Product Report: Fleetguard filters

If you hate changing oil filters you’re going to love Fleetguard’s new User Friendly Filter. The filter housing is made from an injection-molded polymer, which allowed Fleetguard engineers to create a number of features that were not possible with round-bottom metal filters.

First: It has a flat bottom. Now instead of gingerly trying to hold onto a filter full of hot, dirty engine oil you can simply set it securely on any flat surface until you’re in a better position to dump the oil. And prior to installation of new filters, the flat bottom allows you to do prefills without having to hold the filter in one hand.

Second: A recessed lug molded into the bottom of the filter lets you to remove the used filter with a quick twist of any 1/2-inch-drive socket wrench – no need to wrestle a strap or band around it, nor will you have to (as some of you have been known to do) stab the can with a screwdriver and twist it off that way. And if the filter is buried deep in some hard-to-reach spot on the engine, you just add an extension to your socket wrench to reach it. To prevent over-tightening during installation, the recessed lug is also designed so the socket will cam out if you try to turn it clockwise to install the filter.

The polymer construction also makes the filter 50 percent lighter than metal filters, which helps reduce overall engine vibration. The polymer resists denting too. At the bottom of the filter, molded texturing and ribs give you a slip-resistant surface for a better grip when installing the filter. Should you accidentally cross thread the filter during installation, the polymer is sufficiently forgiving that it won’t spall or damage the threads on your filter stud. Plus, if getting rid of metal filters has been a bothersome chore in your shops, the new polymer filter housing can be disposed of by crushing, incineration or recycling.

The User Friendly Filters begin shipping this month. They will be offered in two sizes, 3-inch and 3 3/4-inch diameters, will become standard components for on- and off-road Cummins diesel engines up to 10 liters in size and are compatible with non-Cummins engines. The new filters will meet or exceed the performance of the round-bottom metal filters they are replacing, and will be priced the same, says Jeff Hamilton, chief technology officer at Fleetguard.