Toilet Paper Oil Filters

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My question is about the effectiveness of these type of oil filters. They have a long history and it is obviously less expensive to change a roll of toilet paper then a regular filter, however is it penny wise and pound foolish. Will it clean the oil better or worse then the screw in filters, and is it worth the install? Thanks.


  1. I’ve come to this discussion very late, but found it thanks to Gary North’s recent post on Lew Rockwell. ( I think some basic chemistry is in order, to explain what the tp oil filter can, and can’t do.

    Paper is hydrophilic. It will bind water, tightly. (The tp Frantz advocates is the stuff in public bathrooms, that are always clogged because it DOESN’T disintegrate.)

    While the tp filter will not force oil through individual sheets, like what we conventionally associate with the idea of a filter, it will pump oil along each sheet, over an enormous cumulative surface area. And this is key. Because with that much contact between oil and paper, it is a safe bet that all the water in the oil will be scrubbed, very effectively. Remember, that little bit of water is in tiny droplets, and they don’t like being in contact with oil. They will stick to the paper almost irreversibly.

    After that, all impurities that prefer water over oil will also stick to the dampened paper. Maybe some will stick to dry, oily paper, but I’ll guess the water makes this much more effective. Remove the water, and sludge doesn’t accumulate, either, except perhaps within the tp roll. Corrosion is a non-issue without water. So what else is there? Metal particles are an open question, and I won’t go beyond what I can offer with confidence. There may be additives in oil that don’t pertain to anti-sludge, and anti-corrosion. Clearly this system can excel at wicking out all water. Does that solve all problems, or do some remain?

    Lastly, laboratory tests are not all that expensive to commission. It’s time for the makers of Frantz systems to pony up and have an independent lab run some basic tests, that they post independently. Let’s remove the lingering questions.

    But I find the “Why aren’t they widely used?” argument as valid as “Why does government tell you to eat grains and avoid fat?”, which I’m in the process of shredding, in an upcoming book. There are always contrary motivations, and when the official advice is dead wrong, which is often, it’s always some combination of ego, ignorance and corruption. Forcing someone to specify the reasons is baiting them to come out with a conspiracy theory, that is bound to be mocked.

    • Hi Tom,

      I’d like to run a real-world test myself – ideally, using someone else’s car – and have the results analyzed by a competent, objective lab.

      I’m very protective of my orange barchetta – the ’76 Trans-Am – because they aren’t making 455 blocks or cranks any longer!

      • Of course, nobody should be coaxed into being the guinea pig. The company may not make a killing off it, but surely if they sponsored objective tests, and it proved out, they’d make A LOT MORE than they do now. It’s on them to do the tests.

        PS Gary North has quite a following. I expect you’ll get some significant attention on this.

  2. What I think folks don’t get is how much oil is moving around in a normal system, leave alone with a HV pump…

    These sorts of filters take a portion of the oil off the primary stream and filter it pretty thoroughly. Passing through 5″ of compressed paper media and catching a lot. I have unrolled a TP filter after change and it has small bits and pieces here and there… The oil travels from one end of a TP roll to the other between the sheets, not through the sheets…

    It is being fed by the pump and there is pressure drop across the TP media, but it is not the main supply flow. It is the portion diverted to this system. Makes no appreciable drop on main oil flow which is in excess of need anyway.

    Until significant engine wear has occurred many miles down the road, the oil pump pressure relief spring or built -in bypass system is allowing excess oil to return to the pan at all times. The portion diverted to the TP filter is still less that the pump can put out on a new’ish well running engine.

    The bulk of main flow goes through the std filter and on to the bearing surfaces as per normal. The diverted portion being cleaned in the TP is slowly getting it all, but never right away. Given enough time, all oil will pass through TP. That time is measured in hours, not days or weeks.

    These are really twin filtration systems. And adding additional filtration is not a bad thing unless you exceed the flow capacity of the pump. Maybe on an old high mileage motor with significant wear already, that might happen… But that motor is in trouble anyway.

    In spec motors should have no trouble supporting adequate main flow and some diverted flow to extra filtration 🙂

  3. Acai Berries – the superfood – another product with a large contingent of person-to-person salesmen like Amsoil or Frantz toilet paper oil filters

    Try also Amway, Arbonne, Melaleuca, Cyberwize, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Mary Kay, Kirby Vacuums, etc.

    – Not sold in stores, call toll free and buy direct

  4. William makes PERFECT logic and is a testimonial to what I have been saying all along. There is no better proof than a long-time consumer who has sufficient knowledge to explain the physics of a bypass filter – especially a TP filter – ANY TP filter, not just Frantz.
    Some folks just cannot be informed due to a closed mind. William and I have both experience and have tried to explain the facts in this forum. I am trying to do so without coming off like I’m trying to sell you a Frantz or having my statements taken as spam. I have personally used this Frantz filter since 1960 (yes, I’m an old fart) and have been a successful distributor for over 10 years.
    I explained how I don’t change my oil but that’s ME. I don’t profess that YOU should do what I do. I’m only relaying to you my good results. This is not my only vehicle I have a Frantz on. I have it on ALL my cars and even my Kubota diesel tractor. I had one on my Sears garden tractor but took it off as that machine didn’t get the use to require wasting a good filter on it.
    I have MANY marine customers who rely on the Frantz protecting the diesel generators in their vessels. Lives are at stake if one fails. Frantz at one time had a model certified by the FAA for use on many private planes. When the original owner (Skipper K. Yee of SKY Corporation) retired and closed the business the FAA certification ceased and the new owner never applied for it again.
    Entire police departments have used the Frantz in their patrol fleets. Heavy equipment corporations have used a Frantz along with taxi companies. I have literally dozens of testimonial letters from these folks. We have lab reports from Blackstone Labs. I have statements in white letters from the U.S. Department of Commerce Weights and Measures. STILL, at least one person in this forum refuses to listen to knowledge. I can only say not everyone is capable of being convinced with closed minded thinking. The only way to teach these kind are when they actually use one and say “Hey, this thing works and is pretty good!” I really wish those of you who are skeptical (and that is okay) could give me a visit and I could absolutely prove to you with my demo machine what is being said here. If you are ever in SoCal, look me up and we’ll sit down with a cool one and I’ll show you some things about bypass filters – especially the Frantz model. I will soon be coming out with a new model. That will surely open up these flood gates of discussion all over again.

  5. I am humored by people who have NEVER owned a Frantz bypass oil filter yet have all the facts and continually be closed-minded to new ideas. There are MANY samples tested by Blackstone Labs of bypass filtered oil and the results are always positive with NO evidence of paper fibers in the sample.
    Even a spin on filter is constructed with paper and other products into a corregated form which oil is then passed through with no better than 21 microns of filtration.
    While I own a business and am quite prejudiced on the subject, don’t trust me; trust Blackstone Labs (or any other lab of your choice.)
    I have a 2004 Mitsubishi Raider pickup truck with V8 and it has had exactly ONE oil change in it’s life (when I reached 3000 miles to remove the break in factory oil.) Since then, it has had a new TP every 3000 miles. I add one quart of oil per year as I slowly top off the level upon TP changes. I change the TP in the morning when the canister is empty of oil due to draining back to the pan overnight. The TP feels dry to the touch although it will contain some oil if I squeeze it. I recommend you view my Youtube video for a better explanation. Go to my website and in the menu click “servicing video”. I also have a Blackstone Lab report from 2012 or 2013 I can share with you but I doubt you will take the time to evaluate the report.
    Frantz was invented in the 1950s before some of your birth yet the product continues to exist. That alone should tell you something. It has lasted the test of time.
    Happy motoring.

    • Hi Crest,

      There are several engineers here, as well as people who know a fair bit about things mechanical. We’ll check out the info – and look forward to discussing the viability of TP oil filters. Thanks for posting!

