Fram aftermarket Sonata Oil Filter - Failure!

Discussion in 'Hyundai Sonata' started by Bob, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Several Months ago, there was some discussion about aftermarket oil filters
    for the Sonata. I had purchased a Fram PH9999. I took several pictures of
    it - the filter, O rings, and took similar pictures of the genuine Hyundai
    filter. Matt Whiting had the following to say: "The pictures are very nice.
    In the pictures, it appears that both the filter media and the inner o-rings
    (I think they are o-rings anyway) are a different color from the Hyundai
    filter. This may be inconsequential or it may mean that these materials are
    materially (pun intended!) different from the Hyundai filter. I'd want to
    know if this was my engine."

    Well, Matt hit the nail on the head. Around the end of August, I did an oil
    change, and installed the Fram filter in my 2006 Sonata. All was well until
    I noticed the oil stain on my driveway yesterday. (My wife drives the car).
    This morning, I looked under the hood, and found oil had been leaking from
    between the cap and the filter housing. I tried to give it a turn, and found
    it tight. I started the engine, and the entire filter housing was almost
    immediately covered in oil. I took the filter cap off, hoping that it wasn't

    It wasn't. The O ring for the cap was flat. It actually had hardened. I've
    changed the oil in the car like 6 times now, and the Hyundai O ring was
    still round and soft (flexible) when replaced. The Fram O ring actually is
    now flat on the outside, and was really hard. I have pictures of the Hyundai
    O ring I replaced it with up against the Fram O ring I removed. My server is
    currently dead, so I anyone's got either a way to host them, or suggestions
    as to how I can link to them, let me know (my email address is valid), and
    I'll either email them to you, or follow whatever instructions so everyone
    can see.

    I think a contributing factor was the cold weather we had the past few
    days - pretty close to 30. I would have noticed the oil on the driveway, and
    the way the oil flowed out, it would have made a really big puddle, and ran
    the oil level down in the car. I suspect that as soon as the oil warms, it
    quits leaking.

    I figure there's no point in trying to contact Fram about this - I can
    picture how their customer service would react - denial.
    Bob, Nov 10, 2007
  2. Bob

    Mike Marlow Guest

    That sucks.

    Why assume that? While it may indeed be true, you have nothing at all to
    base that assumption on. Why not provide Fram the evidence you are so
    willing to share here, and see exactly *what* they have to say.
    Mike Marlow, Nov 10, 2007
  3. Bob

    Tom Guest

    I second Mike's motion. You should contact Fram and DOCUMENT the filter
    gasket's failure in case you have engine problems. A follow up with a
    registered letter would be my second step. Fram is a very reputable
    company, despite how they get slammed on this forum, and should welcome the
    information about the gasket material. It sounds as if they may have
    changed gasket material. Probably, as is so frequent today, they outsourced
    the gaskets (maybe the entire filter) to China and got what they paid
    for-junk. It happened to me at my work when our closure supplier changed
    their gasket source to China and, without their knowledge, the material was
    also changed to something cheaper.
    China will destroy our economy...................

    Tom, Nov 10, 2007
  4. Bob

    Zotto Guest

    There is a TSB from Hyundai that talks about this issue, recommending to use
    ONLY original oil filters for Sonata 2006 to avoid such a kind of troubles.
    Zotto, Nov 10, 2007
  5. Bob

    Tom Guest

    I read the TSB about engine noise (valve lifters) a while back. Is there
    another one? I'll have to check.
    Tom, Nov 10, 2007
  6. Bob

    Matt Whiting Guest

    It is a good idea to let them know. If they are using cheap materials
    knowingly, then they won't care and won't do anything as you say.
    However, if they have any integrity, they will check to see if their
    supplier sent them substandard materials by mistake or maybe on purpose,
    but unbeknown to them. If they don't know of these failures, they have
    no opportunity to address them.

    I personally no longer hold Fram in high regard, but that is just my
    opinion. However, I almost always let a company know when their product
    is substandard. I figure I at least owe them that much. If they choose
    to ignore it, then that is out of my control.

    I know we have had long debates here about various manufacturers of oil,
    filters, etc. and many disagree with me, however, I still believe that
    there often IS a correlation of quality to price. Cheap parts really
    are often inferior in one way or another. Are they inferior enough to
    matter? That is the $64K question. Maybe Fram filters are good enough
    in most cases. Maybe SuperTech oil is good enough in most cases. For
    me, I'll pay the extra for Mobil 1 or Castrol and likewise for Hyundai
    or Purolator or similar filters.

    I'm glad you found the problem before it caused engine damage.

    Matt Whiting, Nov 10, 2007
  7. Bob

    Bob Guest

    The TSB from Hyundai was generic - Issued 2005 for All Vehicles. It talked
    about possible engine noise as a side effect of using aftermarket filters.
    Others here discussed it further, and said it was maybe due to
    anti-drainback valve issues. The filters for the 3.3 are bare cartridge
    filters, not the type in a metal can. They contain no valves.

    As far as reporting it to Fram, I've made a call, and left info on their
    "Product Quality Claims" voice mail. If they call back, great. I'll let
    everyone know what transpires. You would think that they would have tested
    the filter / O-rings to make sure that they were the proper material for the
    application. There was absolutely no deviation from their instructions -
    it's in a car with motor oil, and the filter hasn't been in all that long. I
    can tell them exactly what oil was used, so maybe they can duplicate the
    problem. I'm not really concerned about this having damaged the engine, as
    all it did was cause a leak. The oil level didn't have a chance to get low.
    The leak was discovered within a day of it starting.
    Bob, Nov 10, 2007
  8. Bob

    Mike Marlow Guest

    A great many of us here will be interested in hearing how this plays out
    Bob. I for one, am not in the Fram bashing camp and I'd like to think
    they'll step up to the plate on this. We'll see...
    Mike Marlow, Nov 10, 2007
  9. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Fortunately, there's no damage other than the mess which a 2 dollar can of
    degreaser took care of. A neighbor came over and reminded me of the $500
    fine for washing cars because of the water restrictions.....

