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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my other cars I use the Mobil One oil filter. Which is the best filter for our Ascents? Subaru’s or someone else’s? And why?
 

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There are actually only a few manufacturers of oil filters which build them to various brand specifications. Some oil filter brands, including OEM filters, may switch manufacturers year to year as well as their specifications, so it's hard to determine who makes the best filter at any given time based upon past results. So any reports you may come across on the internet where someone has run extensive tests or disassembled them may already be outdated.

I've researched oil filters carefully for many years and it's hard to come to any definitive conclusions. Some are definitely better than others, but the bottom line is that if you change the filter with every oil change and if you change your oil at 3000-6000 mile intervals, most will work adequately. The premium oil filters become much more important when oil changes exceed 6000 miles.

Some here will tell you you must use the Subaru OEM filter to avoid warranty issues and/or that it is somehow superior. Neither is true. The Subaru OEM filter is quite ordinary and of good quality, it will do the job well, but using other filters will not cause warranty issues and there are better filters available. There are also worse filters available so you need to be careful. If you stick with the Subaru OEM filter you will know that Subaru has carefully spec'd, tested, and approved it, and the quality is not suspect. That may be worth it for most people because it removes the guesswork.

The Mobile One filter you mentioned is an excellent albeit considerably more expensive premium filter. I use them because over the years they have proven dependable and consistent, and if they switch manufacturers, the design specifications remain the same. Is it better than the Subaru filter? Probably a bit better, but not so much that it'll make a difference when used within the recommended oil change intervals. The same is true for most premium filters.

An oil filter is no place to save money, however. Either buy the Subaru OEM filters, which are quite reasonable in cost, or go for a premium aftermarket filter such as Mobile One, Wix, NAPA, AMSOIL, Royal Purple, etc. Avoid all economy oil filters. You basically get what you pay for, the least expensive filters may compromise components and that could cause issues.

You'll get many polarized opinions on oil filters as many people have formed strong opinions, sometimes on misinformation, but just use common sense and disregard any hype or fanaticism. Oil filters are a commodity and most are fine when used within 6000-mile intervals as long as you avoid the cheap ones.
 

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Subaru uses FRAM/Honeywell filters (they're the same company). If you search the oil thread, you will see a bunch of aftermarket filter recommendations. Even FRAM has various classes of filters.
 

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i know US Subaru filters made by FRAM but they made to Subaru specifications (for example no FRAM filter got same gasket as Subaru filter)

and with the car on the warranty if FRAM fail and you have engine problem you'll have to deal with FRAM
but if Subaru filter fail its all on Subaru

For extra $2 ($5.73 total ) i get Subaru filter and Drain Plug Gaskets included
and it makes me fill better having Subaru logo on it ;)
 

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I choose Fram because it's a good filter. I know this because I used it on my 2000 4runner, ran it 200K+ miles before I sold it. 9/10 times, we don't often articulate why we choose one brand over another, other than the cost. The cheapest Fram (orange color) is actually few cents more than Subaru brand, which is surprising to me. When we look at filter comparison, we should aim to evaluate based on the following criteria:

1. contaminant removal efficiency (in %)
2. contaminant removal capacity (in mileage)
3. Hydraulic flow rate capacity (i.e. oil flow rate thru its life) (in volume/time)

If we can articulate with some sort of metric, as suggested above, then we can qualified them as the "best". otherwise, it's just utterances.

There are a lot of YT videos of comparing the material use but not the actual performance. There's a lot of merit to compare oil filter by the construction method and material. if that's all we're evaluating, then we haven't done our best to figure out which is the best. All it is saying is that we've chosen one over another because of the dollar cost to construct them.
 

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i don't know about "flow rate" i use to have 1996 ecotec 2.4 , and with Fram(only Fram) will always get low pressure light the moment oil gets hot ...
(orange color)
i have also seen engine with Fram Collapsed Center Tube (back in ~2004) , ( and yes Fram did cover all repair costs )
(orange color)


The only place i still use fram is on my Lawnmower...


added link from Fram
https://www.fram.com/media/1084/collapsedcentertubes.pdf
 

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WIX and Mobil are know to be decent
 

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I'm using Fram Ultra Synthetic filters which are rated very highly. While I think you can get by with nearly any filter if you change oil frequently the question will always be when you are pushing you car a bit hard will the filter keep up.

In the past I bought Amsoil filters but they didn't have one for the Ascent which is why I switched.

I know many have said only buy Subaru filters and I know people like to quote the different bypass ratings but I can't imagine you are hitting that too often where it would cause issues.
 

