torn purolater wrecked my motor?

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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
sure, but what would constitute actual evidence?
As others have pointed out, this type of damage doesn't match at all what we'd expect from a torn filter. If a filter just tears, it's not going to kill an engine. Engines ran, and still run, just fine without oil filters. We don't need 99.9% at 20 microns, or even 50% at 20 microns, just to keep an engine in excellent running order. Oil filtration helps, but it's just one piece of the longevity puzzle. An oil filter not filtering isn't like an oil pump not pumping. The former is generally an annoyance. The latter is a catastrophic failure. You're not even going to get "snowballed" wear with respect to a filter tear. Sure, the tear shoots the efficiency all to heck, but it's not going to cause a bunch of damage that's going to subsequently plug the filter; then we hypothetically have, coincidentally, a failed bypass, which finished the engine? Now, if a tear did cause damage, it would have to be a good chunk of dislodged media plugging something up. As for proof, you could hypothetically find a chunk of filter media where it would be detrimental; that might constitute such proof. In Dislodged media has done so before. A simple tear, with no complications, I don't think so. Now, dislodged media in a "bad" place, in conjunction with the filter manufacturer testing the filter, without it being dissected, a thorough examination of the engine and critical parts (i.e. oil pump) and evidence that OCIs were always on time and done with the correct viscosity and specification and done with the correctly specified filter would probably make a pretty good case. As it stands, the vast majority of this information is missing. We have a filter with a tear coincidental to an engine that piled up, and not much more information than that.
 
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Laramie, WY
Originally Posted By: qwerty1234
I have a 2000 Honda Civic with the D16 engine, I think. The rest of car has given me problems but the engine runs like it's brand new and I have 170,000 miles. I run a strict 4,000 mile OCI.
they are not discussing the D16 but rather the D17. D16Y7 is a very very reliable engine.
 
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Just like most people said, i dont think a filter tear can cause that much damage. In fact, i have a story of my own. Ill make the story as short as possible. A few years ago, we had a BMW E39 with a M54 6-cyl engine. One thing i can tell you is that one day we discovered that the engine was low on oil and to our surprise we had to pour in around 6.5QTS of oil in a 7QTS sump. No one knows how long it ran with that amount of oil since oil level light never turned on because the sensor wasnt working (We didnt know). After filling it with oil it worked and it didnt blow up but had some rough idling issues. The engine had what i'd call some serious damage. We had to change intake camshaft and some camshaft bearings because there was some serious wear on these camshafts and its bearings but it was still working before we changed and it "just" had rough idling. The engine DID NOT BLOW UP even running without oil for a prolonged timed. That car is STILL WORKING fine today 2 years later, it just consumes more oil than it should due to the wear. So a small hole in a filter couldnt be as bad as what i experienced. That appliance (Yes, that civic was probably used as an appliance) was probably ULTRA NEGLECTED.
 
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Ohio
Once you cut it open, you are on your own. That filter looks like it was on for a long time. It practically had a rust hole in it. I think lack of maintenance caused your engine failure.
 
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13,058
Location
Indiana
No way that filter ruined your engine. We have seen several failures here with no engine destruction. I am betting that engine was in pretty rough shape before you got your hands on it and it was just a matter of time. Look at all the crud the filter caught..
 

