Independent tests of Škoda genuine air and oil filters

3/31/2008
Škoda Auto took Škoda genuine air and oil filters and an additional three samples of air and oil filters from other manufacturers that are available from the Czech network of independent suppliers. The tests were verified objectively by the DEKRA Testing & Inspection GmbH independent testing institute.

The main purpose of air and oil filters is to remove impurities from air and oil. The cleanliness of the filter has a significant impact on the reliability and service life of your engine. Modern cars are designed with great emphasis on filtering equipment with regard to their function, reliability and service life, customer comfort (long exchange intervals), and friendliness to the environment. 

Oil filters trap impurities in motor oil, including metal/non-metal particles, soot and carbon deposits. If you fail to observe the exchange intervals specified by the manufacturer or use an unsuitable filter, unfiltered oil may be delivered to the engine through the bypass valve or through a ruptured or leaking filtering insert. This may lead to damage to the engine, reduced service life, deteriorated engine/ emission performance and in extreme cases even engine seizure.

Air filters ensure that the air delivered to the engine is as clean as possible, and have a positive impact on the noise produced by the engine’s air intake channel. Inferior or excessively polluted filters decrease the performance of the engine and increase fuel consumption. In addition, they may allow increased amounts of dust and fine sand particles to pass through the filter and thus cause significantly accelerated wear and tear of the engine, reduced service life and deteriorated engine/emission performance. Eventually, the wear and tear of the engine may progress to an extreme stage whereby the engine is no longer functional.

In brief, air or oil filters that do not function precisely as designed may cause a number of very significant problems that may not be detected by an average driver for some time.

LABORATORY TESTS OF AIR FILTERS

All filters were subjected to the following tests:
• Resistance to rupture
• Strength of the filtering material
• Fire resistance of the filtering material
• Dust pollution

Although the first two tests did not reveal any significant differences, the advantages of the Škoda genuine filters over their non-genuine counterparts became apparent in the last two tests.

As the combustion process takes place in the engine, it is vital that the filtering material is not easily flammable in order to ensure the vehicle‘s fire safety. In addition, should the filtering material ignite, the flame needs to self-quench (self-extinguishing material).

The Škoda genuine air filter was the only one of the tested filters to pass the flammability test. The remaining filters were assessed as flammable and one even as easily flammable.

The dust pollution test concluded the series of sample testing.

An air filter should ideally meet the following two requirements:
• To trap dust particles as effectively as possible,
• To ensure that the flow of air through the filter is not obstructed greatly by any trapped dust particles.

Once again, the Škoda genuine filter delivered the best results, achieving the highest filtration efficiency of 99.17% in the dust pollution test. What’s more, this test revealed imprecise workmanship in one of the filters from the other manufacturers when the filter failed to seal correctly and its efficiency was thus reduced.

If this filter was fitted in a vehicle, the volume of impurities delivered to the engine would be five times as high as in the case of the Škoda genuine air filter. Naturally, this would lead to accelerated wear and tear of the engine, diminished performance, increased fuel consumption, worsened emission performance and a significantly shorter service life of the engine.


LABORATORY TESTS OF OIL FILTERS

Similarly to air filters, oil filters were also subjected to a series of tests:
• Resistance to rupture
• Resistance to permanent deformation of O-rings
• Permeability of filter paper
• Resistance to rupture in the case of overpressure

The properties of the Škoda genuine oil filter assessed in the first test of resistance to rupture stood high above the rest. Significantly lower forces were required to rupture the filter paper in the remaining tested oil filters. Permanent deformation occurring in the O-rings of an oil filter should be minimal in order to prevent potential leakage. From the test, two filters from other manufacturers exceeded the maximum admissible permanent deformation of 60% in this test. Although the third tested filter was within the prescribed limits, the result achieved by the Škoda genuine oil filter was better by more than 50%.

The filtering surface is required to trap any impurities efficiently, while ensuring sufficient oil permeability. Ensuring good filtration in combination with low resistance to oil circulation necessitates a compromise between the size of the pores, the size of the filtering surface and the flow resistance of the filtering material. The permeability test results showed that the Škoda genuine oil filters are the most effective in trapping impurities that could cause excessive engine wear and tear. One of the tested filters had pores up to 70% larger than the Škoda genuine oil filter.

SUMMARY

The testing has led to the conclusion that certain filters that have not undergone long-term testing of functionality and performance by the vehicle manufacturer, which is standard in the case of genuine spare parts, are offered on the market, and many of them do not meet the parameters necessary for proper and safe functioning. In turn, this situation will jeopardize the correct functioning of the assembly as a whole (engine, vehicle...).

Customers who use these non-genuine parts, which may be significantly inadequate in terms of their required functionality, expose themselves to a consider able risk of damage.


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