Maintenance Matters

August 2009 Issue

Spin On Oil Filters: Champion Prevails

Although they cost four bucks more, Champion filters have more filter media and more robust construction. Tempest filters have some features we like.

Replacing oil that’s been fouled by combustion by-products is one of the easiest and most-reliable ways to help prevent internal corrosion of your engine, thus the recommendation for frequent oil changes. Between changes, of course, we depend on frequent flights and the oil filter to help keep dirt and metal shavings from circulating and potentially damaging expensive parts. And when we change the oil, examining the used filter can help identify potential problems or confirm that all is well. Which filter to install at the next change often is determined by what’s available on your mechanic’s shelf, or by the FBO’s profit margins. Since all filters are FAA-PMA approved, they’re all pretty much the same, right? Not necessarily. To find out for ourselves, we obtained samples from the three companies manufacturing spin-on oil filters for Continental and Lycoming engines—Champion, Kelly and Tempest—cut them open and examined their construction. We found the Champion filters had more robust components, but all three have different features.

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