V-Twin
I have heard about people attaching magnets to their oil filters to assist with particle filtration for many years.  When I had the opportunity to buy some Rare Earth magnets, I bought 3 strips and attached them to my oil filter.

I have relocated my magnets to the top of the oil filter for this photograph, but I usually place them on the bottom of the oil filter.  Why fight the gravity, right? 😉

oil-filter-magnets.jpg 

I thought them from aussiemagnets.com.au  

I'm using three strips (50mm x 5mm x 3.5mm) - item #3505 in this photograph costing $3.30 each, plus $11.95 shipping.  So the total cost was $21.85 in my case.

What are your thoughts on using magnets on the oil filter?  Do you think it help?  Anyone else using magnets to capture small particles floating in the engine oil?
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
CHF10
Nice idea. Obviously only going to hold metallic particles. But what if those metallic particles are what eliminates clacking? ðŸ˜ðŸ˜†ðŸ™Š LOL!
Live free or die!
Quote 1 0
V-Twin
CHF10 wrote:
But what if those metallic particles are what eliminates clacking? Ã°Å¸ËœÂÃ°Å¸Ëœâ€ Ã°Å¸â„¢Å  LOL!
😳That's just nasty!! 😢
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 2 0
crash
Is it going to aid with filtration? maybe.
depending on where you apply the magnets on the oil filter.  The oil filter is similar to the baffles in an exhaust pipe and the oil flow will need to enter from one location and exit the other.  If the magnet is placed before the debris gets to the filter then "happy days" but if the magnet is after the filter then the magnet is only going to pick up particles that have already passed through the filter and presumably are deemed safe.
84622361-cross-section-of-car-oil-filter-isolated-on-white-background-.jpg 
so if you put your magnet on one side, the oil with the metal could go through the other side.
I have seen instances where people have replaced the oil drain plug with a magnetic one.  This catches any metal filings before they get to the oil filter.  
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
Quote 3 0
V-Twin
crash wrote:
so if you put your magnet on one side, the oil with the metal could go through the other side.
...so I need to buy 50 magnets and cover the entire filter? 😆  

Can you explain to me how the engine oil flows through the filter?  It obviously enters from the bottom opening (in the above cutout picture) and the oil enters the inner chamber.  Then what happens?  I see a spring at the top of the filter.  In the centre of the spring is a red cap... what's that do?  I am trying to figure out if the oil enters from the centre and goes to the top or directly to all the filter elements in all directions?  I can't understand how the unfiltered oil and filtered oil remain separated.  With only one opening, I guess all the oil gets mixed up?  If so, maybe some of the oil will bypass the filter elements and continue to circulate around the oil filter?  In which case, there is a chance that a powerful rare earth magnet might be able to trap some additional particles filters may not have been able to trap?  Lots of speculations here... 

I guess the worst case scenario, magnets add no value but in the best case scenario, it might help?
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
kmoulds
You do know that you can buy magnetic oil drain plugs which capture any metal particles and which you clean when you do an oil change. 

Cheers Kym - Sydney - NSW
2016 custom painted red & black Indian Springfield
Quote 3 0
V-Twin
kmoulds wrote:
You do know that you can buy magnetic oil drain plugs which capture any metal particles and which you clean when you do an oil change. 
I do know but I don’t do the oil change.  So the conversation goes like, “While you’re changing the oil, can you clean my sump plug of all the metal files for me?” and the mechanic would be like, “Sure...” and they will just stick the plug back in untouched. 😆   Of course my workshop will not do that, but some might.
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 1 0
OzOldie
I tend to think "the other way around".

If you have the magnets right then they trap larger particles before they enter the filter - but why?  That's what the filter is supposed to do.
If you have them wrong they trap particles after the filter, so trap only the smaller "safe" particles that pass through.

So in effect all you're doing is saving the filter from doing part of its job - let's say "extending the life of the filter". But then you'll change it at each service or every second service anyway... just like you did without the magnets.

If a filter had magnets inside it - to enhance the particle trapping - that might be better, it would then trap large and small leaving extra clean oil... but the filter would clog faster and need changing more often.

So... I think that the magnets, if you use them, should do in the "wrong" position.
That way you enhance the filter's work rather than invalidate it's existence as a filter (by taking out the large bits before it can).
Let it do what it's supposed to do then trap the things it has to let through in order to not restrict oil flow = better filtration all around.

To be honest - if it makes you feel happy and feel safer or cleaner, go ahead and do it.
For me, the filter does the job, that's what it's supposed to do.
If I had evidence of it not doing the job properly then I'd likely consider some magnets to help it or look for a better filter brand - but I;d put the magnets on the "wrong" side of the flow path to catch what the filter couldn't.

