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Oil Filter Housing: A New Perspective on an Old Solution

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A large amount of R&D in car manufacturers are geared towards making their products more friendly to the environment. The evolution from larger than life vehicles to smaller and greener vehicles on American roads shows how we all suddenly became conscious about the environment. It is a challenge for all manufacturers to increase the fuel economy of an engine without sacrificing performance. This challenge isn’t only about the engine, but the different parts which have a finite lifespan on the vehicle. Car companies have introduced the oil filter housing to help address one of the most replaced out parts; the oil filter. 

What is an oil filter housing?

Found in almost all engines, the oil filter housing secures the oil filter into place. It is important in helping keep clean oil circulating around your engine. An internal filter element is dropped into the housing and is secured by the oil filter cap. Without the oil filter housing, engine oil would not be able to flow through the oil filter efficiently. If you allow contaminated oil to circulate through your engine, it can cause damage overtime. 

How can the oil filter housing help the environment?

In the mid-1960s, car manufacturers migrated to the “spin-on” oil filter design. With the increasing amount of Americans buying cars, ease of maintenance was a growing concern. Changing the oil filter of a 1960s Camaro required you to unbolt the oil canister housing, replace the o-ring, pop in a new filter, and pour some oil into the canister housing before securing it back into place. If you do not secure it properly, you could potentially have a major oil leak. This whole process is tedious and very messy. The convenience of simply spinning off an old filter and spinning in a new one took the market by storm and fueled the “quick lube” industry. 

Found in almost all engines, the oil filter housing secures the oil filter into place and helps in keeping clean oil circulating around the engine.

Though it is convenient to use the spin-on oil filter, it is an environmental nightmare. If you break down the parts that make up a spin-on oil filter you’ll find that there are a lot of parts that would need to be recycled. With materials like metal and specialized silicone rubber, which are impervious to the elements, it would take decades for it to breakdown if it was thrown into a landfill. A Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) research shows the yearly increase of revenue for automotive oil change and lubrication shops in the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve System. This district covers Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, western Kentucky and Tennessee, and northern Mississippi. When we are recommended to change oil every 5,000-miles or so and the number of cars on the road are increasing, the number of canister oil filters being thrown away is also growing.          

The oil filter housing curves this environmental nightmare. When the time comes to change out your oil filter, all you would have to do is unscrew the filter cap and remove the filter element. The oil filter element is made of high grade paper that is easy to recycle and inexpensive to buy. It only takes paper two to six weeks before it decomposes in the landfill. This is a substantial time difference compared to the metal, rubber, and plastic components of the spin-on filters.

How to change the oil filter housing on a Chrysler 3.6L V6 engine

Chrysler developed its 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine in house in 2011 for vehicles under the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) banner. The Pentastar V6 can generate up to 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. This engine is equipped with an oil filter housing which, at times, can develop cracks and eventually leaks. If your vehicle if affected by this, you can follow this guide to successfully help you replace your oil filter housing.

Removal:

  1.     Release fuel system pressure.
  2.     Drain the cooling system.
  3.     Remove the lower intake manifold
  4.     Disconnect the oil temperature sensor and oil pressure sensor electrical connectors.
  5.     Remove five bolts and lift the oil filter housing.
  6.     Remove the coolant hose from the housing.
When changing an oil filter, all you have to do is unscrew the filter cap and remove the filter element.

Installation:

  1.     Lubricate the O-ring seal on the new housing with clean engine oil.
  2.     Install the coolant hose to the filter housing.
  3.     Place the oil filter housing on the engine block.
  4.     Tighten the housing bolts in the following sequence to 106 in. lbs.
  5.     Connect the oil pressure sensor electrical connector.
  6.     Connect the oil temperature sensor electrical connector.
  7.     Install the lower intake manifold.
  8.     Fill the cooling system.
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