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Oil Filters – New Look Inside!


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Although we might all agree that Lexus makes the best vehicles, we simply can’t agree on what the best oil filter is. I’m not even going to try and convince anyone to use a specific filter, however I will provide some interesting facts for you to consider.

Let me say that after many experiments with aftermarket parts for my Lexus, I’m convinced that OEM parts fit, function, and operate the best. The only small exception I’ve found has been with the oil filters, after cutting open the current Toyota filter and seeing how they have cut corners with their oil filters. You see Denso which is part owned by Toyota is the primary supplier for Toyota and Lexus. They make the OEM filters which were at one point in time of excellent quality. However, today the only quality Toyota filter I find (aside from the TRD filters) are the original made in Japan filters such as the 90915-20004 used on the LS400 and sold by Carson Toyota. What I did here was cut open what I considered to be the top 4 oil filters that you can buy for less then $10/each. They include, Purolator Pure One, Denso Aftermarket, Toyota, and Micro.

I should say that I’m simply looking at the components and build quality of these filters, and that a critical aspect, the filter media filtering capability and efficiency I’m not able to determine (except for the Pure One, which is noted on the box). I know that such studies were done before, however this is really specific to Lexus filter applications (RX300 and LS400 filters since this is what I drive).

First, the Pure One (Made in USA), appears to be an excellent filter and well worth the $6 price. The only thing that concerned me with this filter is how thin the steel case is. Aside from the reduced burst pressure, I’m concerned that the filter will collapse during removal if it’s been left on for a while and the gasket has cooked on.

Positive points are;

1) Silicon Anti-Drain back valve

2) Highly efficient filtering media @ 98%

3) Steel capped on both ends of the filter media

4) By-pass valve, built into steel cap

Negative points

1) Shorter length then OEM Toyota filter (LS400 application)

2) Very thin steel casing

3) Pleats are unevenly spaced


Second, Denso Aftermarket (Made in Thailand). Excellent filter and superior to the one they make for Toyota. Price $6 ea.

Positive points

1) Thick outer steel casing

2) Steel capped on both ends of filtering media

3) Silicon anti-drain back valve

4) By-pass valve, built into steel cap

5) O-ring seal at mounting surface


1) Unevenly spaced pleats


Third, Toyota filter (Made in Thailand by Denso to Toyota specs), very very disappointed, Toyota is cutting too many corners unlike their filters from previous years! This will be the only non OEM part on my vehicles from now on. I think I now know why I used to have clunking dry starts on my LS, which has not happened since I’ve switched to Micro filters!

Positive points

1) Thick outer steel casing

2) O-ring seal at mounting surface


1) Nitrile rubber anti-drain back valve

2) Filtering media is NOT capped, allowing pleats to possibly fold or collapse!

3) By pass valve is built into the bottom spring assembly, creating another sealing surface with the filtering media which could leak


Last, is the Micro filter (Made in Japan), purchased through www.autohausaz.com , well worth $6 + price and my top pick from now on.

Positive points;

1) Thickest steel casing of all

2) Highest number of filter pleats

3) Steel capped on both ends of filtering media

4) By-pass valve, built into steel cap

5) Perfectly evenly spaced pleats


1) The one made for the RX300 uses a nitrile rubber anti drain back valve, the one for the LS400 has the better silicon valve.


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  • 2 months later...
So i guess the FRAM filters I get at walmart are just over-rated? I got a bunch of free toyota ones with my car and use those... should i just sell those on ebay?

To me, both are fine filters to use. I use fram on my GSXR and walfart on my lexus. Unless you are doing oil testing, in my eyes, pictures are worth nothing. I need to see the wear numbers. For the price, walfart filters are damn good.

Also if you go by pics, Fram and Toyota are the same construction from pics I have seen.

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