Festiva_Man

Thread starter
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86
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Alberta Canada
Originally Posted By: Kuato
Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
Originally Posted By: Inspecktor
That much wear and damage suggests either oil starvation or contamination, then it was run until final failure. Maybe a jealous ex boyfriend added something, or she did- I once saw a high school girl with dad's Lincoln with the hood up at a c-store. She wanted to know if she added oil right. Turns out she added a quart of PYB to the power steering reservoir until it was running all over the ground.
yikes... i once stopped a woman from fueling her gas car up with diesel. some people... but, contamination is the filters job to remove. when one wear particle gets through it makes another, they each make more, and so on and so on. stop that first one and you prevent the rest from happening and you dont get a plugged up filter. i think some of the bearings did get a bit starved from having so much metal in there. the flakes were pretty big.
Originally Posted By: thorromig
Your just speculating like im going to -- college girl probably let her drunk boyfriend whip the snot & red line that motor till it blew apart after many of attempts to do so. Filter in no way caused that catastrophic damage -- pure speculation on both our parts. Its a dang shame cause Honda motors are known to be quite durable & almost bulletproof as long as you change the oil/filter within a reasonable interval.
yup, i know we both are. and that would cause a connecting rod to break yes. however in this particular engine the bearings got full of metal, spun, then caught and broke the connecting rod. if the filter had filtered out the first metal particles like i mentioned above then it wouldnt have happened for that reason. the engine would still easily have blown apart, just not from the wear particles. thats why even with your senario i think this was caused by the filter. if a good filter had been on it may have only lasted a few minutes longer, but maybe it wouldnt have broke. they do have rev limiters... and i wouldnt say that this particular generation of civic motors are bulletproof. far far from it in fact. you can say that about other generations of civics, but not the 7th..
With the quantity of particles you described (and photographed, thanks!) this engine was on its way out for a long time. You said it got regular maintenance, so the filter in the picture isn't the only one that got filled up with particles...even though it looks pretty ancient (edit: just read your in the dirt several years comment, but still). IMO it's vehicle abuse and lack of maintenance. I'd think it was even run dry / with the oil pressure light on. Since you don't have a history on it (as in Purolators used, every one had a tear, etc) I think you'll be out of luck with any collection from them. Your study about the bypass valve has merit, that could be part of the reason the Puros are having the failures...if they never go into bypass and the media is taking all of that pressure, then it's no wonder the paper fails.
i said the oil got changed on time mileage wise, not necessarily timewise. low km on this engine so the oil could have been in 2 years or something, i dont know. and quick lubes have been known for not actually changing the oil. or changing it but not the filter. but why do you think that this damage would take so long? i think with daily driving only 2 or 3 miles each way, lots of cold starts and maybe she drove like nuts as soon as it fired up-that this could happen over one oil change. yes, i think i will ask some people who have cut apart purolaters-tears and no tears to check that. it could well be what causes the tears.
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Yeah that filter didn't cause that damage. Someone probably dropped the car into 1st gear on the highway.
huh, interesting. i wasnt aware you could do that. i always thought that you wouldnt physically be able to force it into a gear that was too far out but i never thought about it much. it could well be that that caused its final demise. well, then it probably would have been instant and there would have been a lot less metal in the motor... unless that is what happened originally but it didnt overrev too far and that spun the first bearing but didnt break the rod. then all the metal particles from that went crazy, snowballed, spun a second bearing and then the rod broke. if thats the case then a good filter would in no way have saved the motor but could have prolonged its life.
Originally Posted By: Garak
Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
sure, but what would constitute actual evidence?
As others have pointed out, this type of damage doesn't match at all what we'd expect from a torn filter. If a filter just tears, it's not going to kill an engine. Engines ran, and still run, just fine without oil filters. We don't need 99.9% at 20 microns, or even 50% at 20 microns, just to keep an engine in excellent running order. Oil filtration helps, but it's just one piece of the longevity puzzle. An oil filter not filtering isn't like an oil pump not pumping. The former is generally an annoyance. The latter is a catastrophic failure. You're not even going to get "snowballed" wear with respect to a filter tear. Sure, the tear shoots the efficiency all to heck, but it's not going to cause a bunch of damage that's going to subsequently plug the filter; then we hypothetically have, coincidentally, a failed bypass, which finished the engine? Now, if a tear did cause damage, it would have to be a good chunk of dislodged media plugging something up. As for proof, you could hypothetically find a chunk of filter media where it would be detrimental; that might constitute such proof. In Dislodged media has done so before. A simple tear, with no complications, I don't think so. Now, dislodged media in a "bad" place, in conjunction with the filter manufacturer testing the filter, without it being dissected, a thorough examination of the engine and critical parts (i.e. oil pump) and evidence that OCIs were always on time and done with the correct viscosity and specification and done with the correctly specified filter would probably make a pretty good case. As it stands, the vast majority of this information is missing. We have a filter with a tear coincidental to an engine that piled up, and not much more information than that.
sure, but engines built without filters have a lesser life expectancy in hours than one with. also the ones i can think of are typically ran only in one season or just indoors. old timey cars with no filters did not have a long life expectancy and the oil was changed pretty frequently. they were also built with that in mind, my other car has oil passages that are probably 100 microns wide (no, i havent measured it) and they would instantly plug with these particles. and yes, finding filter bits plugging oil passages would constitute proof but that is not the purolater problem.
