Is A Toilet Paper Oil Filter Worth Your Time?

Does the idea of perfectly clean motor oil circulating through your engine for thousands of miles sound appealing?  Can using a roll of toilet paper as a bypass oil filter help your engine last a million miles?  Will you ever have to change your oil again?

Using a toilet paper oil filter as an oil bypass filter has been done for decades and many proponents say you never need to change your oil since the toilet paper filters out the tiny contamination.  Is this true?  Can you really never change your oil again without burning up your engine and causing really nasty piston seizure?

It has been known for decades now that over 60% of the running engine wear is caused by particulate contamination suspended in the motor oil that is in the 5-15 micron size range.  This fact was published in a paper created by General Motors years ago.

Most spin on full flow oil filters that you find at the auto parts store do a pretty good job getting down to the 20 micron particle size and some specialty oil filters can get down into the 5-15 micron range.  The design challenge with a full flow oil filter is to not get too restrictive which would starve the engine.

This is where bypass filtration can come into play.  Bypass filtration usually means that 5-10% of the engine oil flow is pulled off into a more restrictive side stream filter capable of removing particulate below 5 microns in a single flow pass and sub micron after multiple passes.

This makes for some ultra clean oil when it comes to particle counts… water and acid contamination is another story.

There are companies out there like Frantz that sell the toilet paper bypass filter and have been doing so for years.  One of the most frequent questions is which toilet paper to use?  The best answer is the industrial type toilet paper that is very densely packed with the very thin sheets the roll should fit tightly into the filter casing.  The densely packed sheets and tight fit are to assure proper filtration take place.

Sadly these filters seem to be frequently misapplied which is bad news for the life of your engine.  

Things that can go wrong:

1)  Poorly installed toilet paper can actually contaminate your oil more than it cleans your oil.  There should be no flexibility in which toilet paper brand and dimension is used but sadly there is.  A fully engineered filter element could be produced for the same cost as a roll of toilet paper… so why don't these companies just offer one?  

2)  Particulate is not the only thing wearing out your oil.  Yes your oil additives deplete over time and your oil gets worn out.  Oil has additives that absorb the acids which are a byproduct of the combustion in your engine.  So even if you keep your oil filtered perfectly your crankcase can turn into an acid bath which will eat your engine from the inside out.  If you are not going to ever change your oil be sure and take an oil sample and have it analyzed to make sure it is staying safe in your engine.

3)  Because of the normal variations found in toilet paper you can not be assured that you will have reliable and repeatable results of filtration.

There are a lot of great bypass oil filtration systems available that have test data demonstrating their ability to reduce particle contamination and water/acid contamination.  Real proof.

If you would like to see one you can go here:

AMSOIL Bypass Oil Filter System

And for a 20% discount on an AMSOIL system be sure to go here:

Where Can I Buy Amsoil Oil

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