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I invite anyone who thinks Fram filters are the best or even close to to go watch any videos about cutting open filters and seeing how they are built, their pleats, etc. There's a reason Fram is sold at Walmart.

Mahle is an OEM filter manufacturer for a lot of European cars (BMW, etc). They won't be a bad filter for a Subaru but I don't know if it would be my first choice.
 

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Anyone used these on their Crosstreks? Currently $4.77 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mahle-OC1177-Oil-Filter/dp/B00I2JHJZU/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=mahle+oc1177&qid=1558211760&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

I've been using a PBL-14615 Purolator filter and Pennzoil Platinum Ow-20 Synthetic on my 18 6 SP, and have had no issues, but at $4.77 that is a great deal. I don't know too much about Mahle though.
For $5.22 you can have the OEM filter: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I798FIA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

I don't know the relative quality of Mahle vs OEM, but I do know there'd be no warranty finger-pointing if something went wrong with the OEM filter. Can't necessarily say that about other brands. I think that's worth the extra 45 cents.
 

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Using anything but an OEM Subaru filter is trying to out smart Subaru's engineers. I'm not that smart. But I am smart enough to avoid a potential warranty issue.
 

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Using anything but an OEM Subaru filter is trying to out smart Subaru's engineers. I'm not that smart. But I am smart enough to avoid a potential warranty issue.
I dont think that is true at all. Car companies sell branded products to increase profits. Nothing wrong with that, but the quality of aftermarket products often exceed OEM.

But back to the orig poster. Having said that, I would not use a cheap filter from amazon. Besides, if I used one & said it was great it is meaningless pablum. Buy top quality filters made for synthetic oil. Many out there for $9-$13.
 

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Here's an example of my concern with using a non-OEM oil filter during the engine warranty period. Say I use a Fram filter and the o-ring gasket fails, causing a oil leak that results in engine damage. I expect that Subaru might say that because the engine damage was caused by the failure of a non-Subaru part, the Subaru engine warranty is null and void. So now my only hope is a claim with Fram. I don't think it's worth the risk of being caught in that position by saving a few bucks on an oil filter or trying to out-smart Subaru engineers by using a "better" aftermarket filter.
 

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Here's an example of my concern with using a non-OEM oil filter during the engine warranty period. Say I use a Fram filter and the o-ring gasket fails, causing a oil leak that results in engine damage. I expect that Subaru might say that because the engine damage was caused by the failure of a non-Subaru part, the Subaru engine warranty is null and void. So now my only hope is a claim with Fram. I don't think it's worth the risk of being caught in that position by saving a few bucks on an oil filter or trying to out-smart Subaru engineers by using a "better" aftermarket filter.
I'm mostly with you on this.

Although most aftermarket filters are of acceptable quality, some perhaps even better than OEM, and I personally have never had a problem with one, I figure why take the chance? We know the OEM filter is a proper part for that engine and will work correctly. That's reason enough to prefer it, unless the OEM design is proved to be actually deficient, which seems unlikely.

In oil filter design, the next most important thing after the filtration media itself is the bypass valve. If too much pressure builds up behind a clogged filter, the bypass opens up and lets unfiltered oil pass through rather than starving the engine of oil. Dig into the data sheets for aftermarket filters and you'll find the pressure required to open the valve spring varies considerably. That's the kind of thing I'd expect a warranty dispute to center on.

I'm not as stringent about always using the OEM filter once the car is out of warranty. But I would never, ever use a Fram. YouTube is full of filter teardown videos, and in every case it's glaringly obvious the Fram filters are deficient designs. I'm really surprised they don't all just self-destruct and pump the engines full of paper shreds. I'd use a Wix/Napa filter if I were choosing an aftermarket brand.
 

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Using anything but an OEM Subaru filter is trying to out smart Subaru's engineers. I'm not that smart. But I am smart enough to avoid a potential warranty issue.
The engineers yes... but the bean counters no.

