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Old 02-25-2021, 09:53 AM   #1
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Actual "Life Expectancy" of air-fuel-oil filters

I have read repeatedly here on the forum that it is important not to let filters get old. That is most often seen in discussions of air filters for the big Cummins engines which are subject to a lot of force air and the concern was delamination of the "paper" elements in the filter. I also frequently read that this is also true for the Fleetguard oil filters. I carry a complete set and handle them differently.... I get new Fleetguards when I get the engines serviced at SpeedCo and I swap my basement filters for new filters each time the engine is serviced. I have repeatedly advised others that it is important for filters to be reasonably new and fresh.

I am now going through my plastic "tub" of spare filters and belts and other maintenance items that I keep in the basement, and I notice that my Onan air5, Onan fuel, and Cummins Air filters are dated considerably older than 1 or 2 years.

So my question is..... what is the consensus on how long shelf life is for filters other than the Cummins air filters? I keep all the filters in zip-lock bags and they are not subjected to humidity changes, but obviously in the basement, they are subject to temperature changes. Is there really "gospel" on this subject or are we at the mercy of filter companies that are all about selling filters?

Gary
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:00 AM   #2
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:43 AM   #3
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Air Filters ......stored in sealed bag out of sunlight/high humidity
Shelf life is 6-7 yrs

Fuel Filters ....as long as no rust....good to go
Again stored in sealed bag

Oil Filters......sealed bag 6-10 yrs
O-ring is the only thing to be concerned with

Spare Belts....same ---stored in sealed bags out of sunlight


**Sealed bags
Zip lock ok----Vacuum Bags BETTER
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Air Filters ......stored in sealed bag out of sunlight/high humidity
Shelf life is 6-7 yrs

Fuel Filters ....as long as no rust....good to go
Again stored in sealed bag

Oil Filters......sealed bag 6-10 yrs
O-ring is the only thing to be concerned with

Spare Belts....same ---stored in sealed bags out of sunlight


**Sealed bags
Zip lock ok----Vacuum Bags BETTER
Given the above, it would seem stored filters and belts would be used in rotation long before their "expiration" date.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
I have read repeatedly here on the forum that it is important not to let filters get old. That is most often seen in discussions of air filters for the big Cummins engines which are subject to a lot of force air and the concern was delamination of the "paper" elements in the filter. I also frequently read that this is also true for the Fleetguard oil filters. I carry a complete set and handle them differently.... I get new Fleetguards when I get the engines serviced at SpeedCo and I swap my basement filters for new filters each time the engine is serviced. I have repeatedly advised others that it is important for filters to be reasonably new and fresh.

I am now going through my plastic "tub" of spare filters and belts and other maintenance items that I keep in the basement, and I notice that my Onan air5, Onan fuel, and Cummins Air filters are dated considerably older than 1 or 2 years.

So my question is..... what is the consensus on how long shelf life is for filters other than the Cummins air filters? I keep all the filters in zip-lock bags and they are not subjected to humidity changes, but obviously in the basement, they are subject to temperature changes. Is there really "gospel" on this subject or are we at the mercy of filter companies that are all about selling filters?

Gary
There are a lot of unsubstantiated opinionís when it comes to shelf life and other things. I tend to believe the manufacture and take the rest of it with a grain of salt. Here is what Fleetguard said about the air filter I installed last year, 3 year shelf life. The filter has a manufacture date imprinted on the casing. See attached, second paragraph.

Ray
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:54 AM   #6
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Hmmm, I have all mine replaced with the yearly maintenance... and don't keep spares...
I have enough to keep up with
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:25 AM   #7
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Mr. Bisquit

Appreciate the information, but could you clarify where you are getting your data?

Are these "life" expectancies gained from person experience, or do they come from some researched or scientific analysis of filter life expectancy?

Just trying to clarify the basis of the numbers....

Gary
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:31 AM   #8
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I did not see the two or three posts immediately above before I just posted again and so I appreciate the additional information.