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
It was a combination of dirty oil and thin dirty oil that wrecked your motor. That thin 5W-20 don't hold dirt in suspension very well.
oh? ok, i wasnt aware of that. i have suspected that 5w20 being run too long is what causes these motors to throw bearings fairly frequently but i have no proof of that. the add package would be depleted IF she had run this oil 2 years or something.
Originally Posted By: Noobie
Just like most people said, i dont think a filter tear can cause that much damage. In fact, i have a story of my own. Ill make the story as short as possible. A few years ago, we had a BMW E39 with a M54 6-cyl engine. One thing i can tell you is that one day we discovered that the engine was low on oil and to our surprise we had to pour in around 6.5QTS of oil in a 7QTS sump. No one knows how long it ran with that amount of oil since oil level light never turned on because the sensor wasnt working (We didnt know). After filling it with oil it worked and it didnt blow up but had some rough idling issues. The engine had what i'd call some serious damage. We had to change intake camshaft and some camshaft bearings because there was some serious wear on these camshafts and its bearings but it was still working before we changed and it "just" had rough idling. The engine DID NOT BLOW UP even running without oil for a prolonged timed. That car is STILL WORKING fine today 2 years later, it just consumes more oil than it should due to the wear. So a small hole in a filter couldnt be as bad as what i experienced. That appliance (Yes, that civic was probably used as an appliance) was probably ULTRA NEGLECTED.
yup, i have a similar story with my festiva of running it out of oil going up a mountain. i only noticed it because i was loosing power and stopped. oil light never came on but i added almost 3L to a 3.5L sump. engine ran perfectly after other than burning oil. no less power or idle issues or anything. some briggs and stratton engines can idle for days with absolutely no oil (oil pan removed). thing is that if the filter catches most of the wear or the oil&filt gets changed right away after its discovered and topped up then the wear stops. you have the wear and stuff that did happen, but no more or very little metal going through your oil making it worse and compounding it over time.
Originally Posted By: Lubener
Once you cut it open, you are on your own. That filter looks like it was on for a long time. It practically had a rust hole in it. I think lack of maintenance caused your engine failure.
i know, i wasnt too serious about expecting purolater to pay for it. but a rust hole? please get glasses and read the other posts before posting. yes a lack of care for the car caused this, many things probably contributed to it.
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
No way that filter ruined your engine. We have seen several failures here with no engine destruction. I am betting that engine was in pretty rough shape before you got your hands on it and it was just a matter of time. Look at all the crud the filter caught..
yes, but different circumstances lead to different outcomes. so, there have been a few other good suggestions of how this happened: someone intentionally trying to wreck it, someone downshifting too soon or unintentionally which caused spun bearings and such, high engine temperatures. for all those that could easily be what happened, but if they did i think the filter greatly contributed to what happened by not doing its only job. also: someone adding something bad to the oil. -maybe. but the thrown bearings are common and the filter still let the metal through. oil starvation- i doubt it because the level was ok when i got it and didnt appear to have fresh oil added. but it could be that the metal chunks restricted oil passages and flow inside the bearings enough to starve it. also could be when starting cold and the bypass valve not opening enough (especially after it started getting plugged up) that not enough oil got through the filter. -wrong oil used or not changed- it wasnt atf or canola oil, people run all kinds of weights. however it is possible that a quick lube did not actually change the oil or changed it but not the filter. however people here claim that an engine should be able to do 50k miles or more on the same oil and some have gone much farther than that with only filter changes. from those suggestions and mine it looks to myself like the filter played a large role in it finally dying. my original thinking of why bad bearings are common in these cars had to do with the oil. i have no proof of this at all, it was just an idea, but its why i took this motor apart in the first place. to see if it would tell me anything. anyway, this particular generation of engine (D17) was originally built and intended to take 5w30. the recommendation of 5w20 was made after they were designed and built is what i am told. the 20 weight does not have as much film strength and relies more on the additive package to prevent wear in non hydrodynamic lubrication. the additives are mostly heat activated, so dont work until the oil is hot. that could be fine because the viscosity is higher when cold, but if there is a point during warmup when the viscosity gets lower than it should before the additives activate that would be bad. but anyway, when the oil gets older the additives wear out/deplete/dont work as good and would allow the metal to metal contact to take shavings off or rub hard enough to spin the bearings. also if the engine is worked hard or overheats a bit and the oil thins then perhaps the pump cant keep the volume up, or/and too much oil squirts out the main bearings and not enough gets to the big ends. or perhaps honda just did a bad job with these bearings, i dont know, they did do a major change with the rods and bearings on the 8th generation though. every kind of vehicle has people who buy them and neglect them or beat them and have failures, it just seems like these civics have a lot of rods or mains that spin. also head gaskets that blow, trannies that dont last... and so on. as another thing that i find strange is that theres over 12,000 threads on this site and almost 200,000 posts in the oil filter section. most of them have something to do with trying to find the best filter. then this thread comes along and everyone is saying that there is absolutely no possible way that a filter can cause engine damage! so why do we even care and why is this section even on this site? why dont we all run our cars without a filter and avoid the cold start flow restriction that they have? most wear is caused on startup right?
 