If you talk to people in most R&D departmernts, you'll find that they are some bright people in there that know almost everything about anything they have worked on. The problem is once the design leaves the R&D department and goes into manufacturing, the process of cutting the raw cost to build the product starts. They start tinkering with the R&D departments design (with some level of consultation mind you) in order to increase the repeatability of the design in manufacturing as well as reduce the cost so that the product can meet the desired price point while keeping reasonable reliability. When that starts to happen, they start making compromises with the original design resulting in something that more aligns to the goals of the product as well as the price point desired. Some of those changes are good for the consumer while others is not so much.

We, as consumers, like to think that those goals are aligned with our goals but sometimes they aren't.
 

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I invite anyone who thinks Fram filters are the best or even close to to go watch any videos about cutting open filters and seeing how they are built, their pleats, etc. There's a reason Fram is sold at Walmart.

Mahle is an OEM filter manufacturer for a lot of European cars (BMW, etc). They won't be a bad filter for a Subaru but I don't know if it would be my first choice.
Frams have always gotten a bad rap..yet their failure with even the composite endcaps was always acceptable.
But again..use what you want. My research is from the viewpoint of a Lubrication/Maintenance engineer. Just trying to help others. The Ultra is the Absolute best.
https://www.fram.com/products/consumer-products/oil-filters/fram-ultra-synthetic-oil-filter/
 

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Here's an interesting bit of information. Apparently the OEM filter the cars are built with in Japan (black filter, 15208AA160) are not the same as the ones available in the USA (blue filter, 15208AA15A), and many people believe the black filters are better. Subaru doesn't sell the black ones here, but someone figured out that Mazda does, under the part number N3R1-14-302. They say it is exactly the same filter in every particular except that it says Mazda instead of Subaru on it. I don't have personal experience with it but a lot of people seem to be having good results. Take it for what it's worth to you.
 

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The engineers yes... but the bean counters no.

If you talk to people in most R&D departmernts, you'll find that they are some bright people in there that know almost everything about anything they have worked on. The problem is once the design leaves the R&D department and goes into manufacturing, the process of cutting the raw cost to build the product starts. They start tinkering with the R&D departments design (with some level of consultation mind you) in order to increase the repeatability of the design in manufacturing as well as reduce the cost so that the product can meet the desired price point while keeping reasonable reliability. When that starts to happen, they start making compromises with the original design resulting in something that more aligns to the goals of the product as well as the price point desired. Some of those changes are good for the consumer while others is not so much.

We, as consumers, like to think that those goals are aligned with our goals but sometimes they aren't.
x2 all day long and then some.

A lot of what leaves the factory isn't what the engineers wanted in the design.


As far as Fram filters, I wouldn't touch one of their low end filters unless I had no other choice. Their "composite" (read: cardboard) end caps may not have a failure rate that causes problems but why take the risk? On the other hand, their top end filter is pretty well made and a quality product.

But when it comes to keeping my engine alive for the duration there is no reason not to spend a couple extra dollars per oil change on the top end filters. With modern oil change intervals going up, you can only benefit from the better designed filters. So you spend an extra $10 a year on your oil changes. Big deal. It's worth it to have the peace of mind that you won't have a catastrophic failure because you saved a couple of bucks on a cheap oil filter.
 

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I remember seeing Mahle oil filters online at NAPA, but they were around $12 each at the time. I trust NAPA Auto Parts, so if they sell Mahle it should be a good filter.

Just make sure the the oil filter meets Subaru's by-pass relief requirements. If I remember correctly it should be at least 26 lb. by-pass relief. Very important spec to meet.
 

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Here's an interesting bit of information. Apparently the OEM filter the cars are built with in Japan (black filter, 15208AA160) are not the same as the ones available in the USA (blue filter, 15208AA15A), and many people believe the black filters are better. Subaru doesn't sell the black ones here, but someone figured out that Mazda does, under the part number N3R1-14-302. They say it is exactly the same filter in every particular except that it says Mazda instead of Subaru on it. I don't have personal experience with it but a lot of people seem to be having good results. Take it for what it's worth to you.
The black filters are a better-built filter - people who have cut those two filters in half have verified it as such. Having said that, we don't know if it actually needs to be that well built... the car may not utilize the higher built quality of the black filters. We have not had a report where the blue filters have failed in service which is a testament to the blue filters and the level of quality required.
 

