Oil Filters for BMW N55 Engine

JHZR2

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It was time for my annual oil change on my 2011 BMW 135i. I bought it new, and it now has around 18k miles on it. Ive amassed a few oil filters due to deals, dealer freebies, and general curiosity. My local NAPA had the platinum filter in stock as well, so I grabbed one of those to compare. Baseline BMW OE Made in Germany Mann: Made in Mexico Mann I got as a deal at AAP: K&N (Korea) I got as a deal at AAP: NAPA Platinum (Poland) that was on sale and in stock: Fram Ultra (USA) from Amazon: Here's another image of the FU showing the metal-backed media. But some irregular pleating: Here's the Mexican vs German Mann: I will state objectively that the Mexican-made one has neater glue and pleat joining than the German OE one does. Overall, the K&N was the most consistently finished and pleated, with a very neat media, well pleated, very smooth and nice. It also seemed to be the thinnest, but it was more of the consistency of a synthetic media, than the Mann. I did have a K&N in there that I pulled out. I forgot to photograph it, but it did show folding in the centerline of all the pleats. It was not compromised though. In the end, I went with the Napa Platinum. I would say that Id use any of these with confidence - no reason not to. I dont mind the funny beta ratio values listed by Wix for this filter. It is a high flow, high capacity filter that I thought was well made and should be fine for my relatively low mileage use. The car does see high oil temperatures (240-250F operating) when running PP 5w-40 euro. I picked the Platinum in the end (Ill end up using all of them regardless) because I like the O-ring at the top and bottom to aide in sealing, and the plastic mesh backing on the media.
 
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Interesting comparisons, including the made in Mexico Mann vs made in Germany BMW. Haven't seen a Napa Platinum cartridge before either. I helped pick out a South Korean made K&N cartridge filter for a confused person at Walmart. It was cheaper and looked to be of better quality than the Mobil and regular Fram options. The Ultra cartridge wasn't available but super expensive at Walmart. Btw, the synthetic filters are probably good for 20,000 miles and at least 2 years. You're probably changing them unnecessarily, but I suppose you have a lot to get through.
 
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Very nice collection of filters and they all look like quality ones that you can use with confidence. Nice seeing them side by side prior to use. Thank you Jim(?). I forget what the "J" stands for.
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I would say that Id use any of these with confidence - no reason not to.
There have been reports here on BITOG of FU cartridge filters disintegrating in BMW applications.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I would say that Id use any of these with confidence - no reason not to.
There have been reports here on BITOG of FU cartridge filters disintegrating in BMW applications.
Link?? Wonder if the metal backing could abrade the media? I think this year I drove 4k miles. Given that Ive owned the car for 7 years and only have 18k miles, if a filter disintegrated, for me personally it wouldnt be more than a thousand miles or so, Id think and so Im not terribly concerned. Still, I am concerned and intrigued...
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I would say that Id use any of these with confidence - no reason not to.
There have been reports here on BITOG of FU cartridge filters disintegrating in BMW applications.
Link?? Wonder if the metal backing could abrade the media? I think this year I drove 4k miles. Given that Ive owned the car for 7 years and only have 18k miles, if a filter disintegrated, for me personally it wouldnt be more than a thousand miles or so, Id think and so Im not terribly concerned. Still, I am concerned and intrigued...
Here is one, after 3K miles in a BMW X3: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3434977/Fram_Ultra_FAILURE#Post3434977 I've seen other similar reports, but don't have time to search right now.
 

JHZR2

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Thanks. That is a little concerning, wonder if it was resolved. Ill have a look at my filter to see how heavy the glue is, and if there's a sign of weakness. It could be somewhat irrelevant since the filter is somewhat compressed when torqued in to spec, so channeling through a compromised bond might not be a real scenario. Remove the cap, especially if the media is somewhat stuck to the cap or housing (due to the felt perhaps, which is not on the OE filter) and it may shear it off causing damage. Not saying its a non issue, but I have to wonder if it is a concern when installed, and if it is damaged by removal...
 
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I've also read on here about poor fitment issues with the canister versions of the Fram Ultra. Which is why I eliminated it as an option for the Camry. Maybe that had something to do with it coming apart. But the metal can versions are supposed to be top notch and wouldn't hesitate using those. You can always return it if you still have the receipt or even Walmart will take it back without one and give store credit.
 
