Oil filters - Big Cat
My old Polo started making some intermittent tapping noises from the rocker cover after I did an oil change and used (for the first time ever) a non-VW oil filter. It was a Sunday and my VW garage was shut so I popped down to the local branch of a well known car assessory shop and got one of their filters. The catalogue said it was suitable so I bought it.

When I mentioned this tapping to the VW garage, they said that it is probably one or more of the hydraulic valves not holding its pressure, not an uncommon problem on higher mileage VW\'s apparently. I was due to book it in for some new valves and the garage spotted the non-VW filter and suggested I change it.

Well I did and the tapping has gone away.
I think there are two interesting outcomes from this story:
Firstly I have a very honest local garage.
Secondly how can a shop claim their oil filter is a replacement when it clearly isn\'t as good as the genuine part? It wasn\'t very much cheaper either!
Oli filters - terryb
Many years ago I had a similar experience with a Cortina 2000E estate (Mk IV) oil pressure light coming on. Garage spotted the high street chain oil filter and suggested changing it. Turned out the oil pressure switch was faulty.

I think they'll jump on "foreign" filters just for the sake of it - in your case they struck lucky. Or have we progressed since the late '70s?

Oli filters - Dynamic Dave
I would suspect the pattern oil filter either had a faulty one way valve or never had one fitted at all - hence all the oil drains back to the sump when you turn off the engine.

ps, Corrected spelling mistake, btw - Oli filters indeed!! DD.
Oli filters - Another John H
Another fine mess, Stanley...
Oli filters - Peter
A fiend of mine asked for advice when his Rover 600 started to have tappet rattle on start up. I told him the easiest option was to replace the oil with a good quality brand and change the filter. This he had done at the local garage but alas all was not well, he was charged for 2.5 litres more oil than a full engine neeeded, this overfill was reflected on the dipstick. The garage accepted it was their fault and said twas the *apprentice*. He asked why he was charged the full rate and not the *cheaper* rate. No answer.

The tappet rattle stopped but a thought did occur, on this type of engine was there a danger of pressurising the sump and perhaps blowing seals.
Oli filters - ST
Presumably Halfords' oil filters are of a good quality?
Oli filters - Peter D
Probably a failed one way valve in the non VW filter and may be a lack of flow. The tapping can be caused by air getting into the hydralic tappets after and oil change but normally clears when revved up to 3000 rpm. If the one was was not there or not woring this could happen everytime you leave the engine off for a hour. Not good for the car. Genuine VW oil filters at Europarts.co.uk
Oli filters - Peter D

An over filled engine can cuase several proplems you are likely to pressurize the oil breather system and blow oil into the air inlet thus blowing oil though the exhaust with possible damage to the cat. In addition with a 2.5 ltr overfill it is going to blow a pipe off here or there but not the sump. I assume it is all fixed now and the lever is correct. If you drove it and noticed smoke go back and get them to check the emmissions are within spec. Regards Peter
Oil filters - Carl2
I decided to change the oil and filter the other Sunday. I collected from Halfords a Champion oil filter and my usual Magnatec . I noticed that the filter did not have a valve fitted to it but as the oil filter hangs down I couldnt see this would be a problem. A couple of times when starting the car I heard the death rattle (just for a split second). I replaced the filter with a Ford item and have not heard this noise since. Just to confuse the issue further the car in question is a 1.3Escort fitted with an Endura engine so I chose to fit a KA filter instead of the one listed for the Escort. In the past I have found that the parts listed for the Escort such as plug leads were not correct for my car but were suitable for the KA .I phoned Ford and they agreed my car was fitted with the same engine and management as the Ka. I would always make a point of fitting a Ford oil filter in future. It was just that it was a Sunday otherwise I would have fitted a Ford filter anyway.
Oil filters - Big Cat

Your experience is very interesting because the filter I bought for my Polo was from Halfords as well. Seems their products are not up to the same standard as the genuine parts. Don't think I will be using them again - the VW filter was actually cheaper anyway, it was only because it was a Sunday that I went to Halfords.
Oil filters - M.M
BC and C2,

Really worrying this. Many times in the past when folks have chuntered on about non-OE filters (missing the valves or being poor quality) I've said keep to a known aftermarket brand and you'll be OK...so no need to worry about a manufacturers one every time.