    • Frantzoil, I remember when that unit came out. Many people used it and swore by it. Seems like I even tried a roll of TP in my oil filter on my 55 Chevy pickup, almost the same size. I never knew if it worked but those who used them were convinced and rightly so I suspect. I’m a big fan of Amsoil and their bypass filters. They claim something less than one micron on their bypass filter. Their fleet has countless vehicles with hundreds of thousands of miles with only the full flow and bypass filter being changed about every 30,000 miles and make up oil added. Their pickups have big signs that say This vehicle never has an oil change, ask us. They do an analysis on the oil(send it to a lab as you suggest or someone did)when changing filters to ascertain the viability of the oil. On a decent engine is always fine. I have some friends I converted their cars to Amsoil products and they’re happy since they rack up lots of miles. They also see almost no engine wear over very long mileage lives. Most of the cars have worn out suspension with an engine still in fine shape. I went to the site you posted. I have no problem believing the claims and this just proves to me what others told me many decades ago.

    • I can’t easily find the oil capacity for that vehicle, but for the sake of argument I’ll use 5 qt.

      At 3000 miles 1/5 of the oil is replaced. 3000mi oil 4qts, 0mi oil 1qt
      At 6000 miles 1/5 of the oil is replaced, 6000mi oil:3.2qts, 3000mi oil:0.8qts, 0 mil oil:1qt
      At 9000 miles, 9000 mi oil: 2.56qt, 6000mi oil:0.64qt, 3000mi oil:0.8qt, 0mi oil:1qt

      Not spending a lot of time on the math, but the picture should be clear what’s happening. The oil is being changed slowly and the additive package renewed. I wouldn’t expect a horrible oil analysis at any step in the formula especially if the stock oil filter is retained (which it is on the diagram on your website) for main flow and replaced every 3000mi. If the TP filter did nothing, likely this sort of frequent attention and high quality oil would be good enough.


      • Hi BC,

        My take: These filters may have been ok years ago, but modern engines typically have very high oil pressure and extremely tight tolerances and all kinds of tiny passages (including the variable valve/cam timing systems) … I would be extremely reluctant to risk having bits of TP circulating through them.

        And – why?

        A good OE/spin-on or cartridge filter costs what… $10-$15?

        What idiot – no offense – would risk breaking a $6,000-plus engine (and losing any warranty claim) by using TP to filter the oil?

  6. I remember playing with Franz filters in the 60’s. The oil was “cleaner” to look at, but there was also an argument that it also filtered out the additives and trapped them in the paper. No one I know ever found out if that true or not.

    What is suspicious is that the product that has been around for over 50 years, yet there is no laboratory measurements of oil lubrication efficiency, extended engine life, or any side by side comparisons shown or mentioned on their own website. Laboratory oil analysis is not expensive. Why not?

    • Many current-era engines operate routinely at 60 psi and higher. That alone would, I’d bet, cause some unwanted results with toilet tissue.

  7. My 1963 International dump truck came new/stock with a toilet paper oil filter. This is not a bypass filter, it’s the main one.
    Must work, the truck had 844,000 miles on it when the odometer broke in the 1980s.
    No major engine work.
    I use the more “industrial” type TP, not the two layer soft kind.
    Single layer TP that you find a lot in public bathrooms, I’ve only seen it sold in individual rolls.

  8. Ive been using Frantz oil filters for years. They run toilet paper in them. They work great. they keep the oil clean way way longer than a standard popular oil filter. Highly recommend.

  9. Y’all think too much and some of you probably need a life. TP Filters come pretty much standard on heavy-use vehicles in the great Down-Under. TP doesn’t break-down in lubricants (that’s why it’s been used for 60+ yrs). Car companies don’t install them because they cost many times the price of a cheap, sealed ‘Twine-core’ filter. Extensive testing over decades by a host of agencies the world over lead to these filters being installed and even Spec’d into their manufacturing builds.

    There’s this little old thing called the ‘Library’ where you can even find books with research and reference material on test results. You know what they say: ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste’. Y’all have a nice day!

    • Hmmm…

      You write:

      “Car companies don’t install them because they cost many times the price of a cheap, sealed ‘Twine-core’ filter. ”

      Well, you can buy 24 rolls at Wal-Mart for about $12. (See here: ) Assuming one roll of TP equals one filter, that’s about $1 per filter! Meanwhile, a typical good quality oil filter costs several times that – I pay about $10 per for mine.

      You make lots of assertions – and then demand that we “do research” to prove your assertions). But where are the facts? Or even, frankly, the common sense?

      The oil doesn’t push through the TP “filter” (necessary to actually filter the oil). The TP roll just soaks up a lot of oil – and then, as Brent points out, when you replace the oil-saturated “filter,” you’re also doing a partial oil change.

      Not much filtration going on…..

      • Eric – I think DO is saying car companies don’t use them because of the INITIAL cost of the bypass filter – a couple hundred bucks or more. It makes more sense that the big rigs, with their much higher annual mileage and extended life would go for something like that.

        • Hi Phillip,

          Could be.

          Now, there are also two issues here. One, the bypass filter concept – the other, using toilet paper as a filter.

          Bypass filtration seems to me like a sensible idea. But toilet paper as an oil filter? I’d need to see some hard data to back that up before I used TP in that way!

          • Years ago there were cars that came with bypass filters. I used to have a 1962 Rambler American with a flathead six-cylinder engine that had a factory-installed bypass filter. As I recall it used a filter can that screwed onto a metal plate bolted to the head, and had oil lines running into the engine.

            I’ve heard of the TP filters for decades but have never tried one and don’t personally know anyone who has.

    • “Y’all think too much and some of you probably need a life.”

      Well, shit. That shut me up. I guess I’ll go out and get a life of some sort, probably the kind of life that requires rolls and rolls of TP. Oh, and I’ll quit thinking so much.

  10. BrentP on July 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    If you love it that’s fine. However the claims simply don’t work for me.

    For the record….
    I don’t love my oil filter, I don’t love my oil, or even my car for that matter. I love my wife, my kids, my grand kids.
    It works for me and lots of others and has for 40+ years.

    I agree with you..The video starring Billy Ray an his $500.00 Baha Bug was a joke. My tractor (diesel) oil looks better than that.
    Things I noticed…
    very little oil dripped off the TP filter (not filtering)
    The TP came out without the retaining ring (wrong size roll TP)
    On re-install the TP filter “fell on” (wrong size roll TP)
    The manufacturer carries sleeves to compensate for different size TP rolls (Scott,etc.)

    As far as the oil color… that doesn’t mean much since Major oil makes sure with the additives the oil will change colors.
    Old school.. Change when the oil gets dark (it’s dirty)
    New School.. Change when the auto manufacturer says so..
    (Owners manual / Little light on your dash)

    It’s amazing what the government along with the money from big business can accomplish. You are being programmed and as much as I hate to admit it… I “WAS” one of those programmers.

    Last but not least…
    I’m always looking to further my education, however I prefer practical application (at this point in my life) over returning to school. (I’ve been programmed enough.)

    I’ve spend the last three days camped out here. My conclusion is..this site offers little of what I’m looking for..and apparently I offer very little that this site is interested in.
    on that note… I will bid you ado.

    • If additives are changing color to black then they likely need refreshing.

      A simple backward test taking used oil out of an engine and pushing it through at TP filter as many cycles as needed to show an improvement would probably be enough to prove it is doing something. The oil should change color back towards new.

      Putting one of these things on an engine and then saying the oil went X miles or the car went X miles or whatever is a combination of many factors. I’ll wait for some sort of controlled test to show it is actually doing something of value.

    • I understand how the toilet paper roll stays in the can. I can even see how it might filter. However the physics of the situation don’t lend itself to doing much.

      I saw the oil analysis of the guy who swears by these things (someone posted a link to it), but that just shows that the engine isn’t wearing and the oil still has life in it. Every time the TP filter is replaced, a good percentage of the oil is replenished. A filter cannot stop the oil additives from breaking down, they must be replenished.

      Meanwhile we are supposed to believe that this little diversion of oil just seeps through the TP makes a difference. The problem is to push something through that much media there has to be pressure and time. Less pressure, more time. They’ve essentially taken it off pressure so there is just time, perhaps gravity fed. A little at a time with no way of controlling that it’s always a new volume of oil that goes through the tp. So it mixes with the rest slowly removing particles in theory. However particles are also being added. I can’t see how it could be filtering at rate high enough to be meaningful.

      Essentially it appears to me that it is not doing anything. It’s just there. But it forces people to replace just enough oil to keep things properly lubricated and provided they keep changing the stock filter, the engine will live.