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I've been using Fram Ultra for our other cars (RSX, Envoy, Sienna) but for the Ascent I'll stick with Subaru filters after reading about the 20+ psi bypass valve. First oil change I used the Subaru blue filter. Ordered a black Tokyo Roki 130 (also Subaru OEM) to try out at next oil change in October.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For me I planned to use either the Subaru or Mobil 1 oil filter. Pro10is had a good point about the oil change interval only being 6,000 miles and a premium filter is just overkill. I am leaning towards using the less expensive Subaru filter. It’s what the dealer is using for my free oil changes already and I can also get the plug gasket with it.
 

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I choose Fram because it's a good filter. I know this because I used it on my 2000 4runner, ran it 200K+ miles before I sold it. 9/10 times, we don't often articulate why we choose one brand over another, other than the cost. The cheapest Fram (orange color) is actually few cents more than Subaru brand, which is surprising to me. When we look at filter comparison, we should aim to evaluate based on the following criteria:

1. contaminant removal efficiency (in %)
2. contaminant removal capacity (in mileage)
3. Hydraulic flow rate capacity (i.e. oil flow rate thru its life) (in volume/time)

If we can articulate with some sort of metric, as suggested above, then we can qualified them as the "best". otherwise, it's just utterances.

There are a lot of YT videos of comparing the material use but not the actual performance. There's a lot of merit to compare oil filter by the construction method and material. if that's all we're evaluating, then we haven't done our best to figure out which is the best. All it is saying is that we've chosen one over another because of the dollar cost to construct them.
Over the years, a number of people have taken it upon themselves to attempt to test and qualify oil filters, primarily by disassembling them and evaluating the overall construction and materials used, especially the filter media and the quality/quantity of it. These tests have merit but are not definitive. Unless someone such as Consumer Reports decides to perform unbiased scientific methodologies to testing oil filters, the best we can do is to try to make educated guesses based upon what little comparison information is available.

Fram (Honeywell) is one of the few primary US manufacturers of oil filters along with Clarcor, Champion Labs, Dana, Donaldson, and Purolator. From all the rudimentary tests I've seen over many years, Fram makes some of the best and some of the worst oil filters. Fram knows exactly how to make an excellent filter, and they know how to cut every corner to make an economy filter which just barely qualifies as adequate. Fram premium filters are fine, as are the filters they make as OEMs. However, never, ever use their branded economy filters. These consistently test as among the worst you can buy based upon their poor construction and materials used. You do get what you pay for.

The best thing to do is to either buy an OEM filter, which the car manufacturer has specified and vetted, or buy a premium filter. Both of these choices will virtually assure proper performance within normal oil change intervals. Never buy an inexpensive filter to save a few dollars, never go past the manufacturer's oil change interval, and always replace the oil filter at each oil change. If you do only this, you should have no problems associated with oil filters.
 

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2014-2018 Forester XT filter = 2019 Ascent oil filter in case anyone is/was wondering.

The factory installed oil filter is the exact same filter that the DIT2.0 Forester XT uses. I have half a case of them left over from my 2015 FXT. Was a relief to see that they are identical in every aspect, including part number.
 

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Yes, and the same as my 2017 Outback 2.5i as well.

I used to use the K&N filters before they moved production to Mexico. Now quality has suffered a bit. Use Royal Purple filters instead.
 

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I got an STI filter to put in my wife's forester but traded it for an ascent last month.
Anyone see any reason this will not work fine in an Ascent?
I understand that the blue Subaru filters have cheap cardboard filter caps inside that fall apart, but the black ones are still made in Japan and are higher quality.

It has the 23psi bypass meant for the WRX turbo so I am sure it can handle the ascent's turbo oil pressure without constant filter bypass (unlike a lot of aftermarket filters running at ~10psi)
htt---- wont let me post link, search amazon for "SUBARU Genuine 15208AA170 Oil Filter Elem Cap"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I got an STI filter to put in my wife's forester but traded it for an ascent last month.
Anyone see any reason this will not work fine in an Ascent?
I understand that the blue Subaru filters have cheap cardboard filter caps inside that fall apart, but the black ones are still made in Japan and are higher quality.

It has the 23psi bypass meant for the WRX turbo so I am sure it can handle the ascent's turbo oil pressure without constant filter bypass (unlike a lot of aftermarket filters running at ~10psi)
htt---- wont let me post link, search amazon for "SUBARU Genuine 15208AA170 Oil Filter Elem Cap"
I would think there are better ways to save money than second guessing your oil filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry. I’m new to the wonderful world of Subaru and did not know there are premium black filters.
 

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So I saw a post that seems to show that the 130 filter will work. The logic follows like this. The 2011 Forester used the 130 and then Subaru switched to the 15A to save cost. As we use the 15A it stands to reason that the 130 is acceptable as well. I honestly dont see how it could be an issue but was happy to see a bit of reassurance.
 
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