Also I've supported Halfords quality for two reasons. They are no two bit company and also I have a contact in their buying department who has chatted about their sources which seem mostly top quality.

Personally I would be very interested to hear what Halfords would say if you put these points to their management. I can't think they would knowingly sell oil filters that would damage any engine...the publicity would be too negative.

Interestingly I tried to save a ten mile journey this weekend by buying an oil filter in the local small car shop. The first one he bought out was a name that I'd never heard of so I refused it. He said no problem and offered another well known brand. I didn't really look hard at the second filter until I arrived home. Then I found it was actually a make that just "sounded" like the well known brand...even the packaging was very similar to theirs.

Very very crafty indeed. And you've guessed it...no valve in this "copy" filter. Needless to say I didn't fit it and await the chance to return and have a chat with the shop owner.

Oil filters - Carl2
I still am not sure why the Ford filter has a valve. In view of the fact that the filter hangs down so it will always be full of oil. Does it help the system pressurise ? or is it just to keep down the number of part numbers? I have every faith in Halfords products I just do not think their charts offer the correct part every time.
Oil filters - Ian D

The actual filter will always remain full of oil whatever - if it is mounted bottom facing down, the important fact is that one with a non return valve will prevent the flow of oil from the upper engine flowing through the filter back towards the sump.
Oil filters - Carl2
Thank you, this did not occur to me. Just one question though what happens on cars that these oil filters without valves are designed to fit?
Oil filters - Dizzy {P}

Some cars have (had?) the valve built into the filter head so none needed in the filter itself. Nissan comes to mind as an example, but I can't recall which models.
Oil filters - Dizzy {P}
I've just read MM's comments and agree with his advice that any known aftermarket brand should be OK. The engine design company I worked for had a chap who was recognised as an industry expert on oil filters. He tested and sectioned every make that he could get hold of and he found that MOST non-OE filters were fine, including the Champion make that was sold by Halfords.

Some 'unknown' makes were faulty, usually with too little filtration area or with inbuilt swarf, but these were few and far between.

My only concern with Halfords has been that, a few years ago, their listed filter for my Vauxhall Royale was much smaller than the original equipment.
Oil filters - james_60
re vauxhall royale

Newer filter design must mean that it is smaller

J Stephenson
Oil filters - Dizzy {P}
re vauxhall royale
Newer filter design must mean that it is smaller


The filter was definitely too small for the 2.8/3.0 litre Royale engines, whether new design or not. Its small size would have meant that it was short on oil capacity, and probably filtration area too.
Oil filters - pmh
I have Emailed Halford technical support to see whether they will respond to some of the questions raised in this thread.

I have asked them that if they not prepared to respond on a bulletin board because of company policy, that they respond personally to me.

Will keep you updated.

pmh (was peter)
Oil filters - ChrisV
Pmh, I'd be very interested to see what kind of response you get from Halfords!
I have always done exactly as Carl2 does, avoid the Halfords filters and go for the Champion one, assuming that the well known brand would be (slightly) better.
It seems though that Dizzy is spot on, the most important point is the car's lubrication system. According to the Haynes manual, my Focus engine has a non-return valve in the oil supply to the head. How do you find out which makes do and which don't? It certainly sounds like older VWs don't
Oil filters - pmh

I have today received a personal reply from Halfords. I will publish a synopsis, but am clarifying a couple of points of detail first.


pmh (was peter)
Oil filters - pmh
This is basically the reply I received from a product manager at Halfords, who appears to be prepared to state facts and not make it into a an overt sales promotional opportunity. I have his agreement to publish his text. It is good to see someone prepared to go on record.

Based on this I will be prepared to use their own Brand products rather than the premium priced Champion Branded product!

- Halfords oil and air filters are made by Sogefi Filtration Europe's largest filter manufacturer

- Sogefi have factories all over Europe and own the top 3 brands sales wise in the UK - Fram,Coopers and Crosland

- They are OE to most vehicle manufacturers in Europe.
- a Halfords filter in most cases will be identical to the OE. eg A Ford oil filter and a Halfords oil filter are identical apart from the colour

- No filter manufacturer makes every single filter they sell. Much intertrading is done as it is just not economical to tool up for everything.