      Simply put, it’s not the same oil 40,000 miles later. It’s oil with a distribution of miles on it based on how much is added for consumption by the filters and the engine. The filters get changed and that consumes say 1.5qts of oil trapped in the filters. Well, that’s 1/4 of the oil in a 6qt sump. By the time the higher mileage is reached there is only a tiny amount of oil from mile zero left. These are oil changes by dilution.

      Oil change by dilution works. It’s cheap-ass and I’ve done it with a beater car that leaked oil. I wouldn’t do it with a car I cared more about though.

      • I guess I must tell on myself..
        My return lines goes to the filler caps. A bad habit I have from years gone by is leaving the oil cap off until I’ve started the car, filled the filter and re-checked the oil. Needless to say I blew almost a quart of oil all over the engine in around 30 seconds. (I wasn’t looking at my watch so the time could be off) It Took a half day and a power washer to clean up my mess. Gravity flow… I think not.
        Don’t quote me but I think they say 99% of a 5 quart crankcase is filtered every 7-8 minutes.
        TBN and particulates are both checked during the oil analysis.

        • The pro TP-filter person linked to is insisting that the oil pump is not used to push the oil through the filter.

          Now on the frantz website they are claiming 5qts in 7 minutes. That’s an impressive flow through that much filtering material and for removal of particles as small as they claim. My water filter doesn’t go that fast on gravity. They are also claiming no effect on oil pressure or load on the pump. Yet their system is universal and flowing fast? ?? ? ?

          Simply put the claims don’t make sense. They are in conflict with each other. If it maintains oil pressure for any engine it is attached to then it’s going to be low volume. If the opening is big enough to support high flow then it’s going to create a pressure drop in the system unless the filtering media provides the resistance to flow, but they are claiming their orifice does that, not the TP media. The claims seem to be in conflict.

          But even if there is a way to make sense of these claims, changing the filters ends up changing the oil anyway. 1.5-2 quarts per change of both filters. So is the effect seen due to the filter or due to freshening the oil?

          • I had a friend in HS whose dad was Mr. Cheap. This guy never changed oil in his car; he just added a quart of “top off” every now and then. He got 47,000 miles on his circa 1985 Skylark before it began making noises you never want to hear. Then he asked us to change the oil. So, we tried. We removed the drain plug… and… nothing. You could see crud, though. So we poked around with a screwdriver. Lumpy stuff began to dribble out. We got maybe three quarts of that stuff. The filter was as impacted as Elvis’ colon circa 1977. Needless to say, the oil change didn’t help much. He got a new car shortly thereafter… and began the process anew!

          • Yeah, just topping off will do that.

            Eric is probably just adding a story but for others what I am talking about is someone who is willing to add an extra filter. Also the kind of person who’s buying the better oil too. He’s probably changing those filters very regular too.

            Now he’s got probably close to two quarts tied up in the filters plus what is added for consumption. He thinks he’s getting huge use out of his oil, but really all he’s only getting that huge use out of the little bit that remains after old is mixed with new time and time again. His oil is a bell curve between old and new. With the mean always staying reasonable. He’s always getting filtering because he changes those like clockwork. So he doesn’t get sludge. He doesn’t have problems. He swears by his additional filter. However, it’s the whole process that works. The additional filter could do nothing but force oil to be replaced and it would work out ok.

            It’s just an illusion they aren’t changing the oil. They just change it a little at time. Done right it should keep an oil condition that is like the mid point between oil changes all the time.

          • If memory serves me correctly, the average car flows around 20qts per minute.
            (that’s why a full flow oil filter has virtually no restriction and a relief valve).

            A by-pass filter(TP media) 5qts. in 7 minutes is less than a qt. per minute. A lot better than “gravity feed” but only a fraction of a full flow.

            You said..
            If the opening is big enough to support high flow then it’s going to create a pressure drop.
            (as you can see it’s not a “high flow”)

            You said…
            but they are claiming their orifice does that .

            You said…
            1.5-2 quarts per change of both filters.
            (1 qt…..I don’t change the OEM filter every time) In my main car it was changed once in a year and a half. I was curious and wanted to “cut it open”

            You said…
            So is the effect seen due to the filter or due to freshening the oil?
            Actually “Both”
            (TP Filter cleans the oil)
            (Freshening the oil helps maintain the additives)

            Bottom line…
            Cost me approx. $5.00 every 3,000 miles
            Anywhere/anytime my oil is always clean..
            I don’t have to crawl under the car..
            I don’t have to deal with “used oil”..
            Works for me !!!

          • If you love it that’s fine. However the claims simply don’t work for me.

            In the video the oil out of the TP filter looked just as black as oil that’s been in the car for a good long while with just the engine oil filter.

            If these things filtered as well as claimed the oil should be that honey color it is out of the bottle brand new.

            I don’t know what else to say. All together the claims just don’t mesh.

          • The significant point is that the oil is analytically clean the WHOLE TIME> nearly zero engine wear. On a 5 quart system you replace about 1/2 quart with each filter change, so 10% or 20%. Additives are replaced, the cleaner oil needs less additives anyway.

            Without a bypass filter your oil becomes more like liquid sand paper from mile 0 after an oil change to whenever you change it again. The 1 to 5 micron particles rub over your engines internal parts wearing them down with every minute you run your engine. With the bypass filter installed, these particles are removes and DO NOT show up in an oil analysis, which means they are not harming your engine.

            This is very simple, but opening your thinking to it is no simple task.

            • Hi William,

              Just getting to all this now; apologies for the delay.

              Do you have any third party/verifiable data to support these claims?

              You make the claim that a roll of TP removes particles from the oil, keeping them from circulating through the engine. Can you substantiate this?

          • Meanwhile my system of synthetic oil and factory OEM filters continues to work flawlessly.

            You replace the TP. You replace the main oil filter. You replace the oil contained in both. You do this frequently. The engine should live just fine. You shouldn’t see any undue wear particles in the oil with the regime described.

            Nobody is doubting that this sort of care is good enough. It’s that it is considered no care at all that I object to. You are maintaining the vehicle in a different way. There’s nothing remarkable about the results. You’ve avoided lubrication failure by freshening the oil and changing the main line filter.

            Sure, it’s always like the car is half way or 3/4s to an oil change, but the engines are designed to hold up to that. It’s simply not remarkable.

            The TP filter is just sitting there as an enforcement mechanism saying ‘maintain me’.

    • I was pretty amazed to see a whole roll goes in, wow!

      Personally, I think it’s great people use all different types of filters. I bet a diaper, tampon, or cotton ball rig would work just as well.

      As for me – I’ll stick to the regular ole lame spin on filters. Even if I were going to go all out I might even purchase a $100+ washable/rebuild-able one.

      I need to keep as much TP around the house as I can. It’s really useful for wiping my ass.

  11. My apologies if I led you to believe that I would like you to use a TP filter on your car. You made a comment to Lorin Partain that I believe you had absolutely no factual proof. To believe anyone would spend the money to prove TP would be a good medium for filtering oil is asinine (you do understand what that means?)
    Most engineering studies I’m familiar with were paid for and sponsored by companies with the financial results almost guaranteed. I could give you a number of tests you could do, however it seems anything that doesn’t have a well known name attached to it is anecdotal to you. I’m now retired and it wouldn’t be a good idea to use any previous credentials.

    • “You made a comment to Lorin Partain that I believe you had absolutely no factual proof. To believe anyone would spend the money to prove TP would be a good medium for filtering oil is asinine (you do understand what that means?)”

      I can’t follow this, RR. It’s not written in understandable English. What are you trying to say? Is it that TP is a good choice for an oil filtration medium? That’s it’s not?

      As for the rest: It’s of a piece with the old stories – and claims – about the “100 MPG carburetor.” Where’s the beef? Where is the data that shows TP works as a filtration medium in a modern car engine – high temperature and pressure? That it doesn’t disintegrate? That it is durable in such an environment? That it filters as well – or better than – materials specifically designed for that purpose?

      Or are such questions “asinine”?

      • I will try once more….
        The original question was…

        Toilet Paper Oil Filters
        April 13, 2012
        By Lorin Partain

        My question is about the effectiveness of these type of oil filters. They have a long history and it is obviously less expensive to change a roll of toilet paper then a regular filter, however is it penny wise and pound foolish. Will it clean the oil better or worse then the screw in filters, and is it worth the install? Thanks.

