Well Hello Fram; It’s Been a Long Time

Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
279
Location
Ontario Canada
When I first began wrenchIng on my first cars, I learned to change the oil and oil filters. The only brand of oil filter I remember buying back in those days were Fram filters. I’m sure there were other brands available, but most of what my foggy memory can recall were store or “house brands”, Purolator, and Fram. I was likely drawn to the Fran brand because it was the only one in my area that was marketed heavily through advertising. I believe back in those days the brand was owned or a part of Bendix, which I associate with brakes for some reason.

Well, over the years, I drifted away to other brands and for a long time, I used either WIX, Bosch distance plus, Napa Gold, or my most recent use of Carquest premium. As long as the quality was good, I’ve always made a point to try to buy USA made products, including oil filters for my cars. Recently, I noticed at least some of the filter numbers that I purchase have been increasingly outsourced to Asia, and so I began looking at oil filter brands again, and wouldn’t you know, with the help of much of the discussion here on this forum, I “rediscovered“ Frams in their current iterations. I was in a Walmart recently and found the Ultras in stock and noticed something interesting. The filter for my Honda CRV does not show that it has any metal backing for the filter media, but the filter that I use for the Buick LeSabre actually does so. I am going to assume that this is older stock and that the demand for this particular filter is not as high as it once was. They are $14.88 each, but I’m OK with that as long as I’m getting the high efficiency rating that I prefer along with a filter that has good construction quality. I may go back to Walmart and pick up more of these since I’m learning that the Ultra line recently was redesigned without its wire backing. Although it’s true that I typically run 5000 mile OCI in replace the filter twice a year and so it could be, “much ado about nothing“, but then I think why not?

You know, I sometimes hear people say that they will “always” stay with a particular brand or that they will “never “use another brand. Well, ‘never’ and ‘ always ‘ are a very long time and after moving away from the “orange cans of death“ for so many years, I find it rather amusing that here I am today using Frams as they are now considered some of the best filters for efficiency and construction; at least for now anyways.

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that filter was built in 2020
Yes, I wondered if maybe I had just gotten lucky and found some old stock. It’s for the Buick’s 3800 V6. Most of the vehicles that had that engine in them have long since rusted away up here in the great white north. It’s my only explanation why I would still be finding any Ultras with the metal Media backing. Although it probably would not hurt for me to take @fantastic advice and inspect where I can.
 
With the FRAM spin-on filters the thick media is pretty tightly spaced, so wouldn't this make up some what for the backing taken off? I mean the media is pressed against metal core adding strength. I can see if it was a plastic pretty open cage "maybe" causing a problem with a pressure spike but not otherwise. Just thinking out loud.
 
Even though it says metal screened on the box better check. They've since removed the wire backing in most Ultra's now.
All the ones that say metal screened on the box have the metal screen, they changed the packaging before they removed the metal screen, so for the last few weeks\months they were produced with a metal screen they came in a package that didn't mention the metal screen but not the other way around.
 
All the ones that say metal screened on the box have the metal screen, they changed the packaging before they removed the metal screen, so for the last few weeks\months they were produced with a metal screen they came in a package that didn't mention the metal screen but not the other way around.
Unfortunately, That is not what I've heard other BITOG members mention over the last few years. Fram was definitely using the old wire backed boxes up while the filter inside had no metal backing (new ultra). It should've went the way you mention, but it did not.
 
Unfortunately, That is not what I've heard others mention over the last few years. Fram was definitely using the old wire backed boxes up while the filter inside had no metal backing (new ultra).
I've heard some complaints of conflicting packaging on the AAP exclusive Titanium but the Ultra change packaging before they stopped using the screen.
 
When I first began wrenchIng on my first cars, I learned to change the oil and oil filters. The only brand of oil filter I remember buying back in those days were Fram filters. I’m sure there were other brands available, but most of what my foggy memory can recall were store or “house brands”, Purolator, and Fram. I was likely drawn to the Fran brand because it was the only one in my area that was marketed heavily through advertising. I believe back in those days the brand was owned or a part of Bendix, which I associate with brakes for some reason.

