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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi from Newcastle Australia,
this is my first post anywhere, ever, I hope you find it useful.

Having been a mechanic with my own workshop, in a past life,
and a car enthusiast for over 40 years specializing in Alfa, Honda and Lambo
and having completed many total resurrections, it was obvious to choose a 4C
as my first new car. However, rather than joining the waiting list, I bought a perfect
2500Km, white, coupe which met my specs exactly.....fantastic!

Believing in the need for early first oil changes I decided to change the oil and filter immediately
and picked up oil and a filter from Leichhardt when in Sydney.
Aus$76 told me that this filter must be something 'special'. It was a Mann W6014 and
looked very average but the specs gave a bypass pressure of 2.5 bar (35psi).
Almost all other filters have a 1bar bypass pressure. This raised lots of questions.
On further inspection I was alarmed to see that it had a plastic core with
a large open grid structure rather than a tubular steel core, with lots more smaller holes,
as in most filters. I predicted that the filter element could not be supported adequately
for the high bypass pressure.

Upon opening the old filter I found that the element had been compressed into
tight bunches aligned to, and with the same number as, the plastic support verticals.

Wood Automotive exhaust Exhaust system Metal
view of element Close-up Auto part Circle Wheel Metal
plastic support

At 2500Kms these bunches are tight enough when disassembled but when under
heat and pressure they will be much tighter and the oil flow will be very restricted
so the pressure across the filter will increase and the support will distort more
further restricting flow until the bypass opens. (All getting worse as the filter gets older).
At this point the engine is seeing oil at a pressure >35psi less than the feed pressure
and that oil is washing over the small, dirty, open sections of filter to get to the bypass
valve at the end.
Yes! the engine is being fed especially dirty oil at approx. 1/2 the normal pressure.

In my opinion, other than the 'special' price, the W6014 is a very ordinary oil filter
but with a high bypass pressure and design faults.
( We can discuss the bypass operation and why Alfa might have set it high later, I am not saying
that this is a fault on its own....)

I sent the info and filter to Mann Australia 1 month ago. It has been returned. Apparently there is
no great problem because there has not been a catastrophic failure yet, so the
complaint must go thru Alfa.

Meanwhile there is the great possibility that our cars will be suffering accelerated engine wear.

Am I being alarmist? Possibly....but I can't find any other filters collapsing and 4Cs deserve better!

It would be good if somebody with some involvement with Fiat Alfa could take this up with them.
 

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Thank you for the post. Mann filters tend to have a good reputation so this is somewhat disheartening. The other construction looks good but the distortion of the filter media is not good. However, I have researched and at this point I can find no other alternative filter to use for our car aside from OEM. Unless someone else can find one we don't have much of a choice right now unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Big companies with a good reputation often make mistakes. I have always had trouble convincing them
but after a few months there is a recall. Never any thanks though!
I also did a great deal of research. There are high quality filters which will fit with a similar filter area but
they all have a 1 bar bypass. I am happy with the 2.5 bar bypass so long as the filter internals are designed for it.
It forces the oil to go thru the filter more often and if the filter is large enough, always. Then the bypass is only
open when the filter becomes very clogged....this should never happen.
With a 1 Bar bypass it appears that the bypass can be open when the oil is cold, and at very high revs...I would
like to test this.... it doesn't really add up because the cold oil also flows slower thru the engine, and what
changes the oil flow so significantly at high revs?
I designed an adapter plate with a built in bypass for a non-bypassed filter.
also a simple one for the filters used on Subaru WRX turbo. http://www.rycofilters.com.au/catalogue/part/index/part/Z79AST
But warranty issues arise. So I am using up my warranty not using the car....waiting...waiting
 

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Clover:

I hope you do not mind but I reposted this thread (while clearly attributing the post/content to you) to the oil filter subforum on BITOG. I wanted to get additional opinions on the failure as it is quite concerning to me and that forum tends to have the most knowledgeable individuals/discussion about oil and oil filters anywhere as it is solely dedicated to those topics. It will be interesting to see what is said there as the consensus is that the W series Mann spin on filters are quite highly regarded.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...92/Alfa_Romeo_4C_Mann_W6014_Filte#Post4156392
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Clover:

I hope you do not mind but I reposted this thread (while clearly attributing the post/content to you) to the oil filter subforum on BITOG. I wanted to get additional opinions on the failure as it is quite concerning to me and that forum tends to have the most knowledgeable individuals/discussion about oil and oil filters anywhere as it is solely dedicated to those topics. It will be interesting to see what is said there as the consensus is that the W series Mann spin on filters are quite highly regarded.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...92/Alfa_Romeo_4C_Mann_W6014_Filte#Post4156392
Thanks for doing that Phaphaphooooey!
The more exposure the better!
 

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Ok, special thanks to Chuck at Don Jackson Fiat/Alfa. He agreed to chop open my oil filter and have a look at it.
He also pointed out the relief valve on the filter itself and indicated that there was one inside the oil pump itself, err, this is where we get beyond my knowledge level. I know about the computer stuff, but I'm an adequate mechanic only. Apparently there are circumstances where the filter can get bypassed? I know nothing more than what I wrote there.

That said, he stated that the interior of my oil filter looked normal, especially considering how dark my oil was (6500 miles between oil changes, wasn't able to get my car into the shop until 500 miles after the warning started popping; drove much less aggressively than normal during that time).

I'm just going to get the oil changed every 5k miles from now on.

Filter he used is the official Fiat part. Using the officially recommended oil.