        Your answer to that question….

        eric on April 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm
        ***Disastrous idea! Toilet tissue is made to quickly decompose – for sewage disposal reasons. Exposed to hot oil/pressure, toilet tissue would surely disintegrate and either clog the filter assembly/oil passages in short order – or circulate through the engine, leading to a catastrophic failure. The filtration value would be nil.
        Using a roll of TP in a pinch may have been ok 90 years ago, in a Model T … but do it today, in a modern car, only if you really hate the car.

        My comment was…

        Beware of people putting down something that has no “REAL” experience. By-Pass filters will filter better than any OEM I’ve ever found.
        (my bad, I should have said “By-Pass filters that use TP)

        you later made the comment…

        I would expect hot oil under pressure to turn toilet tissue into goo in very short order. At best, you’d get no filtration value as the oil bypasses the clogged up mess

        My comment was…

        I’ll send you pictures of TP after 3000 miles in my engine, or any thing else you would like.
        (to clarify… I have a dozen rolls of TP after 3000 miles of use as an oil filter, that I would roll out across my property and prove it’s still completely whole and not turned to goo.)

        Later your comment was…

        So, let’s see some engineering studies that show otherwise! I’ll be pleased to say I was wrong about TP when the facts so demonstrate.
        (I wonder who would finance such a study?? maybe Exxon-Mobil?? maybe Fram?? I think not…Maybe Scott Tissue?? I would venture to say they would stay with a use that everybody needs.)

        You said

        This is one of those things that strikes me right off the bat as (possibly) penny wise but (probably) pound foolish. A good quality filter costs about $6 or so. Let’s say $10. Ok. Twice a year we change the filter: $20 for the filters – not much of a financial hit to take vs. risking your engine by saving the $20 by using a $1 roll of of TP…
        (the savings might not be right for everyone. My newest car is a year old w/ 40,000 miles already I have 4 other vehicles not counting motorcycle, ATV(s), Garden tractor, Power washer, etc.
        So if $20.00 is all I could save then it wouldn’t pay. I will have to admit.. I do like having perfectly clean oil all the time.)

        You said…

        I can’t follow this, RR. It’s not written in understandable English. What are you trying to say? Is it that TP is a good choice for an oil filtration medium? That’s it’s not?
        (I’m not sure how I can make it any clearer than this)

        You said…

        As for the rest: It’s of a piece with the old stories – and claims – about the “100 MPG carburetor.” Where’s the beef?
        (I see nothing on my screen about 100 MPG carburetor, or where’s the beef so I have no Idea what your talking about.)

        Bottom Line…

        I feel the comment you made above (w/ two asterisks) is pure conjecture, however It’s your web page. Your entitled to put anything on it you so desire. The horse is dead… we can stop beating it.

        • My Dad had a Rambler (yr unk, I was mid teens at time) back in the 60’s. It had a toilet papar roll filter I think Stillco was the name. The car ran for a long time. Remenber seeing him change filter, and roll seemed intact, which I wouldn’t expect if it disintegrated after being exposed to hot oil. Cold water and hot oil are two different compounds and may have equally different effects on toilet paper. Are you willing to test this? or do you merely want to argue your point of view? A toilet papar roll should destroy an engine immediatly and leave no one to swear by them. Thus, no controversy.

          • Hi Mike,

            Most modern engine oil circuits have a bypass built into them. My expectation is that the toilet paper “filter” is just bypassed due to the flow restriction. TP is not a filtration medium – at least, not a roll of it. (As opposed to say sheets of it through which – theoretically – the oil could pass but particles could not.)

            Because it’s largely impermeable, running such a “filter” would be akin to running no filter at all. You’d just have a soggy, oil-saturated roll of TP providing no meaningful filtration.

            The engine would likely continue to work – and probably for a long time, because modern engine oils are of a very high quality.

            I just wonder why anyone would even want to try this given the typical cost of a high-quality oil filter (a real one, designed for that purpose) is less than $10 in most cases.

    • RR, anecdotal evidence is valuable guiding rigorous investigation but it doesn’t substitute. When a fellow comes up to me and tells me his grandmother used to make a tea from some blue flowers that grow on the hillside near his farm, and that she believes it cured her gout, I listen. But then I run tests to find out if there was a real, causal, relationship between drinking blue flower tea and curing gout.

      It’s not that anecdotal evidence is bad, only that it isn’t complete.

      • Using your metaphor, the fellow or the grandmother doesn’t have to prove to you that something works. You on the other hand might want to prove or dis-prove this in order to further your knowledge on the subject.

        Looking at it from a different perspective…
        Someone tells you if you eat those flowers you will die in 10 minutes. “You” have ate those flowers for 5 years and never had a problem. On the contrary “your” gout is gone and so is thousands of other people. This other person will not believe it and wants proof from the AMA. Do you think the drug companies will foot the bill for this research and most likely loose money on the sale of their own Gout drug. If there’s no money in it..there won’t be any research. It doesn’t mean it won’t work. Very few people / companies / government
        do what’s right… they follow the money.

        • Hi NR,

          I’m with you insofar as not trusting TPB – that money drives, well, everything. And often corrupts. I agree research is sometimes compromised, not objective or outright deceptive.

          That said: I fiddle a lot with machines, including teardowns and rebuilds. I’ve cut open oil filters, too. Anyway, my point is I’m skeptical about TP (not add-on/bypass filters). Here’s why:

          In sheets, it is extremely fragile. I can’t imagine it holding up to heat and pressure (as well as the oil itself, plus the caustic compounds in the oil). Well, ok. So you use the whole roll – to “bulk up” the tissue. Well, how does that affect its ability to filter out particles and also allow the oil to pass through? If the roll of TP just sits in an oil bath, then it’s not really filtering much. A filtration medium needs to be porous enough to permit the oil to flow through – but not so porous that the contaminants also pass through it. It must also stand up to the pressure (and temperature) of hot engine oil.

          Can TP do these things? I really doubt it. Now, if you have evidence in re the above, I’d love to see it. Otherwise, I suspect you’ve just been lucky. Thank modern oil for dealing with the absence of effective filtration. And thank the Motor Gods none of the goop from the disintegrating TP has clogged up an important internal passage!

          • Your last post started wheels turning.
            You said…
            In sheets, it is extremely fragile….
            I agree!! (even in normal use.)
            So I heated up a pan of water and dropped in 1 sheet (@ 200 degrees). It stayed together until I tried to dig it out with a fork, and I ripped it. (still got it out in one piece though).
            I then tried the same test in oil…
            I should note I used vegetable oil (wife said “NO WAY” to motor oil in her skillet) In this test the sheet did not decompose or rip. I intentionally tried to tear it (gently) and found a new dry sheet tore easier than the oil soaked one.
            BTW is the triple your restoring the one we used to call the suicide machine?

            • “BTW is the triple you’re restoring the one we used to call the suicide machine?”

              No – the “widowmaker” was the H2 750. The one I just finished (see here: ) is an S1 250, which is less-well-known but similar in layout. It’s the smallest-displacement triple ever produced. Mine’s got a few deviations from stock, including an S3 disc brake front end (with larger diameter fork tubes) and a set of chambered – Denco-style – exhaust pipes. But otherwise, it’s been brought back to the way it left the factory. I’m pretty happy with the results!

          • Incomplete cost effect analysis.

            First, the bypass filter keeps the oil analytically clean from mile zero to the next filter change. A traditional setup with only a full flow filter has engine wear occur from mile 0 and it gets worse progressively until the next oil change. So factor in engine wear costs.

            Second, you use maximum 1 quart of new oil at each filter change vs. 4 to 6 quarts without a bypass filter.

            And third, yes, you save a little on oil filters. Ironically, though, when you change a bypass filter you do not need to change to full flow filter, because the bypass filter does most of the work trapping particles.

            So the cost savings is just the filter, its the wear to your engine and the oil savings. For a typical engine life, this is easily in the thousands of dollars.

            • Hi William,

              Again: Given the cost of oil and the consumer pressure to lower the cost of maintenance, I cannot believe that a system that would essentially eliminate the oil change hasn’t been adopted by the OEMs or for that matter become a very successful business for an automotive aftermarket supplier. It simply doesn’t parse.

