Since Bosch shook up the automotive maintenance industry a couple of years ago, everyone has been reeling. Some companies are better positioned to absorb this market disruption better than others. However, one thing this did for certain is raising the floor of expectations for a lot of products.
No longer can companies get by with the base quality as Bosch challenged from the middle. While many companies merged or folded outright, Walmart saw this as an opportunity to use their impressive infrastructure to enter an unstable market with the new standard for consumer-grade oil filters.
The Ins and Outs. Walmart SuperTech Oil Filters 2018
SuperTech is a brand that was started by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. a little over a decade and a half ago. Throughout that short span of time, the brand has gone through many rises and falls–even being pulled altogether in favor of other Wal-Mart owned brands. That said, SuperTech is back once again, and this time it might be here to stay. Though, it is important to remember that SuperTech is a consumer-grade brand and not designed for professional use. High-performance runs will require more specialized, and more expensive, oil filters.
Of course, what form it takes has changed and it actually might seem like a familiar foe to those who have kept track of the different oil filter brands over the years. Once Bosch finalized its takeover of Purolator and slowly phased it out in favor of the parent brand, other oil filter brands wondered how long they had until Bosch came for them too. In an effort to get ahead of the wheels, Wix and Wal-Mart teamed up to reinvent their brands and remain competitive.
Who makes supertech oil filters?
As such, Wix got the backing and economic power of Wal-Mart while Wal-Mart got the oil filter specialization from Wix. Starting a couple years ago, Wal-Mart began to release their new SuperTech oil filters right around the time they stopped promoting Purolator. While nothing nefarious, the move is no coincidence as Wal-Mart, using the Wix manufacturing plants and designs, sought to capture the oil filter market in one fell swoop. By providing top-tier oil filters at budget prices, the plan is to become the new face of oil filters.
Closer Look at The Most Popular SuperTech Oil Filters
The SuperTech st9688 is one of the more popular models of SuperTech filter in a large part due to its general compatibility and its size. Obviously, if you are a bit cramped under the hood, then you are going to have to scale down your choice. However, if you have enough clearance, the 3” drum will provide plenty of additional miles. In fact, this model sports a 10k mile lifespan while also filtering out 95 percent of all contaminants. The interior of the st9688 show the expected improvements that come with using an American manufacturer and higher-quality components.
Easily one of the biggest differences between the SuperTech oil filters from a decade ago and those in stores today is the cover plate. Whereas once the SuperTech went the way of other budget-friendly oil filters and used paper cover plates, the new, enhanced SuperTech st9688 oil filter has steel cover plates.
The SuperTech st6607 may be a step down in terms of size, but it in no way loses the qualities that make the st9688 so good. Basically, this is the oil filter that you would want to use on a smaller engine as it is a full ½ smaller drum. Still, the same stamped steel cover plates come with this model as well. On top of that, the media used features a stiff synthetic material that provides 95 percent filtration of up to 27 microns in size. Of course, due to the decreased size, this model will not last the 10000 miles that the st9688 can, but it can fit in more cramped spaces.
Not all of the SuperTech filters have been redesigned for the same purposes. For instance, some of the SuperTech filters made by Champ Labs uses a new ECore style. There is plenty of flack coming from the professional wing of enthusiasts, but that is because they are primarily concerned with performance. While that is definitely one of the main goals with this and all of the other SuperTech oil filters, the ECore oil filters are also trying to be more sustainable in their production cycle. If you are interested in green movements and sustainability, the ECore SuperTech filters like this one are probably right up your alley.
Compared to OEM
The comparison between a SuperTech oil filter and your OEM will depend on the make and model of your vehicle. High-performing automobiles are likely going to require a more advanced oil filter than the SuperTech. Even though SuperTech has done everything it can to get in line with contemporary consumer-grade standards, it still is not designed for supercars. Of course, no one is considering the most commonly used brands for supercars most of the time anyway.