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Originally Posted By: wemay
Very nice comparison post. Like you said, i would have zero issue using any of them (except for the Ultra).
Amended
 

JHZR2

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Im still not so unsold on the ultra. Given my mileage per year, I'll likely chance it sometime. We will see.
 
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Originally Posted By: wemay
Originally Posted By: wemay
Very nice comparison post. Like you said, i would have zero issue using any of them (except for the Ultra).
Amended
Just stick with OE suppliers for these. No price or quality reason not to. In Europe, OE synthetic cartridge filters are manufacturer specified for 2 years / 20,000 miles. Plus they have efficiencies near to the Fram Ultra rather than the Wix / Napa.
 
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Being the Devil's advocate here. So what if Fram Ultra end caps separated? OEM filters don't even have end caps and yet you trust them to form a good seal. Besides, we don't know if the end-cap-separation cases involve overtigtening by the owner.
 
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Originally Posted By: Gokhan
So what if Fram Ultra end caps separated? OEM filters don't even have end caps and yet you trust them to form a good seal.
Have you ever seen one of these OEM filters in person? OEM filters have hard cellulose mould that does act like an end cap and helps keep media in shape. Their ends are actually more sturdy than some of these so called proper end caps from other manufacturers.
Quote:
Besides, we don't know if the end-cap-separation cases involve overtigtening by the owner.
If you overtighten, you will break the filter housing cap and o-ring before you damage an end cap of an OEM filter. Now, if an aftermarket filter is a poor fit, then that in itself is a problem.
 

JHZR2

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I don't buy overtightening, for the reasons you say. However, Im not sure if this could be due to binding and shear under disassembly. Real cartridge filters, like on my classic MB and BMWs had a real canister, which bolted down on an o ring. Seals on the filter that were compressed assured the flow. These ones where the whole assembly twists are a different animal. I regularly see a fold midway on these filters in the pleats. That means they are compressed AND torqued.
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
In the end, I went with the Napa Platinum. I would say that Id use any of these with confidence - no reason not to. I dont mind the funny beta ratio values listed by Wix for this filter. It is a high flow, high capacity filter that I thought was well made and should be fine for my relatively low mileage use. The car does see high oil temperatures (240-250F operating) when running PP 5w-40 euro. I picked the Platinum in the end (Ill end up using all of them regardless) because I like the O-ring at the top and bottom to aide in sealing, and the plastic mesh backing on the media.
OK, isn't the accepted beta value for Wix XP/Napa Platinum is beta 2=20, which means (2-1)/2 * 100% = 1/2 * 100% = 50% efficient at 20 microns? This efficiency is pretty low, about the same as Amsoil-reported efficiency (51.0%) on Toyota/Denso OEM 90915-YZZF2. I understand the longer drain intervals but most oil filters have a lot higher efficiency than that. It looks like overkill (no pun intended for the BITOG user with the same name) for an oil filter with full-synthetic media to have such a low efficiency in exchange for even longer drains, which would already be pretty long if it had a higher efficiency.
 
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Nice display of Bimmer cartridge options. I find your conclusion(s) about the BMW oem vs the made in Mexico Mann to be interesting and enlightening. Both look to be good quality though. Your ultimate choice and reasoning for it interesting too. As you seem aware it may be or is maligned by some due to "funny beta ratio". And since subject already broached, I would agree with follow up comments posted about the FU cartridge especially in (but not limited to) BWM applications. Based on anecdotes posted I don't put the FU cartridge in same category as the spin on. Linked is the last FU BMW anecdote I remember seeing posted. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3930157/Fram_Ultra_=_Piece_of_%5Bcensore
 
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Originally Posted By: Sayjac
Nice display of Bimmer cartridge options. I find your conclusion(s) about the BMW oem vs the made in Mexico Mann to be interesting and enlightening. Both look to be good quality though. Your ultimate choice and reasoning for it interesting too. As you seem aware it may be or is maligned by some due to "funny beta ratio". And since subject already broached, I would agree with follow up comments posted about the FU cartridge especially in (but not limited to) BWM applications. Based on anecdotes posted I don't put the FU cartridge in same category as the spin on. Linked is the last FU BMW anecdote I remember seeing posted. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3930157/Fram_Ultra_=_Piece_of_%5Bcensore
That one was a couple years ago already there haven't been any with end caps off lately. They do watch the threads. The original claim was they have to use metal end caps on the Ultra due to the mesh and media. The other Ultra with missing media in the bottom of the pleat V sort of just went away, forgotten. I would check them inside if I was going to buy an Ultra cartridge.
 
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