              This is too easy to be a conspiracy.

              Millions of DIY-types would figure it out on their own, for one thing. The word would get out.

              My car’s oiling system operates at more than 60 psi under load (many new car engines also have pressures well over 40 psi). I assume this bypass system would lower the pressure to a fraction of that – or would probably have to, in order to avoid a catastrophic failure. Assuming this, some of the oil would be diverted to the bypass, where some would permeate/absorb into the TP – and this (I assume) is how the system “filters” the oil.

              Again, it appears to me that this system “works” by rotating out 1 quart (or so) out of every five at intervals. No filtration occurs – just replacement.

              Bottom line, absent real proof to back up these anecdotal claims – that is, an independent lab analysis/data that can’t be disputed – I have to put this in the Urban Legends category, along with various other miracle gadgets and technologies like the “fuel vitalizer” that, using electrical charge, increases gas mileage by 50 percent…

              • eric, I’ve changed many vehicles over to Amsoil filters and oil. Their oil is made to run 25,000 miles with a filter change half way but it can run much longer using the bypass filter along with the full flow filter. It takes anywhere(depending on amount of oil)from 5 to 10 minutes to filter all the oil through the bypass filter. These systems commonly never have to change oil per se’, just filters. I always have my friends have at least one or two tests done to establish a baseline for their engine so they have a good idea of what is going on during each cycle.

                I can’t comment on franz filters having never used one. I can comment on every big rig I’ve run that always have a full flow and a bypass filter. Amsoil makes a superior filter media compared to competitors and it’s all on their site. Just a couple weeks ago I noticed they had one oil rated above theirs. The difference was slight, but it was duly noted in their tests. You can access this information on their website. They will send you reams of material also that show the results of all their oil tests of every type.

                Bypass filters add oil which most people consider a plus and they filter a high percentage of oil down to one micron(Amsoil independent lab tests), a number confirmed by independent lab tests. I know of no other oil company that will do this and certainly won’t publish figures of oil that outperforms their own. Amsoil also has a 4 ball bearing test that no other manufacturer has yet to take. I don’t think Amsoil blends their oil to simply best all others for that one test. But anything you want to know about their oil is available on the web or they’ll send you paper published results of everything they produce. Since every engine but one has used less oil after being changed to Amsoil that I have changed over, I’ll stick with what works.

                Also, I’m an oil pressure, temperature comparison freak. I see less rise in oil pressure due to cold and less drop due to heat with Amsoil than any other oil I have ever used and that includes Mobil 1. It includes just about every premium oil on the market to be honest. There is no substitute, using any oil, for a bypass filter system as I see it and that’s 50 years of oil changing in big rigs with mostly Luberfiner systems.

              • eric, one thing I failed to mention about TP is the fuzzy stuff that’s on it’s edges where the saws cut it. Where does that end up? Plus the fact that there is a huge difference in the type of paper of various TP.

                Probably not many people see the results of using TP but I have lived a lot in RV’s and regular TP is a no no for them. Having said that though, I have found some brands, such as Charmin, break down on contact with water almost immediately. I have drained my black water tank after only 3 or 4 days and nothing comes out besides fluid.

                If you want to get really real about TP I’m practically an expert since I commonly use open air facilities. The only difference with me and Wile E. is he doesn’t use TP. I have noticed premium brands such as Charmin and the brands sold for RV use will simply dissolve when exposed to liquids such as urine or water. I don’t mean eventually, I’m speaking of right now. So any water in oil is going to dissolve that paper also. And how much does oil dissolve paper? I’ve seen oil fairly well dissolve paper. How does paper filter paper that oil dissolves and water in oil dissolves. The pleated paper in a filter is much different than TP. I don’t want paper passing through my oil passages and bearings. i’d bet there’s a large amount of paper sediment in the pan and on the oil pickup screen. I’ll stay with Amsoil thank you.

                • Morning (and Merrry Christmas!) Eight,

                  Second that.

                  My bet is that the results attributed to TP filters have more to do with the ability of modern engines to handle abuse than the filtration value of toilet paper.

                  I’ve got several concerns, the first being that the oil in the TP filter system (as I understand it) does not pass through the TP (as it does in a standard system); rather, the TP just kind of sops up oil. This seems to me to be a great way to not actually filter out particles in the oil. By way of analogy, if I drop a filter into an aquarium and the water is not circulated through the filter how does it filter anything? It may absorb some of the debris floating around, but (I would guess) it misses the majority.

                  Then there is the issue of exposing TP to hot oil, as well as water and gasoline. I would expect it to either disintegrate or congeal into goo or some other not-ideal state.

                  Finally – and this is in response to the guy who posted touting Frantz – this business of not ever changing oil strikes me as extremely bad policy. Oil may last a long time nowadays, but the additive package doesn’t.

                  I’d be interested to know whether any car manufacturer would honor its engine warranty if the car owner uses one of these systems.

                  • Good morning eric and Merry Christmas to you too!
                    When you speak of never changing oil, such as using Amsoil with a bypass filter, the fact is, you do eventually change oil, just not at the same time. Friends I have changed over(I do this for fun, have no deal of any sort with Ansoil except being a customer)will start out by getting an analysis a couple times. I have never seen one come back as not meeting specs even after the longest interval(about 30,000 miles). These people put mileage on a car rapidly, the very reason Amsoil says the oil is good for so many miles or 6 months since rarely used vehicles get a lot of water in their oil and that changes oil faster than running the vehicle.

                    Amsoil doesn’t test the oil, it’s done by independent labs so what you see is what they determine. It’s the reason the last time I took a look on their website, there was another brand that had outperformed Amsoil. I can’t recall the name because I’m not familiar with it and you gotta remember I’m ooollllddd, creak, pop(that was my brain).

                    But seriously, if you use Amsoil, you need to check this out for yourself. Amsoil has vehicles with signs on them that state “THIS VEHICLE NEVER CHANGES OIL”. What it really means is it’s never ALL changed at once but after a few filter changes with a bypass filter, you end up with almost no original oil. Wow, F Lux does work. The sun just peeped over the horizon and the monitor just brightened to full white at the same time.

          • If you have really cut open oil filters than you can easily see the very short filter cross section of a normal full flow filters. The cross section of a tp filter is 4 to 5 inches and when oil moves across that distance of filter medium at low pressure, nearly all engine wear particles are removed. A full flow filter cannot do this (basic pressure rate flow info).

            You have to have a low pressure system combined with a large filter cross section distance (the distance from the top to the bottom of a tp roll) in order to achieve the filtration effectiveness down to less than 1 micron. A bypass filter system typically takes 10% of less of the full flow (that’s why they call is a ByPASS system, NOT because it refers to the bypass valve in your full flow filter that closes when the filter is becoming clogged up. The same word is used here meaning two different things) and runs that lower pressure through a 4 to 5 inch cross sectional distance filter medium (the roll of toilet paper from top to bottom).

            If you have truly cut up full flow filters this difference would be immediately apparent to you. The full flow filters resemble the thickness cross section of typical cardboard, probably at about 1/4″. A tp element filter has easily 20 to 30 times the filtration distance and likely hundreds to thousands of times the filtration cross sectional area. These are reasons why they are so effective.

            • If this method were as effective as you claim, then why doesn’t the industry use either the bypass system or TP? How about the aftermarket?

              I still don’t buy that oil flowing over (but not passing through) the surface of toilet paper provides effective filtration, especially in a modern engine.

              My understanding is these Frantz filters date back 60-plus years to a time when people were often very poor and used whatever was at hand, whether it was ideal or not. I can see the system you describe being ok in a Model T, without pressure (or not much much pressure) oil circulation and comparatively low power/low RPM.

              Better than nothing – etc.

              • Funny I just changed the Franz filter in my 2001 audi a6 (195,000 miles) and sometimes love to read about the franz again and again. I forgot I even posted here.

                I have the blackstone labs reports from my initial franz filter on my 1998 camry (now with 249,000 miles and 33+mpg freeway).

                I did the Blackstone labs 2x after installing the frantz on the camry under the battery holder (really the only place in the camry engine bay to do it). The oil was analytically clean with still it’s proper operating viscosity after I think I remember 7 and 15 K miles.

