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Old 04-30-2016, 07:38 PM   #1
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Filter Shelf Life

An older thread addressed the need to use only filters that haven't reached their shelf life, and specifically cautioned about receiving filters from FILTER BARN which were past their shelf life. I get most filters from the FILTER BARN, but was unaware of shelf life and merrily put anything on that I receive. The thread was informative, but failed to tell how to go about determining the shelf life for the different filters. Maybe a helpful web site? Some here won't care of course, but I still would like to find out the information.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:16 PM   #2
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Good question.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:24 AM   #3
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I'm struggling to believe this is a problem. Shelf life has got to be at least a year, and probably more. There has been a lot of fuss lately about air filter cartridges drying out and possibly coming part internally, so maybe that is worth worrying about (I do not). A failed air filter could conceivably let bits of paper and glue get ingested into a diesel engine as it gulps air. I suppose oil & fuel filters could clog if that happened, but it's not going to damage an engine.

I currently carry a Donaldson fuel filter as my spare (17 months old now) and if it has a "born on" date or expiration date, I can't find it.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:49 AM   #4
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Filter Shelf Life

I called FleetGuard and asked for technical support. For each filter, they asked me for the part number and the small dot matrix print data. Then they provided the manufacture date and if it was still in its service life.

Some of the last batch were over 5 years since manufacture and past their service date.

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Old 05-01-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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DWAI

Don't worry about it. I've had only one failure in 45 years. As soon as I receive any filter I put them in closable plastic bags. Same for most parts. Last years.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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Interesting, manufactures of engines and assorted filters put out limits but what do they know the owners know better but then again the manufacture is not on the hook when things go wrong.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:46 PM   #7
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Being as I change my filters yearly, the ones I bought last year go on this year and then I get new ones for spares.
While I may pay a little more for them, I get all of my filters from the local Cummins dealer. They tend to go through enough of them that their stock is rotated on a good basis.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2Home View Post
Being as I change my filters yearly, the ones I bought last year go on this year and then I get new ones for spares.
While I may pay a little more for them, I get all of my filters from the local Cummins dealer. They tend to go through enough of them that their stock is rotated on a good basis.
This maybe one of the instances where "you get what you pay" has some merritt!
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:12 PM   #9
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DATE CODE FORMATS and LOCATIONS
There are only a few ways of coding a date, so that it can be easily interpreted by the stocking personnel in a store. After all, it is in the best interest of companies to have old stock pulled, and not sold to a consumer, who then gets sick from eating expired canned goods. Oil companies use the same styles of date codes, as are used for cereal boxes, canned goods, etc.

Here are some examples of the most common date code styles:

1) 09231 = the 231st day of 2009, this format is known as Julian Date.
2) 09K19 = 19 October 2009
3) 3M30 = 30 December 2013
4) 11E9 = 11 May 2009, note how the year and day are reversed from the previous example
5) 1L = November 2011 (typical car battery date-code)

The letter coding is basically “A” = January, and “L” = December. Note that most (if not all) manufacturers skip the letter “I”, so that actually “M” = December. I assume “I” is skipped since it looks like the number digit one.

By noting the above, and looking at different dates and codes on various products, you can learn to decode the date on most products.


Baldwin currently uses two date coding methods on our products and packaging. One is a 6-digit numeric and the other is an 11-digit numeric. Following are explanations of each:

Six (6) Digit Numeric Date Code
Date Code Sample: 050112
1st Two Digits 05 Indicate Month (May) 2nd Two Digits 01 Indicate Day of Month (1st) Last Two Digits 12 Indicate Year (2012)
Eleven (11) Digit Numeric Date Code
Date Code Sample: 05011211301
1st Two Digits 05 Indicate Month (May) 2nd Two Digits 01 Indicate Day of Month (1st) 5th and 6th Digits 12 Indicate Year (2012) Next 4 Digits 1530 Indicate Time of Day (Military Format) Last Digit 1 Indicates Filter Line

Fleetguard filters use the Julian date code system


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Old 05-01-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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wb7auk: That is very helpful! Thank you.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:25 PM   #11
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Just about anything you use in a engine has a shelf life some would surprise you.
Even oil.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:02 PM   #12
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An email response I got this morning [to my question 'how can a DIY guy determine the shelf life of filters'] from Michael B. Byrum, Diesel Filtration Technical Senior Analyst for Cummins and Fleetguard, who says: "Oil filters, air filters and fuel filters all have a 4 year shelf life."

So, for anyone who cares, it's 4 yrs from the stamped date code on the filter: typically the first two digits are the year, next three digits are the Juilian date of manufacture. Sometimes even the time of day is on there. If you're using FRAM or another filter, can't help you there. If you use FILTER BARN or another mail order company, and the date code is beyond the shelf life, you have reason to request a replacement.

(In response to a few earlier comments, and it's just my opinion, if the manufacturer has a 'shelf life' to me it means that there is possibility of glue or paper decay, which 'could' be harmful, or less effective. I'd rather avoid the possibility).
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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I might add fuel/ water separator filters as well as air dryer filters have a 3 year shelf life due to the chemicals used in them.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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While this post is so far down and may not get noticed I'll pass this along anyway.
While at the Freightliner service school in Gaffney SC last year we discussed storing filters and such. Of the main concern is most have a paper filter media vs high humidity. It was suggested, and I now do use, a vacuum food saver system to seal the filters, it removes the air and prevents humidity, ambient moisture, from affecting the media. I also seal the spare serpentine belt this way and slows down the aging process.
Can also be used to seal larger stored amounts of coffee and other food stuffs.
Just my .02 John
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