Ultimate FRAM Oil Filter Guide

FRAM oil filters are affordable and effective, trapping up to 99% of dust, dirt, and harmful debris that enters your engine.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you’re looking for a low-cost oil filter with a fantastic filtration system, FRAM is a great option for you. FRAM filters trap 99% of dirt and harmful debris and can last for up to 20,000 miles.
Oil filters are a crucial part of your car, helping your engine to stay clean and hum along without a hitch. But, with a laundry list of competing brands and filter types, picking the right one for your car can be a serious challenge.
Car insurance
shopping super app
is here to make your decision just a little bit easier. We’ll walk you through the basics of FRAM oil filters: how they work, whether they’re any good, and which filter type is best for you.

How do FRAM oil filters work?

Here’s the basic idea: an oil pump pushes oil into the filter, which removes dirt and other impurities from the oil. Then, the filter sends the oil back into the engine to help it run smoothly and stay cool.
Let’s take a closer look at how one of FRAM’s oil filters—
the Extra Guard filter
—gets the job done. Though it’s made up of plenty of moving parts, here are the main ones:
  • Suregrip: A non-slip surface that you can grip while you’re installing the filter. This part is unique to FRAM filters!
  • Media: Really, this is just a fancy name for “filter.” It’s a mesh of fibers and resin that purifies your oil.
  • Anti-drainback valve: As the name suggests, this valve stops oil from leaving the filter after you turn the engine off—that way, the oil is ready to enter the engine first thing you fire your car up.
  • Gasket: The gasket is an O-ring (imagine a rubber band) that keeps your FRAM filter in place and prevents oil from leaking.
And that’s all there is to it! Dirty oil enters your FRAM filter, which removes dirt, dust, and other impurities, then clean oil is returned to the engine. That way, your car can stay in great shape for hundreds of thousands of miles. 
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Are FRAM oil filters good?

Though you
may have heard otherwise
, FRAM oil filters are effective and affordable. In the
nine decades since FRAM was founded
, they’ve fine-tuned their filters to make sure that they exceed industry standards.
Here’s a run-through of what makes FRAM oil filters good:
  • Efficiency: FRAM filters are 99% effective at clearing large particles, like dirt, out of the oil. Even for tiny particles (as small as 20 microns), FRAM filters are 95.7% efficient—not the best in the world, but effective enough to keep your oil clean.
  • Capacity: FRAM’s cheapest filter,
    Extra Guard
    , lasts for 3,000 to 5,000 miles. For a few extra dollars, you can upgrade to their
    Ultra Synthetic filter
    , which chugs along for up to 20,000 miles.
  • Can thickness: The walls of FRAM’s oil filters can handle pressure of 300 psi, which is three times higher than the maximum pressure your engine produces.
  • Cost: FRAM filters will keep your bank account happy, costing between $4 for their Extra Guard filter and $22 for the
    Tough Guard
Even the best filters reach a breaking point, though. Over time, millions of particles start to clog your oil filter—so it’s a great idea to stay up to date with maintenance! 

How long do FRAM oil filters last?

For a basic FRAM filter, you’ll need to switch it out every three months or 3,000 miles. If you go for the Ultra Synthetic filter and pair it with synthetic oil, you might be able to go a year or more before you need to get a new one.

Can I change FRAM oil filters myself?

Though a mechanic could easily change your oil filter, you can save a little cash by doing it yourself. All you need to do is check out
FRAM’s list of oil filters
, which includes installation instructions for each type.
Key Takeaway Though they aren’t the best on the market, FRAM oil filters are efficient, long-lasting, and affordable—perfect for ordinary drivers.

Which FRAM oil filter is best?

Each FRAM filter is customized for a certain kind of driver, so the best filter for you depends on your driving habits. We’ll walk you through some of FRAM’s
most popular options
and give you an idea of who they’re designed for:
Who should buy it
Extra Guard
$4 to $5
Ordinary drivers who regularly maintain their car and need an inexpensive go-to filter. Pairs with conventional oil.
Tough Guard
$10 to $20
Drivers who face extreme conditions (including stop-and-go traffic) or do lots of towing. Pairs with conventional or synthetic oil.
Ultra Synthetic
$8 to $10
Anyone who wants top performance for up to 20,000 miles. Pairs with synthetic oil.
$5 to $10
Everyday drivers that want up to 7,500 miles of protection for their engine. Pairs with conventional or synthetic oil.
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If you’re an ordinary driver who stays up to date with maintenance, you can’t go wrong with a FRAM Extra Guard filter. If you want top performance or put lots of strain on your engine, you should consider an Ultra Synthetic or Tough Guard filter.
FRAM oil filters are produced by First Brands Group™, a global automotive parts company.
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