                I never did a baseline test with Blackstone without the filter after said mileage (I know..bad science). This was a few years ago I placed it on this 4cyl camry at 150,000 miles.

                When I put the newer franz on the Audi (from ED, this newer frantz is much faster to change the roll, uses the whole roll and also has cooling fins in the middle), I placed it in front of the raditator drilled into the back of the front bumper.

                In the summer and in driving it hard, which I do, because it is an Audi , this positinng of franz filter drops the oil tem from 220 in hard driving to about 195 degrees. So in addition to keeping the oil really clean it also keeps it cooler in summer.

                In the winter, however, it can lead to the oil taking longer to warm up and thus perhaps longer burnoff times if there is any fuel dilution from cold starts. I know fuel dilution immediately lowers oil viscosity and its important to get that oil temp up to burn off the more volatile gasoline. I also had a problem with a stuck wide open thermostat in the audi a6 and before I fixed it the right way (front engine removal, do timing belt, do water pump) I manually blocked off the radiator and covered the franz to get the engine coolant and oil temp to burnoff temperatures to reduced any possible fuel dilution.

                So, sometimes too much oil cooling is not the greatest thing, but a properly tuned engine should get the operating temp up quickly and let the oil get hot enough to burn off any fuel in the pan.

                Having said that, the franz filter works very well, My experience is due to reading about it, installing it on two of my vehicles, and getting some professional oil analysis done with a firm I trust.

                Hope this helps anyone interested in pursuing the idea further.

                • Thank you William for sharing your experience first hand with the new Frantz Refiner oil filter. This model has only been available for about one year on the market now. I manufacture it to the highest specs possible to ensure reliable service.
                  As you noticed the new Refiner model is MUCH easier to service and can use many more brands of toilet paper available locally to you than previous Frantz models which required commercial-quality paper.
                  The canister is made of high grade surgical stainless steel polished to a mirror finish never to be subject to rusting. The base is aluminum so it can’t rust either.
                  While this model is more costly to manufacture, I have kept the retail price at only $10 above prior classic models.
                  Remember, you are not required to add a quart of oil to each TP change as was the practice in prior decades. I personally only use 1 quart of oil per YEAR. That is just to top off from what I lose in TP changes.
                  I change the TP first thing in the a.m. while the oil has had 8 hours to drain back down to the oil pan overnight. The TP feels dry to the touch but one cannot get all the oil out so the need to top off every three or four TP changes. I also NEVER change my oil. . .ever. My lab results from Blackstone are amazing and proof my engine is still happy with my procedure and the Frantz Refiner oil filter.
                  I wish you continued good service and a Merry Christmas this Christmas Eve.
                  Ed Greany –

              • Hi Stephen,

                Well, first of all – and I mean no offense – “it purrs” isn’t very compelling, as far as data about the advantages of altering the factory oiling/filtration system.

                If it does work so well, the question arises: Why aren’t such systems in widespread use? This always sets off my BS detector. Good ideas – efficient/economical ideas – aren’t just left on the shelf. If the car companies could tout reduced maintenance costs or longer engine life by fitting new cars with such systems – and there were no downsides to doing so – they would probably do so. You should ask yourself why they have not done so…

                The Frantz system may work as advertised but anyone contemplating this ought to consider – and find out – whether it will affect warranty coverage in the event it doesn’t work.

                Personally, I have never grokked the reason for screwing with the factory filtration system. Assuming a good quality spin-on filter and good quality oil, you will likely never have an oil-related problem and your warranty coverage will not be affected.

                So, what’s the upside?

                I understand spending money on things that improve the engine’s performance in some meaningful way. But this doesn’t do that, as far as I am aware.

                Maybe you save money over time by not changing oil as often. But in modern cars, the oil doesn’t need to be changed that often. Some intervals are 10,000 miles. Maybe when intervals were every 3,000 miles the investment in a Frantz system (assuming it actually works) made sense.

                Meanwhile, you may very well be risking engine damage – which won’t be covered – or simply wasting your money.

                Until someone can produce evidence that there is a functional/economic advantage to these systems, I will regard them as I do “fuel vitalizers” and other such Miracle Devices.

                • I think you have the same problem I do Eric, you overthink things way too much.

                  Definitely a valid point though, and it’s why I like your website.

                    • I don’t believe something like this can be over-thought. To begin with, there are all sorts of TP. It’s not nearly equal in many ways including how each roll is cut. Surely no one thinks each roll is spun like the fairy god-mother would spin up Cinderalla’s dress. It’s wide affair with saws or blades that cut each roll of greatly varying material.

                      Before I went to college I was unaware of “dorm wipe” which took me exactly one use to become familiar with and to hate. It was ultra-thin, slick and hard. You could have used it for sanding but probably wouldn’t have been good for oil spills since it wasn’t very porous.

                      Just the other day I saw a brand of TP that was obviously cut with really worn out saw blades, edges looked like they’d had rats to chew the rolls off. Anything with that much lint is going to deliver it into all those small places in an engine regardless of how well it “filters”. How big are those pieces? It’s hard to say but being a human hair is about 25 microns, I’d say some of the pieces would more easily be measured with a yard stick.

                      There are filters you can buy that have a guaranteed filtration such as Amsoil. They’re bypass filters are guaranteed to filter to one micron, dang small particles there and so engine manufacturers say, it takes a particle size of at least 4 microns to do anything detrimental and if there are very few that size in your engine, it’s probably gonna last forever in regards to fouled oil. Even if I thought my Amsoil engine oil was simply too dirty to run and couldn’t get any synthetic oil, I’d still want one of their filters(or two)no matter what the oil I decided on using. My 50 cents. Oh, BTW, if you think that oil you’re about to drain is really bad, catch a sample and have it analyzed.

  12. Beware of people putting down something that has no “REAL” experience.
    By-Pass filters will filter better than any OEM I’ve ever found.
    They do not / Will not dis-integrate. If you filled your crankcase with water, manure and RidEX, let it set for a year. Remember to remove the grease and oils, and unroll the toilet paper.
    Just remember products that make lots of money thrive. Products that last,cost very little, and don’t require expensive parts for upkeep don’t last.
    Search the internet !!!! they came out back in the 60(s) and I’ve not been able to find “one documented” case where there was a problem with toilet paper filters when used as intended and the instructions were followed. There have been some manufacturing changes through the years. One of those changes was a better clamp and a reduction in the size of the inlet orifice. (this being necessary because oil pressures have increased through the years.
    Is it right for everyone?? “NO”
    It’s a waste of money if-
    you don’t have a mechanical aptitude. (installation)
    You don’t have a good set of tools (installation)
    you don’t do your own servicing.
    you trade cars every year.
    I haven’t changed oil in any of my cars/trucks/etc. in over 4 years. 1 roll of TP, one quart of new oil (conventional) every 3000 miles per vehicle.

    • Hey NR,

      I’m certainly open to objective data about the use of toilet paper as a filter medium. I just wouldn’t use any of my vehicles as the guinea pig!

      Because I am highly skeptical that a material designed to wipe our nether regions with – and designed to disintegrate when it comes into contact with cold water (for sewage/septic disposal reasons) would be viable as a filtration medium. I would expect hot oil under pressure to turn toilet tissue into goo in very short order. At best, you’d get no filtration value as the oil bypasses the clogged up mess. At worst, bits of tissue would circulate through the engine, possibly leading to a catastrophic failure or at least, major problems.

      • Eric: You appear to be the webmaster of this site. If that is correct, then you have my email address. Send me yours and I’ll send you pictures of TP after 3000 miles in my engine, or any thing else you would like. BTW I do not work in any field, or would I benefit 1 penny from anything I say. All I offer is free knowledge of something I feel you are very mis-guided in. If your mind is made and you have no desire to further your knowledge on this subject, please tell me and I’ll quietly fade to black.

        • Here’s the problem with that, NR: Pictures of a roll of TP aren’t much proof of anything. What we need to deal with this question is a controlled, objective test: Does toilet paper provide effective (or any) filtration? Can it withstand heat and pressure? And so on.

