• May 13, 2010
Anyone that's ever done their own oil changes is familiar with the joys (or, ya know, not) of trying to access and then remove the filters on their engines. If you do manage to get it loose, there is the inevitable mess of oil dripping down your arm as you spin the filter off.
When the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze goes on sale later this year, both engines for the first time will feature a cartridge type filter that can be removed from above with almost no muss or fuss. Cartridge filters are basically just the internal paper element from traditional filters and they drop into a housing that's integrated into the cylinder block. GM has been using the same type of filter on the 2.0, 2.2 and 2.4-liter Ecotec engines for several years.

Besides being easier to change and tidier, they are also more environmentally friendly. There is less material from the filter itself to dispose of or recycle and any oil that spills with old-fashion filters often ends up in the local water supply. Also, having the cover with its seal on the top of the filter makes it far less prone to leaks that mess up your driveway. All hail the cartridge filter!

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Engines Use Eco-friendly Cartridge Oil Filter

2010-05-10

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze will make proper oil filter disposal and recycling easier. The Ecotec 1.4L turbo and 1.8L four-cylinder engines will use a cartridge style oil filter which is easier to recycle and service compared to the conventional steel canister-style oil filters.

Recycling canister style filters requires that the metal housing and other elements, like the rubber seal, be cut away or separated, whereas the compact cartridge style is made of only paper and plastic. Because of this, proper disposal of the oil filter is easier for recycling centers.

Another benefit of the cartridge-style filter is that it can be changed easily and is virtually drip free from the top of the vehicle. This lessens the chance of oil dripping to the ground or driveway and possibly making its way into the water system when performing oil changes.

The housing for the cartridge-style filter is part of the engine and reused for the life of the engine. It never needs replacing. The housing also has a screw-on replaceable cap that eliminates the conventional canister-to-engine mating surface that is a potential source of leaks.

To find out more on how and where to properly recycle oil filters go to www.filtercouncil.org.


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  • 91 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      thats funny... nowhere in the article did it state that the cartridge filter was new technology, they merely listed the reasons they use it. Or at least the reasons they want you to believe.

      lack of reading comprehension is the reason people think GM is claiming this is new technology. Ironic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      After changing the oil on a Ninja 250, I would rather have a regular oil filter - of course Kawasaki put the whole contraption in upside down so there's no way to change it without about a quart of warm oil running down your arm to your elbow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty fail Autoblog. This craps been around for a long time. All hail this breaking news!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a '77 Honda Goldwing uses a cartridge filter, so its definately not a new idea. I'm not sure its that much less messy either, but the top access is a big plus. Almost anything would be an improvement over the filter location on my F150. Whoever decided the placement for that one was a good idea should be publicly flogged.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The comments about plastic housings on a part where it will be torqued and untorqued multiple times a year is a little concerning, also the idea that the filter is on top and may be "dry" on startup (though maybe there is some fancy anti-drainback). I also remember the 1980's GM internal filter and it was harder to change than an external filter, you had to sometimes pry it out.

      One thing no one mentioned, and I thought was another concern with internal was that if the o-rings were installed improperly, or leaked, that you would have dirty oil (or even worse additional dirt off the dirty side of the filter) getting back into the engine. The bypass in an external filter is more dependable as it's not prone to user error, and guaranteed to be replaced every oil change. I think the internal filter was more costsavings for GM than "we're looking to make your life easier".

      Lastly, if your external filter shears off from its base, either you're buying junk and it's time to upgrade to a decent brand (Wix has pretty good housing thickness) or stop being so lazy/cheap/whatever and swap your filter more frequently. There's a reason it's called maintenance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the fuel filter canister on my old turbodiesel Ram had a plastic top, just like this does. wasn't ever an issue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fusion started using these years ago, because of the hard plastic they are easier to damage and harder to take off. Normal filters are way better as far as which is easier to remove and install. Not to mention these make much more of a mess and you need to remember to replace the o-rings every time.

      I never understood the idea of the filter being on top, all it accomplishes is to spill oil down your entire engine and on the ground. The truth being that your going to have to go under the car to drain the oil anyway so what is the point. They could have spent the same amount of money and effort designing a easier way to remove the filter from under the car.