Only one pic of the filter interior, I ran a video as well - the entire thing looks like that. Nowhere near as squished as yours, Clover.

Pictures attached of the outside of my old filter and the shipping label/part number of the box the new one came in.

I hope this is at least a little helpful.
 

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Thank you for sharing. There is still some deformation of the pleats which is disconcerting but it is much better than the filter that Clover posted earlier.

The bad thing is that, regardless of how good or bad these filters might be, they are our only option unless you get a non oem size/spec. There are no aftermarket filters for this application that I can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
ask before hijacking

It looks like this thread has been killed.
I have been put in the position of watching another forum, on which I had no way of posting quickly, run with the issue.

Phaphaphooey, in hindsight, I think it might be better to ask before hijacking a post, so that one has time to
register at least.
For updates go to: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...te#Post4156392
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thank you for sharing. There is still some deformation of the pleats which is disconcerting but it is much better than the filter that Clover posted earlier.

The bad thing is that, regardless of how good or bad these filters might be, they are our only option unless you get a non oem size/spec. There are no aftermarket filters for this application that I can find.
Mate! .............How good is that! the thread was momentarily resurrected while I was typing....karma got it kick started?
Perhaps we can point the "BOB" people to this site in future!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, special thanks to Chuck at Don Jackson Fiat/Alfa. He agreed to chop open my oil filter and have a look at it.
He also pointed out the relief valve on the filter itself and indicated that there was one inside the oil pump itself, err, this is where we get beyond my knowledge level. I know about the computer stuff, but I'm an adequate mechanic only. Apparently there are circumstances where the filter can get bypassed? I know nothing more than what I wrote there.

That said, he stated that the interior of my oil filter looked normal, especially considering how dark my oil was (6500 miles between oil changes, wasn't able to get my car into the shop until 500 miles after the warning started popping; drove much less aggressively than normal during that time).

I'm just going to get the oil changed every 5k miles from now on.

Filter he used is the official Fiat part. Using the officially recommended oil.

Only one pic of the filter interior, I ran a video as well - the entire thing looks like that. Nowhere near as squished as yours, Clover.

Pictures attached of the outside of my old filter and the shipping label/part number of the box the new one came in.

I hope this is at least a little helpful.
Thanks, that is good news. I was worried that this might be a problem with all 4Cs.
Check out; http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...te#Post4156392
You don't seem to have these problems.
It is still a worry that there are variations...remember mine was at 2500kms.Factory fitted.
 

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Thank you for contributing on the other board as well. It is excellent resource for more in depth discussion on the filter specifically, especially since several filter manufacturers participate directly on that board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, special thanks to Chuck at Don Jackson Fiat/Alfa. He agreed to chop open my oil filter and have a look at it.
He also pointed out the relief valve on the filter itself and indicated that there was one inside the oil pump itself, err, this is where we get beyond my knowledge level. I know about the computer stuff, but I'm an adequate mechanic only. Apparently there are circumstances where the filter can get bypassed? I know nothing more than what I wrote there.

That said, he stated that the interior of my oil filter looked normal, especially considering how dark my oil was (6500 miles between oil changes, wasn't able to get my car into the shop until 500 miles after the warning started popping; drove much less aggressively than normal during that time).

I'm just going to get the oil changed every 5k miles from now on.

Filter he used is the official Fiat part. Using the officially recommended oil.

Only one pic of the filter interior, I ran a video as well - the entire thing looks like that. Nowhere near as squished as yours, Clover.

Pictures attached of the outside of my old filter and the shipping label/part number of the box the new one came in.

I hope this is at least a little helpful.
Hello again Kilarny,
Is there any possibility that you could run a knife around the filter media, slit and remove it to check the inside to see how deep the support indentations are?
Does your car do long hot runs mostly? Many short trips? I am trying to determine the cause of the difference.
 

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Hello again Kilarny,
Is there any possibility that you could run a knife around the filter media, slit and remove it to check the inside to see how deep the support indentations are?
Does your car do long hot runs mostly? Many short trips? I am trying to determine the cause of the difference.
Oh, sorry, I didn't keep it. It'll be out with the shop trash by now. :frown2:

Just under half of my miles are in 25 mile or less trips - mainly my 23 mile (one way) commute. The rest are in mountain runs, anywhere from 4-8 hours of hard driving. It's fair to say I rarely drive my car gently, and it's hot enough here that she warms up fairly quickly.

Unless you're racing all the time, or are always at full throttle, I can't explain why your oil filter looks different from mine. Maybe you just had a bad one, hard to say. Went through the thread on the other forum as well; I got nothin'.

Tell you what, I'll go ahead and bring a bag to my next oil change and I'll keep the filter, bring it home, and do a full dissection. All I can say right now is that my filter did fine.

Hope some of that helps.
 

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I've read a thread on BOB and some people were saying that would be better choice if WIX make a filter for 4C.

With the WIX web-site I found several filters which may fit 4C.

The only difference is filter height, but its a normal practice that different manufacturers offering different heights for same car model.

As example
http://www.wixfilters.com/Lookup/PartDetails.aspx?Part=1579331
This filter has -19mm in height (86 vs 105mm on OEM filter) but everything else pretty much the same (thread, diameter, gasket size). Bypass valve of 8-11 psi which is more closer to all other filters around.

http://www.wixfilters.com/Lookup/PartDetails.aspx?Part=1870865
Another filter with better micron rating and same specs as above but 27 psi valve to keep near to OEM spec.
 
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