          • Let’s see If I have this right.
            I have TP filters on 5 vehicles. I’ve used them for >4 years. However without an exhaustive and expensive independent test I’m just blowing smoke.

            On the other hand someone asks a question and they receive a response that I can’t find one truth in. No tests were ran and highly doubtful they’ve did any research on the product they’re chastising. I would have thought anyone would have “did their homework” before answering that question so negatively.
            Best I can do for you is have you check out Blackstone Labs. They do oil tests and have tested numerous samples from vehicles with by-pass filters. Being independent they don’t support any brand.

            • RR,

              Do you understand what “anecdotal” means? I’m not trying to be a dick. I’m just pointing out that your saying it’s so doesn’t constitute anything more than your saying it’s so.

              As in: I swear you can run Wesson oil in your engine! I’ve been doing it for years and never had a problem. Don’t pay for expensive Castrol or Mobil 1! Buy Wesson oil instead!

              Do you see?

              You’re the one making a claim – not me. So it’s not up to me to disprove the validity of your claim. It’s up to you to provide objective proof that toilet tissue is an effective filtration medium in a high heat/high-pressure environment. That it won’t disintegrate when subjected to high heat/pressure. Or that it provides any filtration value at all.

              I highly doubt it because of the nature of TP. It may be that it has qualities that make it a viable filtration medium. But it wasn’t designed for that purpose. What it was designed to do is disintegrate almost immediately when exposed to cold water. Logically, it doesn’t seem to me to be a material well-suited to extremely high heat and pressure (60-80 psi in many modern cars). I would expect it to do just what it was designed to do – that is, disintegrate. Perhaps not. But what about its ability to catch contaminants and small particles – while also having adequate flow-through characteristics? Probably, you’ve got a soggy mess – and zero filtration. The oil just bypasses the soggy mess.

              So, let’s see some engineering studies that show otherwise! I’ll be pleased to say I was wrong about TP when the facts so demonstrate.

            • This is one of those things that strikes me right off the bat as (possibly) penny wise but (probably) pound foolish. A good quality filter costs about $6 or so. Let’s say $10. Ok. Twice a year we change the filter: $20 for the filters – not much of a financial hit to take vs. risking your engine by saving the $20 by using a $1 roll of of TP…

          • I apologize. Reading more comments in the thread it seems that some consider TP filter effective, some do not consider TP filters cost effective, and some still would not use a TP bypass filter.

            The one’s claiming to use the TP bypass filter state he used oil analysis to help determine the proper time to change filters. I guess it comes down to who you wish to believe and what are the benefits/negatives for each choice.

            • There are two distinct issues here:

              The value of a bypass filter – and the use of TP as a filtration medium.

              If by “bypass” filter one means supplanting (or supplementing) the factory filter – presumably, with a higher capacity/better performing filter – in order to either increase oil changeout intervals or improve filtration – well, that seems sensible and I recall reading that doing so can achieve the desired results (e.g., increase oil change intervals by improving filtration).

              But using TP as a filter medium? That’s a whole ‘nother thing!

      • Eric,
        I can see you have MANY misconceptions about the Frantz Filter. May I recommend my YouTube video which may be accessed from a link in my menu on my website
        I am responding to you only from an education standpoint and not an attack towards your opinion(s). So, here’s the skinny:
        1. Yes, toilet paper dissentigrates in WATER but actually increases it’s integrity in OIL. Never has an engine been harmed by “floating” debris from the TP. Actually, a spin on filter also uses toilet paper in it’s construction too but is compressed more. Still, it’s paper.
        2. I do not end of changing my oil because I change the TP every 3000 miles. Watch my video for a better answer but here is a synopsis of the answer. My 2004 truck has had ONE oil change in it’s lifetime. That was when it hit 3000 miles and I drained out the initial break in oil from the manufacturer. Since then I have added approximately ONE QUART of oil ANNUALLY. How’s that possible you ask?
        My video will show me changing the TP and hardly any oil at all is retained in the TP because it drains down to the pan overnight. I change the TP in the morning and quickly flip the canister over so as not to drip any residual on my clean driveway. The TP is basically dry to the touch. If I squeeze it I will end up with an oily hand but the TP is not a dripping mess retaining any considerable oil. After several TP changes every 3000 miles I top off the oil level with a can I keep open on the shelf for this purpose. In a year, I end up using that one can of oil in the topping off process.
        This filter has been around for well over 50 years. I bought my first one in 1960. Yes, I’m an old fart. We all had them on our classics back in the day. Back then they were $29.95 installed. That was about 10% of a month’s salary for many of us. Things have changed today with the average price of a new filter around $200 – well below the average monthly salary so it is a good deal.
        I hope you will find one and just give it an honest try. Let it prove the results to you without my or anyone else prompting. By the way, for diesels, the TP should be changed every 2500 miles and the oil WILL be changed but for a longer service period. Also, the oil will be black but will be a “clean black” compared to the honey color a gas car displays.
        My response is not to be considered a sales pitch but just educational in nature.
        Ed Greany

        • Hi Ed,

          I appreciate your taking the time to reply. I’m still very skeptical, however.

          Yes, the medium in a canister/spin-on filter is also (often, though not always) paper. But not the same kind of paper. It is a paper product designed to serve as a filtration medium; to allow the passage of the oil through it while capturing particles. TP is not a filtration medium and in the system you describe, the oil does not pass through the TP; the TP merely absorbs a certain quantity of the engine’s oil by dint of being immersed in it.

          Not changing the oil – and instead, merely adding a quart every once on a while – strikes me as a testament to the durability of engines and their ability to withstand abuse more so than a testament to the virtues of Frantz TP filters. In this vein, some people never change their engine’s oil – or the filter – just “topping off” every now and then, as oil is consumed. The engine may “run fine” for many, many miles. Does this mean it is wise to never change the oil and filter at all?

          In any case, what I’d like to have is data – real, objective testing – not anecdotes. I am not dismissing your claims, or attacking you personally. I’m just someone who likes hard evidence. Is any such available? Has the Frantz TP system ever been evaluated – in modern times – by a lab?

          • Eric, the last time I looked Frantz had no verifiable independent scientific tests on their web site. After all this time it makes me wonder why.

            The best article I read was the science of motor oil analysis. Apparently the molecules don’t actually break down until a certain point (way past 3,000 miles) in use by pounding and heat. Synthetics do the same, but it takes longer to break down. The rest is an accumulation of dirt, metallic wear particles and carbon byproducts. That is where a Frants sounds like a good idea, but again I could not find any actual verifiable studies.

          • Eric,
            There actually IS documentation as to the effectiveness of a Frantz filter. First, there are MILLIONS of consumers who have used this filter over the past three or more generations. That is probably the best a company could rely on. But there are also numerous lab tests of the oil many of which are with Blackstone Labs (see my link to them on my website).
            Just last year a young girl came to me for help with her science project. She wanted to do her study on the bypass oil filter but specifically the Frantz filter. I helped her by loaning her a filter and tons of literature and letters from companies, police departments, construction companies, etc. I showed her how I change my TP just like my video shows. When I was changing the TP, she asked for the small quantity of oil in the canister. I gave it to her and she questioned me as to stats of my vehicle, engine, oil, mileage, etc.
            She sent that sample to Blackstone Labs with her name but my vehicle’s data. Blackstone learned of her quest and didn’t even charge her for the labwork. The report came back with expected results including a comment something like “this must be the cleanest engine west of the Mississippi” reflecting on the mileage vs oil change intervals. There are MANY of these reports available available as supportive proof if that is the type of confirmation you are seeking. There are also governmental studies that confirm the same. This is not the format for me to share everything available except to say if you search, the documentation is available.
            The Frantz is not the almighty answer to oil filtration. There are others equally as efficient (AMSoil for example) but for the maintenance cost one cannot beat a Frantz. The AMSoil replacement filter element is something like $35 vs the cost of a roll of TP off the shelf.

      • Your knowledge of oil and water is incorrect. Toilet paper does not dissolve in oil because it is not oil soluble. Toilet paper is water soluble. Toilet paper becomes stronger in oil, nor weaker.

        Your car would not be a guinea pig. There is a lot of data on the internet of wear studies done with bypass filtration. If it works in the studies it would work for your car.