Well, over the years, I drifted away to other brands and for a long time, I used either WIX, Bosch distance plus, Napa Gold, or my most recent use of Carquest premium. As long as the quality was good, I’ve always made a point to try to buy USA made products, including oil filters for my cars. Recently, I noticed at least some of the filter numbers that I purchase have been increasingly outsourced to Asia, and so I began looking at oil filter brands again, and wouldn’t you know, with the help of much of the discussion here on this forum, I “rediscovered“ Frams in their current iterations. I was in a Walmart recently and found the Ultras in stock and noticed something interesting. The filter for my Honda CRV does not show that it has any metal backing for the filter media, but the filter that I use for the Buick LeSabre actually does so. I am going to assume that this is older stock and that the demand for this particular filter is not as high as it once was. They are $14.88 each, but I’m OK with that as long as I’m getting the high efficiency rating that I prefer along with a filter that has good construction quality. I may go back to Walmart and pick up more of these since I’m learning that the Ultra line recently was redesigned without its wire backing. Although it’s true that I typically run 5000 mile OCI in replace the filter twice a year and so it could be, “much ado about nothing“, but then I think why not?

You know, I sometimes hear people say that they will “always” stay with a particular brand or that they will “never “use another brand. Well, ‘never’ and ‘ always ‘ are a very long time and after moving away from the “orange cans of death“ for so many years, I find it rather amusing that here I am today using Frams as they are now considered some of the best filters for efficiency and construction; at least for now anyways.

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Great knife!
 
Yes, I wondered if maybe I had just gotten lucky and found some old stock.
Look in the center tube at the holes with a good LED flashlight and look for the metal screen backing through the holes. If it has the wire backing, which it most likely will have being the old stock, better go get the rest of those OG Ultras off the shelf.
 
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Unfortunately, That is not what I've heard other BITOG members mention over the last few years. Fram was definitely using the old wire backed boxes up while the filter inside had no metal backing (new ultra). It should've went the way you mention, but it did not.
That was probably me, I had some XG7317s that stated they had the screen, but didn't. I used them for short OCIs-but that defeats the purpose of paying extra $ for a long life filter. There are still OGs in the wild, picked up another wire backed Titanium FS3600 yesterday.
 
Well, I went back to Walmart yesterday (Wednesday ) to get the remaining three wire backed versions of the Ultra XG3980 that I had purchased one of on Tuesday and wouldn’t you know that there were two employees there who had pulled all of the Fram oil filters and put them into shopping carts and appeared to be resetting the shelves and tags. I asked them if they were going to be putting these back on the shelves and they said yes and that it should all be done in a couple of hours.

I gave it an extra day and so went back today, Thursday, and I found all of the oil filters still in shopping carts along with all of the Fram air filters now all in shopping carts. Fortunately, this Walmart is about 1 mile from where I live, but I was not going to keep making trips waiting for the Walmart staff to get around to restocking these. I decided to dive right in then and look for my XG3980s. and much to my surprise, I found the three remaining that were still on the shelf when I bought my first one last Tuesday. However, I also noticed sitting on top of this giant pile of filters was a long strip of as yet unused pricing labels showing significant discounting, which suggested to me that they were clearancing out all of the inventory. As you can see from the photo I took of it, it was a significant discount and so, I ended up still getting the filters I wanted and saved myself quite a lot of money in the process. The price dropped from $14.88 to $8 each. (I realize that the Price sticker tape suggests they dropped from $14.88 to $10, but when I got to the register, they came up eight dollars each). I happily grabbed them up. Given the great pricing, I still plan on heading back in a few days and picking up some additional Ultra XG7317s for the Honda as well. These are not the older style with the wire backing, but at this price, I’ll definitely, get a few of these as the Ultras are now my new go to oil filter now for both the Honda and Buick. This may, or may not be indicative of all of the Walmarts in my area and so I’m unsure as to whether all of the Fram products are being removed permanently at this particular location or if they are planning on bringing in a new Fram product line or a whole other brand. I have not seen any of the Fran Endurance series here yet so who knows? I’m really not sure, to be honest, I wonder if the Fram Ultra line is suffering the same fate that be-felled the Bosch Distance Plus filters which Walmart once carried. It leads me to wonder if whether or not there is a strong enough market demand for premium priced oil filters for what the average Walmart customer is seeking or willing to pay for. Motor oil. and filters are about the only thing I am drawn to Walmart for personally when I’m not getting the oil at Canadian Tire, but I’m happy to get such a well-made filter at these clearance prices. YMMV!

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