- In common with all filter manufacturers there will be the odd difference in size etc but to no noticable detriment to the
filters performance. This is called rationalisation eg one manufacture may have say 4 part numbers for a Golf and another covers it with 2 . For a Fiesta it will be the other way round depending on who was OE when the vehicle was in production.

- as Halfords have chosen Europes largest filter manufacturer as a supplier we should be an exact match more times than we are not - No-one will be 100%

- Champion are are relatively small UK player with just one Italian factory. The success of the spark plugs making Champion a well known brand to the general public is the only reason we stock the filters. They are not widely stocked in motor factors supplying the garage trade.

pmh (was peter)
Oil filters - Carl2
After reading this post I popped into Halfords to have a look at one of their own brand oil filters. Yes it does have a valve fitted. However I also picked up the Champion filter and this also has a valve fitted. I am now even more confused than ever. Both filters were listed for the Ka. As I made a point of purchasing a filter for a Ka previously I wonder if the Ka was originally specified as having a valve less filter? By the way I have not confused a C104 with a C140. I am now of the opinion that someone wishing to purchase a Ka oil filter must have swapped the filter for one in a cheaper box. Many thanks to all for your enlightening posts.
Oil filters - borasport20
At my local Halfords, brake pads and some other parts are now sealed, and there's a notice saying you can't open them, as they cannot sell them afterwards for health and safety reasons

I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Oil filters - Dave_TD
I would think brake pads are sealed as they are a safety critical item.
FWIW I believe Halfords' advertising when they say all their replacement own brand parts and consumables are to OE standard or better, and I've never had a problem with any of their oil filters, air filters, fuel filters, brake pads, bulbs or audio equipment. I personally use Halfords parts all the time, except on my current car which has to have main dealer servicing to keep the warranty valid.
Oil filters - Dizzy {P}
This is basically the reply I received from a product manager
at Halfords ..... (snip)

Excellent work, Peter!

I had avoided Halford's filters in the past 'just in case' but am now happy to use them so long as they are no smaller than the OEMs. (Size *does* matter in filters as in other things!)
Oil filters - Wooster
I always thought that the valve was there to 'short circuit' the filter if it became blocked. If it was blocked, oil would still flow to the rest of the engine, albeit with unfiltered oil.
Oil filters - Dizzy {P}
I always thought that the valve was there to 'short circuit' the filter if it became blocked. If it was blocked, oil would still flow to the rest of the engine, albeit with unfiltered oil.

There are normally two valves, a non-return (i.e. one-way) valve at the open end of the filter and a by-pass valve at the other end. The present discussion is about the non-return valve.

The by-pass valve opens if the filter becomes blocked or if the oil is too thick to pass quickly enough through the filter element when the engine is started and revved when very cold (unlikely in the UK).

Another scenario where some oil will by-pass the filter element is where element simply doesn't have a big enough filtration area to cope with the oil flow. This is why I was concerned about the too-small aftermarket filter offered for my Royale as mentioned earlier. Plus, of course, the smaller filter would have reduced the engine's oil capacity.
Oil filters - Big Vern
I had a problem with a Mann fuel filter I fitted to a R19 TD, the engine worked fine with old Renault filter, kept cutting out on the Mann filter, replaced the Mann with a new Renault filter and the car worked fine again. Have since heard that other people also had problems with Mann filters on these Renault TD's

I now drive a Vauxhall and find that for comsumables such as filters OE parts from my local dealer are comparable in price or cheaper than aftermarket, even their fully synthetic oil is quite cheap. I also get a a nice Vauxhall reciept which can only help when I sell the car on.

On previous cars I have used aftermarket handbrake cables, metal coolent pipes and the like, they always seem to go on a Sunday! I have never had a problem with these items.
Oil filters - madf
I have used Halfords oil filters and Fram (bought from local retail outlet) with no problems over 20+ years (old age?:-)

I found Halfords much cheaper for brake shoes and pads than the main dealers and quality as good.. but often minor fixings are not included and must be bought separately *if stocked at all)



Value my car