Practical evidence of the problems that can arise through replacement of OE specification filters with non-standard products comes this week from Mahle, which supplies filtration to all major European and Asian vehicle manufacturers.
Engineers at the filter maker’s Stuttgart headquarters claim that installation of competitors’ products that clearly deviate in design from the Mahle Original products supplied to VMs, which feature a patented pin component, can lead to damage to the bypass valve in the oil filter housing. A number of examples of damage have been reported to Mahle by the independent aftermarket.
Analysis comparing competitor product design with the Mahle Original OX 171/2 D eco oil filter supplied to Ford and Peugeot for the 1.6 HDi engine range has shown that non-standard filters are not in all cases compatible with the geometry inside the oil filter housing, and therefore suitable for installation in all housings.
“The bypass valve can be damaged and pressed into the functional carrier,” says Andreas Kimmerle, head of product management aftermarket at Mahle, “and when the workshop technician closes the cover, the damage can even be increased. Consequently, the filter will not function.”
“A mounting test carried out in the Mahle laboratory has clearly identified the danger of incorrect mounting of the competitive oil filter element,” stresses Mahle Aftermarket Managing Director Phill Everitt, “so our message to independent workshops in the UK and Ireland is simple. To avoid potential consequential damage to the engine, we strongly recommend that only Mahle Original products with the patented pin are used in servicing and repair.”
“We are not even talking about low cost or counterfeit products here. The tests we conducted were on products from reputable filter manufacturers, so independent workshops need to be very wary.”