America's Definitive Marine Engine Magazine

marine engine digest logo

How To Dissect A Marine Engine Oil Filter

You faithfully pull the dipstick and check your marine engine's crankcase oil level. Maybe you even splurge on a pricey synthetic oil with an eye towards extending engine life. You change oil in a timely fashion. and perhaps youve considered haveing the crankcae oil analyzed for nasty bits. But be advised, laboratory analysis doesn't always reliably point an accusing finger at lurking engine failure. So if you're in the habit of trashing spent oil filters after each oil change, we have a suggesion that could save your engine's life. Next time you drain and crankcase oil, instead of throwing it away in the recycling bin, cut it open and see what clues are hiding inside.

Looking For Clues Of Pending Destruction:
As Simple As Pie

Step one: Remove the oil filter.

Step Two: Drain the oil from the filter, about 20-minutes is usually time enough.

Step Three: Chuck the spent filter in a dedicated oil filter can-cutter. If you don't have access to a filter cutter, then chuck it in a bench vise and use a ball pein hammner and a sharp chisel to patiently cut around the circumference of the filter base.

dissect drawing

Step Four: Lift off the can to expose the pleats. Look in the valleys for metal particles: Be alert for chunks of aluminum piston skirt, or a slurry of pulverized connecting rod and main bearing particlate matter.

Step Five: Compare whatever you find in the pleats with the accompanying chart to determine your next step.

chart

youtube logo
We welcome you to visit our channel to learn more about marine engines.