    They'll either call me back, and be interested, or they won't. Even if they
    want the filter, etc. back, I'm sure they'll never 'fess up to there being a
    problem. The filter is still in the car, as I'll probably change the oil
    sometime this weekend. I just swapped out the O-ring yesterday. I'll do the
    rest when I change the oil. I sent the pics to someone on this group that
    emailed for them. If anyone's got a solution for posting them, I'll do that.
    Bob, Nov 10, 2007
  10. Bob

    ']['unez Guest

    Well just to add my 2 cents for what its worth I have a 2005 XG350L and
    every oil change has been done at 3000 miles ( Please dont bash me for the
    3000 mile change, I live in the desert ( Las Vegas ) and it gets kinda warm
    here and we have sand storms quite often ) But every oil change has been
    with Mobil1 and a FRAM oil filter as of now I have yet to have a drop of oil
    come from the filter or not 1 engine noise, the car car runs and sounds like
    new. I guess heres where I get bashed !!!!!! I have had every oil change
    done at the local Walmart !!!! and have never had a problem with them,
    besides they wash my windsheild with every oil change


    " When your up to your ass in alligators, its hard to remember, your main
    objective was to drain the swamp ! "
    ']['unez, Nov 11, 2007
  11. Bob

    razz Guest

    I've used Fram from day one and never had a problem with them. I only use
    fram on my 01 Sonota because no one else carries filters for Hyundai
    Sonatas other than wall mart. Canadian tire used to have them, but do not
    carry them any more. I am not going to pay an inflated price for a filter
    from the dealership.
    razz, Nov 11, 2007
  12. If you'd been paying attention to this or any other forum, you'd know
    that Fram filters are absolute crap and potentially damaging to your
    engine. Now you know.
    Brian Nystrom, Nov 12, 2007
  13. Bob

    ']['unez Guest

    Well Brian, If this response was aimed at me ( actually it doesnt matter who
    it was aimed at ) that is your opinion and you know what they say about
    opinions !!!!! I have been using Fram Oil Filters in my Vehicles and sold
    them in all 4 of my service stations for 40 YEARS with not one complaint or
    not one problem in 40 years and just so you have another of your opinions
    aired I also used Penzoil Oil all those years untill Mobil 1 came out and I
    switched.... As you know or should know EVERYBODY has parts fail, it doesnt
    matter if its Fram, Autolite, WHOMEVER it does happen Just because you may
    have had a bad experiance with a fram filter or read it someplace that
    doesnt mean you need to condem them for every body else .

    OH BTW I probably follow this forum more in two days than you do in two
    weeks, I just read alot and dont post much.


    " When your up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember your main
    objective was to drain the swamp ! "
    ']['unez, Nov 12, 2007
  14. Bob

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Fram filters changed a lot over that time period. I used them in the
    early days as well and they were very good then. When Fram was acquired
    by a different company (forget the details now as it has been many years
    ago), the filters were redesigned to cut cost. They went from being a
    premium brand to being a bottom-tier brand almost overnight.

    Use what you will, but the standard Fram filters today just aren't high
    quality as several tear-downs have shown.

    Matt Whiting, Nov 12, 2007
  15. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Actually, it was likely aimed at me. We've all heard the urban legends about
    the Fram filters that have caused all kinds of problems from sludge to
    thrown rods. Most of us have seen the teardowns that are BASED ON VISUAL
    INSPECTION. This filter is not in a can, and looked pretty good. That's why
    I tried it. The problem here wasn't the filter. The filter still looks fine.
    It was the O-ring gasket included with the filter. It would appear that
    whatever they made it out of, it didn't do well - heat, oil, cold?
    Actually, the small O-ring that's on the end of the bypass valve assembly is
    pretty hard also. The two on the filter itself seem OK.

    Anyway, I got a call back from Fram today, and they are sending me out some
    kind of packaging to send the filter and O-rings back. They claim that they
    will report back. It didn't damage my engine. All it did was make a mess.
    Bob, Nov 13, 2007
  16. Bob

    southluke Guest

    best oil filter is the one on sale. I think I have used about ever
    brand made over the years and never had engine problems. The Walmar
    brand seems to work fine

    However, I have noticed over the years that every now and then on
    will leak a little. Not sure why but it does not seem to be an
    particular brand

    Just change the oil and filter regularly and keep an eye on the oi
    level and you will be OK

    southluke, Nov 13, 2007
  17. Bob

    Deck Guest

    I have always used the Hyundaifilter, but I do have a Fram that looks just
    like it! What I have been reading it was the O ring that failed, not the
    filter!! I have changed my oil every 5000 miles using the Hyundai filter,
    but taking off the O rings is a pain, so I have only done that once.
    otherwise I just use the old Orings. Have a bunch left over if you need
    Deck, Nov 13, 2007
  18. Bob

    Tom Guest

    Well, that in itself says one helluva lot about Fram!!! If they take the
    time and effort to send you a special box to return the failed filter in
    then they DO care about their products. That's a lot more than I can say
    about many other manufacturers that I have dealt with over the years.

    Tom, Nov 13, 2007
  19. Bob

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Yes, but if the Fram o-ring is really inferior why do you suspect any
    different about the filter itself?

    Matt Whiting, Nov 13, 2007
  20. Bob

    Matt Whiting Guest

    That is a great response from Fram. Let us know what you hear back once
    they get your returned parts.

    Matt Whiting, Nov 13, 2007
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