      Yes some cars are easy like the Ford E-Series van but at other times you get to make fireworks with a Ranger.......(You have to guide the metal oil filter around the starter and yes people have lodged them in between each other creating a firework show.

      The ballad of a lube technician.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I respect your opinion. It can't be easy to kid glove, within a specified goal or time limit, under someone else's hood.

        I had a problem with my Jetta. It wouldn't start. I bought a rotor button from Autozone. $6 for their "duralast" part; it was freaking plastic. It lasted days. I went to the VW dealer. Bought the OEM part; ceramic. Cost me $26. The original part lasted 185k miles before it finally went. Even then, it was only the key / guide inside the button, not the actual electrical contact, that broke.

        And that's the struggle with plastic use in vehicles. I'm of the opinion that just because plastic is cheaper, doesn't mean it should be used for everything. There are parts that will see high amounts of wear, like this cap you're talking about, and deserve to be made from higher quality materials.

        But any way you can save money in manufacturing costs MUST be utilized. It's like buying a pistol from Springfield arms. Many of their guns are built with an expected life cycle of 500 rounds.

        Great for Johnny homeowner who wants a pistol under his pillow, but a nightmare for someone who goes to the range with consistency.

        So goes the metaphor for American car buyer. Know what you're buying...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I completely agree with you FordGTGuy. To the uninformed, cartridge filters are new and exciting. To people who actually know cars and have worked on them for a living, they're ancient, dumb, and needlessly complicated. Despite their own unique hassles, spin-on filters are still the better choice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW's had this for years, it makes changing the oil a snap, and the filters are nice and cheap too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Cheap maintenance? On a BMW? Blasphemy!
        • 4 Years Ago
        BMW offers free scheduled maintenance on new cars... so you can bet they want to reduce the cost of that maintenance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While it's great that you can easily change the oil filter on a BMW, the following facts remain: first, you're already paying a premium price for the car. Secondly, how many people who are shopping for a BMW are likely to be doing their own oil changes?

      • 4 Years Ago
      Funny... my 1997 Benz has that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "What American manufacturers praise as innovation is, it seems, a decade behind other manufacturers."

        @Weaksauce You can thank the UAW for that, and all the money they are charging, more money to unions = less money for innovation, engineering and R&D.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Weaksauce.

        I have to unfortunately have to agree with you.

        If you look at automotive advances over the past 25 year or so, the American car makers have almost always been way behind their Japanese and German counterparts.. and when they did finally get off their fat rear ends to copy an idea, it was proclaimed as being new and original but many of times was still inferior to what was available from other companies years before.

        Detroit (like much of the rest of the country) was caught in a "can't do" attitude that let companies sit on their laurels and proclaim that stuff was "good enough" already. Ugh.

        I do see some major positive changes though over the past couple of years and I see Detroit (and hopefully the rest of the country) is finally investing again in R&D and putting engineers to work. It took about a decade for Detroit to finally wake up and give Toyota's hybrid technology some real competition (in the from of the Fusion Hybrid), but when it comes to the next-step - EVs - GM is positioning itself to be the leader in that field and will be releasing their Volt at about the same time that Nissan introduces their Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @weaksauce.

        I'd put the chevy lsX engines up against any other engine in the world in terms of power made in relation to fuel used and cost of manufacture.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I change the oil on my fathers cadillac SRX regularly and i must say the cartridge setup is significantly easier/cleaner.

      It would be nice if there were aftermarket kits to convert conventional oil filter setups to the upper cartridge system.

      My 2000 5.0 explorer has the filter above the sway bar, so when you pull the filter, oil first pours onto the sway bar and spreads out from there.
      I'm batting 1000 getting oil on the driveway.

      For the record i know there are remote mount oil kits, having used one on my race car, but they are no where's near as easy or clean as the cartridge setup.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hay guys I herd this is nothing new and other cars have done this before
      • 4 Years Ago
      My old 1951 Dodge B3B 1/2 ton pickup truck has this kind of cartridge filter on the top of the engine, nothing new here at all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW eliminated the dip stick so that the car owner can no longer use a vacuum sucker to change his/her own oil easily. I guess they experienced too many reliability problems with that old fashioned dipstick! No BMW dealer oil changes for me.
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