Q: In your opinion, what should one be looking for when choosing the right filtration system to extend my oil drain intervals?
A: Oil Filtration .. the "Perfect Filtration System."
Filter Flow Rates
Most engines utilize only 30-40 percent of the oil pump output. The full flow filters on the market today are attempting to filter this 30-40 percent of oil to" super clean" oil which is utilized at all wear surfaces in the engine. The unfiltered oil being by-passed is contaminating the oil sump which shortens the life of the oil. Some filter manufacturers add a by-pass filter media to attempt to filter this oil being by-passed. The micron rating of the by-pass filter media is much larger than the full flow media as too small of a micron rating for the media would send more oil through by-pass without being filtered defeating the purpose of the by-pass media.
Filter Ratings/Filter Media Area
All filter media’s perform best at their nominal ratings, which is approximately half of the absolute rating. This is the point where the smallest of particles are being removed which quickly raises the ppm's flagging the oil sample abnormal or critical. Too small of an absolute micron rating with-out a large enough filter media area will extremely shorten the life of the filter. Too large of a filter media area combined with too large of an absolute micron rating will extremely shorten the life of the oil. The filter does not get to reach its nominal rating early enough to be able to remove the small micron rated particles that quickly raise the ppm's flagging the oil sample abnormal or critical.
Filter Media Material
The filter media material used must allow for the same micron rating for every square inch of filter area. This micron rating must also be that which allows the oil to be filtered to "super clean" oil. This maximizes the entire filter area to its fullest extending the life of the oil.The filter media material used must allow for the maximum amount of perforations per square inch. This utilizes the entire filter area available to its fullest extending the life of the filter and the oil.
The number of perforations and size of filter media area dictates the filter's holding capacity of contaminates, which is mainly soot. Too much soot increases the oil's viscosity (causing added oil consumption), retains heat and also acts as an abrasive which will quickly raises the metal contaminates in the oil. sulfur from un-burnt diesel fuel is suspended in the soot which turns into sulfuric acid once mixed with moisture. This sulfuric acid then attacks the engines additive package and corrodes most internal engine parts. The filter must be-able to hold this soot where the sulfur is suspended extending the life of the oil.
The filter media material used must also aid in removing oxygen in the oil. Oxygen increases the oil's viscosity, lowers its lubrication qualities and does not allow for maximum heat dissipation which all shortens the life of the oil. The number of perforations, the size of the filter area and the absolute micron rating must allow for the greatest amount of the oil pump's output to be filtered which creates less resistance to flow that lowers the oils temperature which normally causes the oil to break down prematurely lowering the oil's viscosity. The filter housing material used must also allow for heat dissipation extending the life of the oil and help retain the optimum operating viscosity.
When Shopping for a Filter to extend Your Oil Drains...
• Full flow filter that is capable of filtering up to 100 percent of the oil pump output sending little to no oil back through by-pass without being filtered to a "super clean" oil required at all wear surfaces in the engine.
• Stainless steel filter media allowing for approximately 10 times the perforations, a much greater holding capacity and the same absolute micron rating per every square inch of filter area than that of a disposable filter.
• The stainless steel filter media also aids in removing Oxygen from the oil. The housing should be manufactured from Aluminum which aids in heat dissipation acting like an oil cooler and will lower engine oil temperatures. The filter should also utilize a safety by-pass valve in the event the filter does not get cleaned and ensures the will not be the cause of interrupting the oil flow.