Slotting in the shop time needed to address relatively small items such as oil filters on a fleet's maintenance schedule can be tricky, but failure to do so can result in costly downtime in the field. Leading oil filter companies say that costs remain the customer's top concern, from extending drain intervals to increasing life expectancy.

At Puradyn Filter Technologies, customers also want to know how they can reduce their maintenance cost and increase life to overhaul, says COO Kevin Kroger.

“The Puradyn bypass oil filtration system helps to safely extend the oil drain interval by removing solids to below 1 micron,” he says, adding that independent tests validated a 70% efficiency rate at less than 1 micron. “It works in conjunction with the engine's full flow filter. With tighter tolerances in new diesel engines, particulate removal below 1 micron keeps the engine continuously clean, reducing engine wear and keeping engine tolerances in check for longer periods.”

The Puradyn system removes any water or gaseous contaminants through the system's evaporation process while “base additives consumed in combustion are continuously replaced through our patented slow-release additive package incorporated within our replacement filter element,” Kroger explains.

“By safely and significantly extending oil drain and overhaul intervals, the amount of new oil purchases, the subsequent disposal of waste oil, and downtime due to oil-related maintenance and overhauls are slashed,” he points out. “Additionally, running your engine on continuously clean oil reduces internal engine friction, maintaining the engine's performance for longer periods.”


“Our customers are looking for highly engineered oil filters that protect their biggest physical investment — the engines in their trucks,” says Mike Harvey, brand manager for Wix Filters. “In this economy especially, they are also looking to save money and minimize downtime.”

With those goals in mind, Harvey detailed a new oil filter technology Wix introduced this year called ecoLast.

“During close to 2 million test miles, this new technology more than doubled oil-drain intervals,” he says. “Doubling the length of oil drain intervals can save fleets about $100 to $200 per vehicle annually when compared to oil changes using standard oil filters.”

The system uses less oil and fewer filters, which equates to lower maintenance costs, adds Harvey, estimating that a fleet of 2,000 trucks could save a quarter of a million dollars annually with the technology.

“Wix's ecoLast oil filters are a direct replacement with no changes or modification required to the vehicle, meaning ecoLast can be easily and safely adopted by any fleet,” Harvey points out.


Emissions regulations have changed what fleets require of their engine oils, says David Cline, product manager-oil filtration systems for Parker Racor, and that has changed the requirements of oil filters.

“Look at the market trends that are driven by emissions, performance and economy. Yesterday's engines were based on displacement to be more powerful. Today, the emissions really drive the bus,” Cline says. “Now we have an engine market that is forced to conform to standards met by treating exhaust with chemicals, to adding exhaust particle traps, and then injecting fuel at the exhaust stroke to burn the particulate out of them. It's all about containment of the nasty stuff that pollutes the air.”

That “nasty stuff” is ending up in the lube oil, Cline maintains, resulting in the “crankcase becoming the trash can for soot particles, fuel dilution and oxidative by-products such as varnish and sludge. The standard cellulose spin-on oil filter will no longer give the life, contaminant capacity or performance required by the latest oil-operated components such as injectors and turbochargers,” he says.

“Customers are looking for answers to better filtration, which includes higher efficiency media and increased capacity for longer oil drain intervals all in the same size package,” Cline adds.

Parker Racor has engineers devoted to working with single and multi-layer cellulose, synthetic, and glass-blown media to find solutions for customers and packaging it “in a system or a module providing efficiency, capacity … at an economical price.”

“Testing is performed to ISO and SAE standards as well as some internal Parker Racor test procedures tailored to smoking out the things that standard testing cannot find,” Cline says. “Second to the media development is the packaging. Today's engine compartments are reduced into smaller frames for many different reasons. Engine-mounted components such as the oil filter lose real estate by taking second fiddle to emissions-related devices such as an EGR cooler, second turbocharger, or a crankcase ventilation device.”


Fleets are also looking for filters that extend drains in a cost-efficient manner.

“Customers are asking for high-quality, high-performance oil, fuel, air, hydraulic and coolant filters that are designed to specifically protect their engines, all at a fair price. It is very important that the correct filter design be used on the engine to ensure optimum engine protection. Our design philosophy is simple: Meet or exceed the OEM specification,” says Steve Englund, senior product management administrator for Baldwin Filters. “In many cases, the Baldwin customer is able to utilize our filters for extended drain intervals, which helps them to reduce operating costs over time.”

Baldwin is a “vertical manufacturer,” Englund says, meaning it manufactures “almost every component used within our filters,” England explains. “That promotes high quality and shorter finished product time to market. We continuously enhance our production capabilities with cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.”

This helps Baldwin meet customer needs while also continuing the investment needed to advance the quality of its products.

“Baldwin Filters is constantly investing time and money into new product development as well as existing product improvement,” says Englund. “Our engineering team utilizes an in-house, state-of-the-art laboratory that includes the capability to test our product designs under many conditions. Filtration is a highly technical world today, and you must ensure that your product will properly protect each application that it may be used on.”


Baldwin Filters

Puradyn Filter Technologies

Racor Div. of Parker Hannifin

Champion Laboratories/Luber-finer

Cummins Filtration

Wix Filters