Learned about Fram orange can of death


New Member
Dec 5, 2009
Ontario, Canada
... a long story short ...

When my regular premium oil filter wasn't available, and I was in a time crunch, I recently installed a Fram oil filter on my 5.0. To boot - it wasn't their el cheapo filter, but one of their top ones and I paid very good money for it.

After installation, I noticed my oil gauge wasn't reading as high as it used to. I kept driving thinking the gauge would "settle down" since the car came out of winter storage and, over the years, I have noticed a little erratic behaviour from the gauge (not much, and only rarely). 99.9% of the time, the gauge has always read high and steady with a consistent readout.

In the meantime I did some research on forums like this one and on the internet in general and found out what garbage Fram filters have become. I can personally attest to three main faults of these products:

NUMBER ONE: Lowered operating oil pressure. I told a friend of mine who has been running nothing but Fram for years in his '96 Cougar with the 4.6 V8. He says that his oil gauge hasn't read properly in years. He put a non-Fram oil filter on and suddenly his oil gauge is reading high and steady, like it used to when he first got the car 8 years ago. Three summers ago I noticed that his engine was burning oil and leaving subtle blue clouds behind the car whenever he would take off - the engine had about 100,000 miles on it - I've seen the typical 4.6 with reasonable maintenance do better than that and I believe that his engine has suffered due to the crappy Fram filters he was using.

As for myself, after 400 miles on a new oil change I ditched the Fram today for a K&N and RIGHT AWAY my oil gauge is reading just as it always has - higher.

NUMBER TWO: Crappy anti-drainback valve technology. Virtually everyone who has disected and compared oil filters says Fram is in a (bad) league of its own here. Today, when I removed the Fram filter I was expecting the usual amount of oil to come out and, to my surprise, very very little actually did. The filter was therefore virtually empty. This is not good at all, and can definitely lead to premature engine wear.

NUMBER THREE: I have been doing oil changes on multiple vehicles for decades now and I have never had an oil filter collapse on me as I was trying to loosen it from the engine. Fram is noted for using very thin metal in making the outer shell. I never overtighten filters. In any event, by the time I got the bloody thing off it looked like a pretzel.

I know many of you know this already, but I just got schooled - and I consider myself pretty much "in the know" about car stuff.

My hope is that this will help even just one person to save their engine.

Like I said, I paid enough money for that premium Fram filter to have bought many brands of much better, acceptable product. It is true, Fram spends big money on advertising and on how to charge you more for less. My time and money were wasted, and my engine could have been at risk had I not caught this in time. Many cars do not have oil pressure gauges - you'd never know until it was too late.

I take my engines seriously and I am pissed. I'm going to keep telling this story to anyone who will listen. These guys are literally screwing us and I hope the word spreads.
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Thanks for posting man! that really stinks...... I have used fram for years but looks like I will be changing brands.... I have never really been able to compare them to another brand as Fram is all I have ever used......:notnice: thanks again for posting.
im strictly motorcraft. Used frams for a while and they are the biggest hunks of **** ive ever seen. like you said my gauge read low, filter crinkled when i tried to remove it, was virtually dry and just all around a terrible product. never again
I had a Fram cause me loose all oil psi on the way home from buying my car, couldn't figure out what went wrong till I read folks talking about it and changed to motorcraft, oil psi went back up but it was too late for the motor. that was several years ago, I am a die hard motorcraft user now and appreciate it every time a thread like this gets started.
wow this is crazy i just had this problem last night i to had put the fram filter on in a crunch. It took me 45 mins to get that mother **** off i had to drive a spike through it after already crushing it. and even that barley got it off and this has never happend to me before i got my reagular napa gold filter and now my cars oil presure is nice and high where it should be and it even runs better.
good write up THOR74 warning to all!!!
Looks like some of you got "Framed" ..Pun intended....

Sorry you all had to experience this Fram crap on your rides. I have been telling people for years... yes years, that Fram filters are garbage. Yet, I always seemed to get the counter experience attacks from people saying things like "I've been using Fram for years and I never had a problem. Theres nothing wrong with Fram, those stories are just a bunch of BS" etc etc. I found Fram was garbage years ago after reading up on some oil filter comparison test some guy did. He sliced up at least a dozen oil filters friom different brand names. Found Fram had a bad tendacy to fall apart internally , and worse part is, those pieces come apart and get lodged into your engine someplace. Bad news. I haven't touched Fram since I read that. Been using K&N, Purolator and Motorcraft. Never had a probelm with any of those, honest.
I don't know why anybody who owns a Ford would ever stray from using Motorcraft filters. As Ford people, we're spoiled in the oil filter department, so why not take advantage of it?


my autos teacher always told me, stick with OEM, if they have to warranty what goes wrong in that engine, you bet your @$$ they are going to put a good filter on there!, we even went as far as taking filters apart to see what they are made off, hands down will always buy motorcraft, my brother swears by mobil1 i have never heard anything bad about them, apart that its a lil more pricey then motorcraft, but i swear buy motorcraft filters
I have always avoided Fram like the plague. FL-1A's for me. As a side note, I had always used Valvoline oil for close to 200,000 miles for this car (230K on the clock now). However, I recently changed to Motorcraft Synthetic Blend because it's actually cheaper than Valvoline conventional oil ! It's a no brainer for me, Motorcraft all the way !