And it's an inexpensive thing to do for peace of mind.
Quote 2 0
RMNL
V-Twin wrote:
...so I need to buy 50 magnets and cover the entire filter? 😆  

Can you explain to me how the engine oil flows through the filter?  It obviously enters from the bottom opening (in the above cutout picture) and the oil enters the inner chamber.  Then what happens?  I see a spring at the top of the filter.  In the centre of the spring is a red cap... what's that do?  I am trying to figure out if the oil enters from the centre and goes to the top or directly to all the filter elements in all directions?  I can't understand how the unfiltered oil and filtered oil remain separated.  With only one opening, I guess all the oil gets mixed up?  If so, maybe some of the oil will bypass the filter elements and continue to circulate around the oil filter?  In which case, there is a chance that a powerful rare earth magnet might be able to trap some additional particles filters may not have been able to trap?  Lots of speculations here... 

I guess the worst case scenario, magnets add no value but in the best case scenario, it might help?


The oil flow in the filter is,  it enters through the series of holes that surround the center tapped hole, flows all around the outside of the filter and folded paper element. This provides a large surface area for capturing debris. Oil is then forced trough to the center where it returns to the engine through the threaded hole. The spring you mentioned is to protect the engine if you were so careless as to never change your filter and the element became so plugged the oil pressure would lift the element, which is the orange area, called a by-pass valve, to allow oil to continue to the engine. Although it would be unfiltered at that point. But better dirty oil than no oil.
My opinion is the magnets really don't help as anything floating in the oil on the outside of the filter will be trapped in the element anyway. Now as for a magnet on the drain plugs, this could capture any larger metallic pieces and keep them from being splashed around in the base area causing possible damage. Especially if the particles are too big to pass through the pump pick up screen to get trapped in the filter. 
2017 Roadmaster, Steel Grey/Black
Portugal Cove, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada.
Quote 2 0
RMNL
I found these on YouTube thought they may help.


Cheers
2017 Roadmaster, Steel Grey/Black
Portugal Cove, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada.
Quote 2 0
V-Twin
Thank you everyone for chipping in.  I had hoped that we might get a good discussion on this topic.  I found it very interesting.  Now that I have seen how the oil filter works (thanks RMNL), I understand what you guys are saying.  Scotty, the descendent of the snake oil merchant was colourful and informative also. I didn’t realise cars and motorcycles were sold with no oil filter in the past.  I liked it when he said, “if you have that much metal pieces floating around in your engine, you have bigger problems.” 😆 So true!  I guess if a quality oil filter captures 99% of particles, and we change the filter at the schedule intervals, magnet does not appear to be required.  As OzOldie said, since I already have them, I might leave them on... you never know when someone might need a magnet on the side of the road! 😆 
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 3 0
Dr.Shifty

My first car had a fixed oil filter canister that had to be taken off and a filter element inside replaced. It was a very messy job compared to modern screw-on filters, which still can be messy. I remember being at the annual show before my car owning days and there would be a guy selling replacement canisters that held a roll of toilet paper as a filter. Yep, no more expensive filter elements, just grab a roll of loo paper and you're good to go. He had a demo set up and would flow dirty oil through the paper (in one end and out the other) and the dirt got caught between the layers of paper.

I still remember that guy and even as a kid I knew it was BS to think that toilet paper was strong enough to last for long.

In the 60s I was riding a Honda CB72 250 and it had a centrifugal filter. It was like a cylinder a bit larger than an egg cup on the end of the crankshaft. Oil would flow into it and the spinning motion would throw impurities outwards where they would stick by centrifugal force. Each service I'd pull the cover off and clean out the layer of stuff that had been collected.

Considering how primitive these filters were (still in living memory for us old guys) modern filters do a great job of cleaning up the oil. Putting a magnet on the filter body will only get stuff that would normally be caught by the filter.

And considering that the only oil to be pumped through the motor comes through the filter, I can't see how metal particles are going to be in that flow of oil.

If you are getting metal particle damage, it's because the metal chips are doing the damage as they get scraped off from somewhere and scratch up the motor on their way out, such as a piston ring that disintegrates and scrapes down the bore as it falls into the sump.

Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
Quote 1 0
Black Widow
Seriously? You need a magnet? If you have ferrous metal to ferrous metal contact then your motor is fucked.
Bearings are copper or bronze with alloy coating,  pistons are aluminium. Why the flick are you putting metal filings in your engine.
Quote 1 1
V-Twin
Black Widow wrote:
Why the flick are you putting metal filings in your engine.
😧 I don’t think I have suggested ‘putting’ metal filings in to the engine.  It was just a question. 🙄
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
Hunter
V-Twin wrote:
😧 I don’t think I have suggested ‘putting’ metal filings in to the engine.  It was just a question. 🙄


I add aluminum filings to all my oil changes. Bypasses the magnets and has a tendency to plug oil leaks. Best life hack ever. 😊😜
Quote 3 0
RMNL
🤣😂 That will show those silly magnets 😃
2017 Roadmaster, Steel Grey/Black
Portugal Cove, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada.
Quote 3 0
crash
and finally, isn't there an app for that - surely apple have come up with something 🙂

If magnets were to be of any benefit - don't you think the manufacturers would have included them?

Interesting point - what parts of the internal workings of a motor would be metal? 
maybe the timing chain, maybe camshaft (pieces go down the timing chain hole), maybe valves (or valve springs), maybe rings, maybe crankshaft, maybe bearings, maybe bolts or screws.  I am tipping that if you find any metal filings caught by the magnet your problems are not going to be helped by a magnet.  

Final point, if you capture the metal filings in the oil filter (I have yet to see a mechanic that dismantles an oil filter to analyze the contents), the mechanic is never going to see the problem but if it were floating around in the sump then maybe it would be spotted.

Maybe you need to get one of those special magnets that not only detect metal but also alloys, composites and other non-ferrous materials.
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
Quote 0 0
V-Twin
crash wrote:
Maybe you need to get one of those special magnets that not only detect metal but also alloys, composites and other non-ferrous materials.
Thank you for your tip!  After an extensive research, I've found 'plastic magnets!!'  The best part is, they come in 10 varieties of magnetic strength.  They also come in different colours to suit the colour of your Indian Motorcycle. 🕺🎉

Three questions.  If the magnet '5' is five times stronger than the magnet '1', if I put both the magnet '4' and '5' on my sump, is that nine times more powerful than the magnet '1' alone OR is it 45 times more powerful?   Also, is the '9' the strongest individual magnet OR the magnet '0'?  If I paint my plastic magnet to black, will they still have the same amount of magnetic strength? 🤔

plastic-magnets.jpg
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 0 0
crash
told you - there is an app for that!!
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
Quote 0 0
Crazyhorse
crash wrote:
and finally, isn't there an app for that - surely apple have come up with something 🙂

If magnets were to be of any benefit - don't you think the manufacturers would have included them?

(I have yet to see a mechanic that dismantles an oil filter to analyze the contents), the mechanic is never going to see the problem but if it were floating around in the sump then maybe it would be spotted.
I have always cut open and inspected my oil filters, untill I scored a Scotts reusable filter and now I can just take it apart and wash it out into a clean container and diagnose the sediment.
You must be going to the wrong mechanic.
Life's too short to ride a Harley.
Quote 0 0
crash
Crazyhorse wrote:

You must be going to the wrong mechanic.


What can I say!!  of course I am - seems to be my MO. 😃
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
Quote 0 0
Dr.Shifty
Considering that February is 'Iron Filings Month'* I thought I'd add a little something from left field.

Did you know that breakfast cereal has iron filings added to it so they can list iron content on their breakdown of vitamins etc?

Here's a screenshot from a very long webpage from a chemistry teacher who wrote one of Australia's principle high school science textbooks. You can chase up the page here. http://seniorchem.com/eei.html#softdrink

Iron Filings food grade.jpg 

* Iron Filings Month is a little known but important recognition of the place of iron filings in modern culture. 🙂
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
Quote 2 0
V-Twin



The all important question is, where shall we attach the magnet on our body to catch all the iron???  Maybe we can stick the magnetic sump plug up our... never mind! 😆😆😆
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 2 0
rusty
Perhaps a good project for wife . Hey honey just want to fill blender with my last oil change . Promise will clean up just fine .😂😎

Russell
No one makes it out alive .
Brisbane Qld
Red Bobber only two in Brisbane hope it stays that way .ha

 

Quote 0 0
OzOldie
It's both true and false.

The false is that it's not "iron filings"... the true is that it's is actual iron added... but in the form of powdered iron.

The powder is like flour, extremely fine. Stomach acid dissolves it within seconds.
The reason you see "filing shapes" with a magnet is that the magnet makes each powder particle into a magnet that then adheres to the next particle N->S

Since nowadays we eat sh!t, vegan crap, "health diets", "carb free", "fat free"... and we are often turning away from red meat for chicken and fish... the average person just isn't getting enough iron.
Quote 1 0