While I always appreciate seeing the manufacturer recommendations on "life span" of their products, I also understand that it is in their best interest to get people to buy their filters as often as possible. But your point is well taken.

It appears that the Cummins Air Filter you show actually is indicating that it is OK in their opinion to have the filter sitting on a shelf for 3 years before it is installed in an engine, and then for an additional year or so after it is installed.

I would love to see an analysis done by a scientific lab that objectively determines these issues, but I am guessing that either no such lab analysis exists, or it does exist and is known by the manufacturers but not publicly available (proprietary information). However, that is the first I have seen about shelf life from a manufacturer.... so thanks a lot.

Gary
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:14 PM   #9
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Gary, given the age range most of us are in, I'm not overly eager to read threads with "Life Expectancy" in the title!

On a more serious note, I'm sure you realize there are LOTS of factors that impact the useful life and/or shelf life of various filters. For what it's worth, I have an old, high-suction-strength shop vac in our RV garage. It uses a pleated paper filter, somewhat like the air filters in our cars and motorhomes, but noticeably less well made.

That filter gets REALLY dirty. When not in use, it's sitting in the same RV garage as our motorhome, actually only a few feet away from the engine compartment where our motorhome's air filter is located. When the filter in the shop vac gets really nasty, I take it out, hose it off, leave it in the sun to dry, then re-install it in the shop vac. I've had the shop vac for at least 30 years, probably closer to 40 years, and I replace the filter about every ten years of so. Never have I seen one falling apart.

I know this isn't exactly the peer-reviewed scientific lab analysis you were hoping to see and I'll admit this whole post is mostly in jest, but there is a moral to the story which is that I highly doubt there is any compelling reason to replace a diesel motorhome air filter every year. I've owned four diesel coaches over the past 17+ years and have typically replaced air filters once every two or three years. As for oil changes (including oil filters & fuel fliters), I've always done those (or had them done) about once per year.

I believe you're correct when you speculate that some of the more aggressive recommendations out there are coming from individuals and/or companies who are in business to sell filters.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:25 PM   #10
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I sometimes wonder if it's kind of like: "Best if used by..." dates on bottled water.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777 Driver View Post
I sometimes wonder if it's kind of like: "Best if used by..." dates on bottled water.

Take care,
Stu

I agree, it used to be when it becomes restricted, replace it! A business was started based on pre-filters to make the primary filter live longer. Now itís, how old is it? Is this because Cummins owns Fleetgard?
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:51 PM   #12
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I agree, it used to be when it becomes restricted, replace it! A business was started based on pre-filters to make the primary filter live longer. Now itís, how old is it? Is this because Cummins owns Fleetgard?
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:15 PM   #13
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Actual "Life Expectancy" of air-fuel-oil filters

[ATTACH]
Itís a fact! Iíve researched it!
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
I did not see the two or three posts immediately above before I just posted again and so I appreciate the additional information.

While I always appreciate seeing the manufacturer recommendations on "life span" of their products, I also understand that it is in their best interest to get people to buy their filters as often as possible. But your point is well taken.

It appears that the Cummins Air Filter you show actually is indicating that it is OK in their opinion to have the filter sitting on a shelf for 3 years before it is installed in an engine, and then for an additional year or so after it is installed.

I would love to see an analysis done by a scientific lab that objectively determines these issues, but I am guessing that either no such lab analysis exists, or it does exist and is known by the manufacturers but not publicly available (proprietary information). However, that is the first I have seen about shelf life from a manufacturer.... so thanks a lot.

Gary
Gray, apologize for the picture which is not readable. Actually Fleetguard states “ The shelf life of the ECO filter is three years. DO NOT install an ECO filter on your application if the manufacture date is older than 3 years”. I have called Baldwin, Fleetguard, and
Donaldson in the pass about shelf life. They do have shelf life information but depending on who you talk with there is a reluctance to give it out. Fleetguard is more forth coming with the shelf life.

You make the decision but if it fails because of media or glue deterioration then it is on your dime.

Ray
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