Proper Oil Filter Replacement Helps Prevent Engine Damage

Modern engine technologies used in GM passenger cars and trucks today require different oil filtration needs than in the past. Bearing clearances are tighter, and the replacement of lead overlay to aluminum overlay bearings has put an increased significance on oil filtration. Proper oil filtration is dependent on oil filter paper area and paper filtration efficiency.


New technologies also have increased oil flow rate, leading to higher engine pressure differentials across the oil filter and requiring higher oil filter bypass settings. Oil filters made by different manufacturers may have significantly lower oil filter bypass settings than required by today’s GM engines, resulting in unfiltered oil to the engine bearings and accelerated bearing wear. Some engine oil filters with the same exterior dimensions may have filters with reduced paper area, which is achieved by reducing the number of pleats.


Oil filter misapplication may cause abnormal engine noise or internal damage. Refer to the most recent parts information to ensure the correct part number filter is installed when replacing an oil filter. When selecting a filter, do not rely on physical dimensions alone. Counterfeit copies of name brand parts have been discovered in some aftermarket parts systems. Be sure that the parts being installed are from a trusted source.


Engine damage resulting from an incorrect or improperly installed engine oil filter is not a warrantable claim. The best way to avoid oil filter quality concerns is to purchase ACDelco® oil filters directly from GM Customer Care and Aftersales. (Fig. 21)

F21 oil filter 1

Fig. 21


Refer to the appropriate Service Information installation instructions when replacing any oil filter. It’s important to follow the correct procedure for proper cartridge filter element alignment. (Fig. 22)


F22 oil filter 2

Fig. 22


If the diagnostics in the Service Information lead to the oil filter as the cause of internal engine noise or damage, submit a field product report. In the U.S., refer to Bulletin #02-00-89-002 for more information on submitting a field product report. (In Canada, refer to Bulletin #10-00-89-006.)


– Thanks to Tracy Lucas

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