  13. What you are looking for is a bypass oil filter. They don’t replace the standard oil filter, just augment it.

    Basically you run a line to it from the sump and feed it through the filter, sending it back through the pump.

    They can filter down to 2 microns, vs 5+ microns for normal filters. They are fairly old tech. These days there are better versions with higher consistancy and ease of use:

    Trucking companies use them all the time because without them they’d be chaning the oil on their fleet once a week. Typically you can go 20,000 miles or more between oil changes. They work very well on diesels due to removal of soot that gets into the oil. Once I get a few miles on my TDI I plan to install one, just because I want to keep the turbocharger in good shape.

    • Disastrous idea! Toilet tissue is made to quickly decompose – for sewage disposal reasons. Exposed to hot oil/pressure, toilet tissue would surely disintegrate and either clog the filter assembly/oil passages in short order – or circulate through the engine, leading to a catastrophic failure. The filtration value would be nil.

      Using a roll of TP in a pinch may have been ok 90 years ago, in a Model T … but do it today, in a modern car, only if you really hate the car.

      • Does not dissolve in oil. Paper holds up fine. And it does clean the oil better as it is a by pass and does not dump dirty oil back in as does the factory units you by do when the fill up.

        • Hi Warren,

          As I understand it, a filter works by passing the oil through a medium, the medium catching and separating out particles that would otherwise circulate freely through the oil. How does bypassing the filtration medium filter the oil?

          Toilet tissue is designed to dissolve in liquid. In hot oil – under pressure – toilet tissue would almost certainly dissolve into goo. It would at minimum be worthless as a filtration medium since it isn’t filtering anything.

          This idea may have been viable in the era of Model Ts and low (or no pressure) oiling systems. It’s absurd today, especially given that a good-quality oil filter only costs about $10.

          What level of idiot decides its smart to subject a $4,000 car engine to a 50 cent roll of TP in order to save $10?

          • When I read these things I think of what I do for a living.

            The products I’ve worked on my entire career have been torture tested the way they are designed from the factory. The thing someone is telling me hasn’t been. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. They haven’t done the sort of testing the company that made the product has. I know what does work. I’ll stick with that. It’s worked for me thus far.

            Now that said, there are ways to improve that are obvious no brainers, and that replacing cost savers with obviously better parts.

            Things like the toilet paper filter fall into this void where the cheaper is supposedly better but no manufacturer will do it. Makes no sense. If a roll of institutional toilet paper worked as well as a real filter that would be in the cars from the factory. Cost always wins. If an automaker can save a nickel a unit without increasing field failures, they do it.

            Cars, like everything else are sold by telling people their old one isn’t exciting any more…. look at the newest cars… how much nicer they are. Bigger, smaller, faster, better, funner, cooler, whatever. Automakers want people to have a solid working car to trade in for a new one of the same make. If the car lasts too long it will eventually be exported to Africa or somewhere that people can’t afford new cars or even gently used ones and would love to have it.

          • Having used these filters many years ago, I can say that the TP does not dissolve in hot oil. The single ply paper is basically stuffed into the canister and it does work. I have not been able to find these filters for a long time. My friend used to assemble them for a wholesaler and would give me a filter system every once in a while. I had them hooked up to my tranny, radiator and engine oil.

            • Maybe it doesn’t dissolve – but does it filter anything? How?

              In a current automotive oil filter, the oil passes through the filtration medium, which catches small particles and thereby keeps them from freely circulating. How does dropping a roll of TP in an oil bath (which, as I understand it, is how these filters “work”) filter the oil? It sounds as though all the TP would do is absorb however much oil it can absorb and the oil would then circulate around it.

              And, I have to ask: Why would anyone use toilet paper in a $5,000-plus modern car engine in order to save – what? – $10-$15 on the cost of a high-quality automotive oil filter that we know does the job?

              I’m all for saving money, but this is something I’d never do one of my cars… .

        • I changed from 2 1/2″ X 2 1/2″” stock screw on to a remote with a 3″ X 5″ AMS/OIL Ea 23 On My 1997 MAZDA MPV SUV. I also installed a FRANTZ TP OIL FILTER at the same time. That was. over 260,000 miles ago with TP changes at 3000 miles & no oil changes. I have used CASTROL 5-20 Synthetic since break-in oil was removed at 500 miles. For a quick & economical oil contamination check just use a white ink blotter with 1″ squares. Put a drop of oil from the dip stick in the center of a square and watch as the oil spreads out it will leave a black smudge in the center showing contamanents & fine metal particles still in the oil. Oil checked from an engine with a FRANTZ TP Oil filter will have no trace of contamanents. I have used FRANTZ TP Oil filters on all My cars for the last 60 years with the same results (The inside of the engine still looks like it was new) it was absolutely clean. I also use one on the automatic transmission. I can post photos if your curiosity is still up.

          • If you are changing the TP every 3000 miles, you are effectively changing the oil. When you add the new TP roll you have to make up what? A 1-2 quarts of oil? Over time you change the oil.

      • ya but only in water and where there are billions of germs designed to eat paper but not in the filter. My Brother now long gone used to have this old 1948 Chevrolet. We called them turtle coops anyway the oil was black and had been setting for a long while he put one on and changed paper rolls every now and then and the oil went as clear as new oil and he drove it 60,000 miles before trading up. Never a problem with the filter.

        • Mr. Hughes: You are ABSOLUTELY right on track. I remember my uncle
          had a van with a corvette engine, & he had a toilet paper oil filter on his engine, & the oil was so clean, like baby oil. He changed the paper every 3,000 miles, & it was always clean and clear.

      • The level of knowledge on this forum is low regarding toilet paper element filters. First, toilet paper becomes stronger in oil. It dissolves in water sure. If you have any basic chemistry knowledge you understand the difference between water and oil. Some things are water soluble, some are oil soluble. Toilet paper is water soluble NOT oil soluble.

        The frantz type elements (1ply tp roll) do a very good job of filtering oil down to less than 2 microns. The full flow filter by nature of its full flow characteristic can only filter down to 15 to 20 microns. Engine wear occurs from particles much smaller than 15 to 20 microns, mostly in the 2 to 10 micron range.

        A toilet paper oil filter successfully removes the small micron particles and thus significantly reduces engine wear. In a typical automotive engine with a 1 quart tp filter system, 99% of the oil is cleaned about every 6 minutes. This is taking less than 10% of the oil flow and moving it through the bypass (toilet paper ) filter.

        It’s not a valid reason to say “Well, if these toilet paper filters worked, we would see them installed on every car during manufacturing.”

        Car manufacturers are generally in the business of selling… cars. This one simple addition to an automotive engine can significantly increase the longevity of an engine, as well as decreasing the costs of each oil maintenance cycle.

        I installed a Frantz filter in a 1998 Toyota camry and had the oil analyzed every 5000 miles, changing the frantz and adding nearly a quart of oil with each frantz change at 5000 miles. Blackstone labs did the analysis. I paid a little over $20.00 for each analysis and yes so 4 of them cost 80 bucks. However, what I learned is the oil text came back analytically clean (this means they analyzed the oil and it came in with nearly new oil specs). Additives were not deficient and there were no significant detetable wear particles in the oil, even after 25,000 miles on mostly the same oil. At 5 oil changes with a 4 quart system that would be traditionally 20 quarts vs. 5 new quarts with the frantz filter.

        Military and semi vehicles have had bypass oil filtration for decades. True a diesel engine is more robust than a gas engine. But bypass oil filtration significantly reduces engine wear compared to an engine that has 15 micron full flow only filtration, reduces maintenance costs, and shop time.

        Most of the objections to these filters just result from someone having limited knowledge about how oil filtration works, and what elements combine to cause engine wear. The toilet paper and other similar bypass systems eliminate the circulation of engine wear particles from mile zero to the next filter changes at mile 2000 or 3000. A traditional oil filter change has only analytically (non wearing) oil only at mile 0. With each minute the engine is run until the next traditional oil change, that oil is picking up wear particles form the engine’s moving parts, and damaging the engine until the next change. The spin on full flow filter, by definition, cannot filter the most damaging engine wear particles. Filtration efficiency is inversely proportional to flow rate. These are basic concepts that if more people properly understood them MAYBE there would be less debate and more creative thinking and application to automotive longevity and efficiency.


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