Reputation and Quality
Still, the OEM oil filter provided by an Audi or Mercedes is likely to be a bit better than the OEM oil filter that comes with a Kia. However, do not let the brand name put you in a false sense of security as many “reputable” brands will cut corners with inferior OEM components. On the other hand, some makers will do this to keep you coming back to their certified dealer mechanics. The point is that you cannot make a comparison between SuperTech and every OEM oil filter. Instead, you need to figure out the quality of your OEM oil filter to figure out whether or not you could save money or even upgrade.
Supertech as Good as Fram or Not
If you were to make this comparison 10 years ago, it would be a difficult comparison. This is because not too terribly long ago, Fram and SuperTech were more or less the same things. If you opened either of the filters up and looked inside, you would see the exact same components as well as the same materials and engineering techniques. Thankfully, Wal-Mart seems to have put SuperTech once again in their wheelhouse and improved upon its design in a number of ways.
We have already discussed at length many of the qualities and features that the renewed SuperTech filters possess. That said, it is still a good idea to look back at how far the brand has come and how it compares to what many consider its “peer.” Specifically, Fram filters are noted for a couple of major missteps in terms of the construction. For instance, Fram uses a metal mold spring as opposed to a coiled wire spring. On top of that, Fram also has paper cover plates and a lower-grade of rubber for the anti-drain valve and the sealing ring.
In fact, it was not at all that uncommon for different companies to use the same components and manufacturers. That said, since Bosch fully absorbed Purolator within the past couple of years, more and more brands are having to step their game up to remain competitive. The new white SuperTech meets all of these enhanced standards and is a solid option.
It should go without saying, but because there are always a couple of knuckleheads out there: always follow proper safety protocols when performing maintenance on your vehicle. This begins with making sure that the vehicle is turned off and all of the various components have cooled and their pressures have equalized. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people do not realize that automotive maintenance is not a sprint or race.
The materials and tools you will need to change your SuperTech oil filter are:
- The SuperTech oil filter of your choosing
- A wrench
- An oil pan
- A funnel
- New motor oil
- And a clean rag
First, you will want to locate your vehicle’s oil drain plug. The plug is generally located at the base of the engine to allow for complete drainage, though it may be on either side of the engine’s oil pan.
Oil Change in Simple Steps
Place the oil pan underneath it, and loosen the plug with the wrench. Remove the plug by hand, but be careful as the weight and gravity of the oil can cause it to gush out unexpectedly. Even experienced mechanics will still have the plug slip out of their grasp if they are not paying close attention.
Step away and let the oil drain into the pan, potentially repositioning the oil pan as necessary. Be forewarned that even if you let the engine cool off, the oil will still stay warmer for longer. On top of that, you do not want the oil to have congealed too much to prevent full drainage. However, even from a completely cold engine, you only need to heat the oil for 5 minutes. After the oil is drained, wipe clean the oil plug with the rag and replace the plug.
Once the oil has drained, find the oil filter and begin to loosen it after putting down the oil pan. Like with the oil drain plug, the weight and gravity of the oil will cause it to overflow. Thankfully, this time, you simply allow the oil to overflow the expired oil filter without completely removing the filter. Though, this does mean that you will need to stop unscrewing the filter once the oil overflows.
Once the overflow stops, completely remove the oil filter keeping in mind that there is still oil inside. Pour out the oil in the old filter into the oil pan, and then make sure the old gasket did not get stuck on the engine’s threads. Also, check to see if the old filter has any bulges to its body which is a sign that the pressure systems need to be looked at by a professional.
Wipe clean the mounting base with the rag, and rub a thin layer of new oil on the gasket of the new oil filter. With your hand, line up the oil filter with the threads and screw the filter in by hand. Screw in the filter to the point of resistance and then give it one more ¾ turn. Do not over-tighten the oil filter as this can make it extremely difficult to remove later.
Are SuperTech Oil Filters any Good?
While SuperTech may not have always had the best reputation, it has always been a solid deal. However, since Bosch began a major move into automotive maintenance, other companies have responded by improving their products. Walmart, using its economic power, has been able to raise SuperTech to a respectable level while still maintaining prices that are difficult to beat. Just be sure to cross-reference the model carefully so you get the oil filter that favors your driving needs and sensibilities.