?

Maybe, but the STP filter looks rigid enough to have not been damaged if some ham fisted person tried to shove it back in the box. Regardless of what caused the damage, I'd say this is still a black mark against Fram.
I just went out to the garage and found *another* exact one of these. I forgot I bought one a few months ago. Same issues: bent outboard pleats, flimsy construction, etc.

Khomplete Khrap.
That's strange.

The Fram air filter for my SL2 is better than the Wix one that I recently purchased.
Originally Posted By: The Critic
That's strange.

The Fram air filter for my SL2 is better than the Wix one that I recently purchased.

The first air filter I put in my SL2 was a Wix/Napa Gold one. The intake sucked a hole about 1" where it lined up sometime before 7,000. Since then I have used Fram with no problems. If I buy a fuzzy filter it will be OEM one. I don't trust the aftermarket fuzzy design.
Really, you aren't going to buy Fram anymore because of 2 slightly dented pleats which will have no effect on the filtration? What if someone took it out of the box and bent the pleats prior to you getting it?

I could see if the gasket or media was badly damage or the filter was warped or not fitting in your air-box properly, but then that's 1 filter out of how many they make in a day? C'mon get real!

So if you go to a restaurant and they happen to get your order wrong or the food isn't to your liking are you never going to eat there again?

If you want to buy the STP because it seems better built with the center piece of plastic, that's fine but to call FRAM no-good because of slighty damage pleets and a "lighter" design is just childish

JMO, don't get angry.
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I'm not angry at all. I'm not being childish neither. When you place a McDonald's cheeseburger next to a home-grilled burger, and they cost the same, which one would you prefer?

Would you continue to frequent a restaurant if you received sub-par overpriced food, twice?

This thing isn't worth $2 let alone $12+... Value is part of the price. There is no value in this Fram item.

My kids can make a better quality air filter with a couple pieces of notebook paper, a plastic coat hanger and a bottle of Elmer's glue.
The Fram he is showing is junk. I looked at one for my '03 VUE a few years back. I also would not use due to the very poorly fitting gasket alone. The Saturn filter element is $25-$30 IIRC but is waaay higher quality.
Buy the better quality one yes, but to start a thread with pictures and complain that you aren't buying FRAM any more because of dented pleats is a bit crazy don't you think?

Slightly dented pleats aren't going to affect the filtration, and the gasket although it could be better I'm sure will seal just fine

Now if you posted "Fram compared to STP" and left it open for discussion fine.

I agree with you for the price I would get the STP... I just didn't like the way you approached the thread, to me it seemed childish.

I actually prefer the Fram over SPT. I had a SPT filter replaced by the Valvoline quick lube (my pre bitog days). With only 1K miles on the SPT switched it out for a Fram from AutoZone made in Israel. I noticed much better low end torque immediately on the trip back home. The Fram is still in my 05 Corolla now.

I actually don't like that piece of plastic down the middle, I think it restricts air flow. The Corolla filter is smaller than yours so every bit counts.
A few years back I went to Murray's for a new Motorcraft air filte. So the counter guy said it was 18.00,and I said gimme the Fram for 12.00. Then he took the 2 filters out of the box and had me check them out. Needless to say I spend the extra 5.00 for the MC. There was no comparison in quality.
Originally Posted By: StevieC
Buy the better quality one yes, but to start a thread with pictures and complain that you aren't buying FRAM any more because of dented pleats is a bit crazy don't you think?

That's not the angle I was coming from. Cheap quality Fram products is what I was trying to display here, bent pleats being only one part of the experience. If I didn't portray the larger meaning, then it's my fault for not explaining things thoroughly.

As for the Fram vs MC filters...
Same story. When I worked in Ford parts, I was amazed at how the no-name brands were flimsy & cheap compared the Motorcraft-labeled products. Several mechanics swore by them as they wouldn't sag when the filter became damp. However, the MC products did cost more then that knock-offs...
How do you know that less or more plets equal better filtering??? Is it not also the material used...Pkus how restrictive to you want an air filter to be. In your home a merv rating around a 8 or less is what most HVAC people reccomend..Cant you have too much filtering.....
I think the main issue, for Champion/STP AND Fram alike, is that quite a few of the import syle air filters (i.e. the plasitc framed, non-paper media variety) are subbed out to foreign factories so the quality varies much more than the conventional paper and foam gasket variety made in house.
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