Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A narrow escape from the Fram OCOD


What?  Disappointed by an oil filter?  You expected some sort of wild animal?

Don’t be thwarted so quickly.  It appears that to some vehicle owners this particular filter has become known as the OCOD.  The Orange Can Of Death.

Images of the thing unscrewing itself and somehow flying through the floorboard in a ‘Christine’ (old movie, possessed car) sort of rage are undoubtedly running through your head at this moment but it is more simple than that. 

The OCOD on the operating table.  Good ole Dremel.

Online reports indicate that it comes down to the way the filter is built (they use cardboard).  Our thoughts and research go with this along with the possibility that folks are running them far too long or in situations that they are not appropriate for. 

But, our thoughts do not make us experts in the field so after reading several horror stories of these filters disintegrating and destroying engines we decided not to continue the gamble of will it or won’t it.  On the recommendation of Nicole’s vannin buddies, a switch to the equally frugal, yet reportedly more well manufactured, Purolator L300001 was made (we reserve judgment since so far it’s just sitting there looking pretty in white).

                             Open sesame!

The rubber guy is the anti drain-back doo-hickey.  Some say that they fit a little too loose on the Fram but we were pretty sure that ours was working just fine. It was in place, all in one piece and still supple.

The culprits – top and bottom (circles) of the filter are made of cardboard.
Ours looked to be in good shape, were still well attached and were not brittle.

Our oil showed no signs of contaminants so there is still the mystery of the fibrous looking material we observed.  We’ve been using these filters for our last four oil changes.  This is the first one we’ve cut open.  Perhaps, one of the prior ones did disintegrate?  If so, we are happy that this one caught most of it!

Either way, we have concluded that we managed to escape the Fram OCOD (this time around) and until there are more consistent reports indicating they are more safe than sorry we will go with something else.

Speaking of something else, look who came by to say hello the other day.


Break time is over.  Now, go forth and do routine maintenance on your vehicle.