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I remember seeing Mahle oil filters online at NAPA, but they were around $12 each at the time. I trust NAPA Auto Parts, so if they sell Mahle it should be a good filter.

Just make sure the the oil filter meets Subaru's by-pass relief requirements. If I remember correctly it should be at least 26 lb. by-pass relief. Very important spec to meet.
Bypass is not at all important IMHO The oil filter's bypass will actuate just before the filter gets clogged (which is very unlikely to happen) .
What is the efficiency of the Mahle. I'm just kidding..its unknown. Most likely 95% at 40 microns where the Fram Ultra is 99% at 20 microns.
https://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/30697/choose-oil-filter
 

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What is the efficiency of the Mahle. I'm just kidding..its unknown. Most likely 95% at 40 microns where the Fram Ultra is 99% at 20 microns.
You can't say something is unknown, and then guess at it just to try and make your point. I'm fairly confident that you will never be able to convince anyone to have the same faith in Fram as you seem to. It doesn't even matter if they have a better filter these days, they are limited by their brand name. Their reputation. And again, go watch some videos about Fram filters, but just like you won't convince me I'm sure there is nothing that will change your mind, either.

I'd also take an OEM Mahle filter over a Fram, any day.

Since we're on the topic of oil filters.. I've never had a top-mounted filter car before.. how much of a mess is doing an oil change? Is most of the oil drained out of the filter via the drain plug by the time you get around to removing the filter? My sales guy implied that the Subaru filter had a ball **** type of thing in it to stop the oil from leaking out of the filter.. but that doesn't seem accurate? No aftermarket filter would have that if it were true.
 

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Since we're on the topic of oil filters.. I've never had a top-mounted filter car before.. how much of a mess is doing an oil change? Is most of the oil drained out of the filter via the drain plug by the time you get around to removing the filter? My sales guy implied that the Subaru filter had a ball **** type of thing in it to stop the oil from leaking out of the filter.. but that doesn't seem accurate? No aftermarket filter would have that if it were true.
I just looked at a blue Subaru filter for my 2018 Forester which has a top-mounted filter. I don't see anything like a ball inside. Sales people! When changing oil with a top-mounted filter most of the oil drains out before loosening it. Last time I changed my oil filter the little bit of oil left behind in the filter's "catch pan" was wiped clean with a single kleenex tissue.
 

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. how much of a mess is doing an oil change? Is most of the oil drained out of the filter via the drain plug by the time you get around to removing the filter? My sales guy implied that the Subaru filter had a ball **** type of thing in it to stop the oil from leaking out of the filter.. but that doesn't seem accurate? No aftermarket filter would have that if it were true.
The oil is draind out of the filter a minute after you shut off the engine. Simple as pie to change it. Its brilliant. All filters drain..the anti drainback valve has no effect when the filter is upside down. Brilliant on Subaru's part. They are the most innovative car company IMHO...opposed 4 engine, symetrical AWD, pioneered safety since 1960.
 

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Bypass is not at all important IMHO The oil filter's bypass will actuate just before the filter gets clogged (which is very unlikely to happen) .
What is the efficiency of the Mahle. I'm just kidding..its unknown. Most likely 95% at 40 microns where the Fram Ultra is 99% at 20 microns.
https://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/30697/choose-oil-filter
You bill yourself as a "Lubrication/Maintenance engineer" but say the bypass pressure of a filter is not important? This forum is a civil place, so I will just kindly suggest you rethink your position on that. Would you run a filter with a 1 pound bypass on your Subaru? Or one with a 100lb? I'm hoping you answer no to both of those.
 
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