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Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
this thread comes along and everyone is saying that there is absolutely no possible way that a filter can cause engine damage! why dont we all run our cars without a filter and avoid the cold start flow restriction that they have?
It used to be that oil filters were an option. Now oil was not what it is today, but at the time and without a filter, an engine was lucky to make it to 75K before a rebuild was necessary. When oil filters actually were included on cars, a lot of them were bypass filters where ~5% of the oil was filtered and the rest went to the engine. Eventually, all the oil was filtered, but the engines were still lucky to make it to 100K before they needed a rebuild. Anyway, despite all the posts here, you have decided that it was the fault of the filter and nothing else. So be it. If it makes you happy, it was 100% the fault of the filter. So now what?
 
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Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
why dont we all run our cars without a filter and avoid the cold start flow restriction that they have? most wear is caused on startup right?
Wear can happen if the ADBV doesn't work and the oil takes awhile to fill the engine oiling system again. It can also occur if the oil is too thick and won't flow on super cold days - especially if the engine is revved up pretty high on initial start-up. But the flow restriction in the system is primarily due to the engine itself, typically not the oil filter. An engine is about 15 times more flow restrictive than an oil filter. And yes, wear can also be caused by no filter or a filter that let's dirty oil past the media (ie, media tears and/or the bypass valve is opening). Did you find any evidence of media lodged down inside the engine? Only way it might have started the whole destruction scenario is if a piece of media broke off and caused a bearing to starve, which in turn caused massive wear, which then started the cascading destruction of the engine if it was driven a lot while all this was happening. In order for a rod to blow out the side of a block, the rod bearing has to basically seize up which caused the rod to snap and go through the side of the engine.
 
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Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
It was a combination of dirty oil and thin dirty oil that wrecked your motor. That thin 5W-20 don't hold dirt in suspension very well.
oh? ok, i wasnt aware of that. i have suspected that 5w20 being run too long is what causes these motors to throw bearings fairly frequently but i have no proof of that. the add package would be depleted IF she had run this oil 2 years or something.
Pay no attention to Merk's rhetoric about thin oil. Although it is a strawman argument--there are simply too many engines on the road using xW-20 oil for his statement to be the truth.
 
