Part of the Month: Mahle Oil Filter

Usually the highlighted part is something exciting, a little bit sexy, something to get the brow sweaty and the palms just a little itchy. This time, something different. The humble and mighty oil filter. Most people don’t give a second thought to the oil filter. While the topic of engine oil keeps web forums humming with the ever-present threat of a breakout of keyboard war, oil filters usually escape controversy.

Oil filters as we know them were invented in the early 1920’s, under the brand name Purolator. The brand name was a portmanteau of ‘pure oil later’. In the 1950’s the spin-on oil filter was invented, but from the late 1990’s cartridge type filters made a resurgence, as manufacturers sought to reduce environmental impacts. Porsche 356 models use a filter cartridge, as do most cars of the era. With the 911, Porsche moved to using spin-on filters, and returned to cartridge filters with the arrival of the 996 Carrera.

As a side note, the 993 model 911 uses two oil filters, one for the oil heading to the engine, and another for the oil heading to the oil tank.

As another side note, the one advantage that a spin on oil filter has over a cartridge filter is simplicity of use. For that reason, there are spin on adapters that allow the use of a spin on filter with Boxster, Cayman, 996 and 997 model cars.

Most modern oil filters use two media types, referred to as primary and secondary media. Primary media have a typical mesh size of 25-30 microns, and secondary media have a typical size of 5-10 microns. A micron is one thousandth of a millimetre, and a human hair is around 70 microns in thickness. This fine mesh size traps small wear particles, preventing them from scoring and causing wear in engine components. Without oil filtration, your car’s engine oil would be full of contaminants which would greatly accelerate engine wear.

A spin-on filter (one of the two used in a 993) and a cartridge filter of the type used in 996, 997, Boxster, Cayman and V8 Cayenne models. Both are manufactured by Mahle. At Autohaus Hamilton, we use Mahle for the simple reason that this is the OE brand for Porsche oil filters; if it’s good enough for Porsche, it’s good enough for us!

For more information on oil filtration, Porsche parts or aftermarket parts please contact us on (02) 9905 0096 or