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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
sure, but engines built without filters have a lesser life expectancy in hours than one with. also the ones i can think of are typically ran only in one season or just indoors. old timey cars with no filters did not have a long life expectancy and the oil was changed pretty frequently. they were also built with that in mind, my other car has oil passages that are probably 100 microns wide (no, i havent measured it) and they would instantly plug with these particles. and yes, finding filter bits plugging oil passages would constitute proof but that is not the purolater problem.
Yes, oil filters are one part of helping a car last longer. Remember, though, that cars back in the 1940s didn't use detergent oil, much less modern detergent oils. Despite our rose tinted glasses about the past, gasoline was garbage then, too. Metallurgy and engine materials were nowhere near what they are now. Cars had short lives back then, but there were a lot more reasons beyond lack of full flow filtration. Look at today's cheaper OPE. They don't fail because there's no filter. They fail because you can buy a new lawnmower for like $80 and that's not going to be a 10,000 hour piece of equipment, and the engine itself won't even be the weak point. As you said in the part above quoting me, you said there's no way a good filter would have saved it, but it might have prolonged it. Without media in the engine or a horribly leaking can or something similarly catastrophic, I wouldn't expect Purolator to do much. Engines fail coincidental to good filters. Now, one failed coincidental to a torn filter. I'm not avoiding Purolator products because I'm afraid of a catastrophic failure, or even worried about extra wear. For one, they're not readily available here lately, which annoys me. Secondly, the Bosch Premiums I used to buy were bought because their combination of price, construction, and efficiency ratings were just about unbeatable. Now, I'm not an efficiency junkie, but if there is a tear, then there is something wrong with the construction and the efficiency goes out the window. Hence, the filter isn't doing what it's advertised to do, much less live up to my expectations. My engine will still survive. The point being, if I want a shoddy filter or a rock catcher, I can do it without ordering online and I can do so with full knowledge of what I'm doing.
 
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I agree that the filter didn't cause the engine failure. Bearings don't get cooked like that because of grit from a failed filter. They may wear out in many tens of thousands of miles, but they don't get seriously cooked- like blackened con rod big ends. I've seen enough engines that failed either from lack of oil or a failed pump to know that yours suffered the same fate. The extreme heat brought about about no oil (flow/pressure, not necessarily level) is what turned that bearing/big end black. As Garak said, engines were ran before with no or minimal filtration for tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles with no failures like what you're seeing. It should be even less of an issue now with the quality of virtually everything being superior. Something tells me though that you'll find a way to refute what I have said, as you have all others that have come hear to offer help- you seem to have it in your head that it was a filter failure that caused the demise of your engine that's going to be that.
 
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Originally Posted By: 2010_FX4
Originally Posted By: Festiva_Man
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
It was a combination of dirty oil and thin dirty oil that wrecked your motor. That thin 5W-20 don't hold dirt in suspension very well.
oh? ok, i wasnt aware of that. i have suspected that 5w20 being run too long is what causes these motors to throw bearings fairly frequently but i have no proof of that. the add package would be depleted IF she had run this oil 2 years or something.
Pay no attention to Merk's rhetoric about thin oil. Although it is a strawman argument--there are simply too many engines on the road using xW-20 oil for his statement to be the truth.
Yes, cumulatively hundreds of millions of miles ran on 20 grade oils and that HAS to to be the cause of the failure. This is a joke, right?
 
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Originally Posted By: Garak
Not to mention that engine failures never happened when 30 and 40 grades were the only thing out there, right? wink
Nope... nada... none. I'd like to add that even though the oil level in your engine was acceptable, that doesn't mean the previous owner didn't run it way low. I once bought a car with a toasted engine (even have a thread on it's tear down and resurrection)- the kid kept driving it with a large oil leak at the oil pressure sender, until he took it out of town, ran it too low on oil and tore the road bearings out of it. Of course, the first thing he did was add oil in hopes of remedying the problem. So keep in mind that anything is possible.
 
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MY last VW Bug, a 1967, had NO oil filter and I personally put about 150K on it before my brother got it. Rust got it before the engine quit.
 

Nick1994

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Even if there's a tear in the filter, what could have possibly been in that filter that ruined the engine? A little bit of particles? As far as I know (I could be wrong), when the Purolators tear, it's just that. A tear. Not a big chunk of filter of media flowing into the engine.
 
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What you have here is a chicken/egg discussion. A - Did the filter fail and cause the problem in the engine? or B - Was the engine failing so bad that it clogged the filter with wear particles which lead to the tears? ... If I had to pick, I'd say (B) is the choice. That engine was doomed long before that filter got put on. Also, since you're trying to analyze the engine and what killed it, have you sent the oil out for analysis? Was there a ton of Lucas oil thickener in it? Was it 0w20? 20w50? Were they using 'Everclear' or 'Maxi Guard' oil? Trying to pin this on the filter is just bad troubleshooting.
 
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