Hubb Filters: The Next Gen Oil Filter
When a Traditional Filter Can’t Compete
You may never even have heard of these before: Reusable Oil Filters. There. I said it.
Alright, while you’ve likely already heard of reusable filters before, and you might be a skeptic, just like me, or you might have just heard about them from my opening line, and might be going what the hell is he talking about.
Regardless of whether I just popped your reusable oil filter cherry or not, I gotta tell you, these Hubb Filters are pretty damn fantastic. The filter-in-a-filter design is both innovative and ingenious. I can’t wait to show you how this technology works.
But before we jump into the heavy dets, let me just give you the quick and easy part: buying a Hubb Filter (or two) will end up saving you money, helping the environment, and keeping your engine cleaner and running smoother for longer intervals. Bangarang!
Before we jump into the money part, I know the first thing I wanted to know when I heard about Hubb Filters was how? I mean, for years now… Shish, at least 20… I’ve been changing old with a traditional oil filter that has to be disposed of. I’ve never even considered the idea of a filter that could be reused. So how exactly does it work?
To get there, we’ll need to talk about how oil filters work period. So let’s begin:
How do Traditional Oil Filters Work?
How do disposable oil filters work in your truck?
Oil filters keep your engine oil clean by trapping particles of metal and debris within a filter media. This medai (the part that actually does the filtering) is traditionally made from paper or fibrous material that is shaped in an accordion like way. These folds capture anything too large which cannot flow through the fibrous paper, but the oil moves through it just fine. Hence it comes out cleaner on the other side.
If you just did a double take there, let me repeat, just to drive this home: your oil filter, even if you are using one of the more expensive “premium” ones from your local parts store, is made using a paper-like material. That filter is what keeps your engine running, day after day. If your oil gets too dirty, your engine goes kaputs! And the only thing keeping that oil clean is paper-like material that is folded in an accordion shape?! Yeah, talk about old school.
Now until recently, I’d not really given a thought to all this. I mean, I use the cheaper oil filter on my daily driver most of the time. On my wife’s newer SUV, I often spring for the more expensive filter. But in general, that’s about all the thought I give to ‘em.
Well, not anymore. I guess you could say I didn’t know I really had much more of an option than that. I mean, everyone uses disposable filters because that’s all there is, right? And if there were something better, I, of all people, should have known about it. I mean, I’m a DIY mechanical minded guy. If you can make the repair in your home garage, I do it, even if it is totally something I should not do in my home garage solo--see changing my tires FTW in the blog sometime. Major fail. Definitely paying someone else to do that in the future.
Point is, I change my own oil. I’ve learned how to make it as easy as possible over the years. I buy my oil in bulk. I even buy up two or three filters at a time. I’ve got oil and filters in stock in my garage for all my vehicles and my wife’s. Hell, I even am one of those guys who not only pops the hood and gives her a once over before buying a new vehicle, but if at all possible, I get down on the ground and have a look around underneath, because if that oil filter is in a $hitty location and at an angle or sideways, I know it's going to be a pain in my butt every single time I change my oil.
Yeah, that’s me. I know. I’m crazy. My wife would support your assumption.
So when I heard about reusable filters, I was skeptical. I should have known about these a long time ago, and if they really worked like they are supposed to, if that word “reusable” really means what I think it means, I’ve been throwing money away for a long time now.
So let’s take a look at one of these babies and try to figure this all out before my head explodes.
Hubb Filters: Reusable?
Baffling, I know. For starters, let’s get this out of the way: instead of having filter media made of paper, Hubb’s filters are made of a surgical stainless steel weave. Check out the pics. They help a lot. Or better yet, see our YouTube video on these babies.
But how exactly does that make it reusable? I mean, you’re gonna have to clean out all the gunk and grime and metal particles that end up in this filter, right? Just like they end up in the old school paper filters?
That’s correct. And here’s where the reusable part comes in. So when you change your Hubb Oil Filter, instead of throwing it away, you’re going to want to clean it. You have two options here: one being superior but perhaps more timely and/or costly than the other more economical one.
- Clean it yourself at home
- Send it in to be cleaned at Hubb or an authorized Hubb dealer
Both these options will leave the Hubb filter clean and good as new, covered by the 100,000 mile warranty, and likely to even last the full life of your vehicle. You read that right. When properly maintained, a Hubb Filter should be able to last the life of your vehicle, as long as there aren’t any accidents or anything like that.
So which of these two options suits you best then as far as cleaning goes? Well, it depends. If you’re like me and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, many customers say they clean their filter at home using Dawn dish soap. Of course, this involves getting particularly dirty and frankly will void that snazzy 100,000 mile warranty.
The other option is to send the filter in. Authorized Hubb dealers have a Hubb Ultrasonic Cleaner system. This cleaning machine uses specially formulated concentrate and water plus ultrasonic waves to clean your Hubb Filter in around 10 minutes. This doesn’t void your warranty and makes the filter shiny and new.
So sending the Hubb filter in is the obvious solution, right? Pretty much. Why void your warranty and not get the filter as clean as it should be? The Hubb Filter is going to last up to 7,500 miles in between cleanings. And if you clean it correctly you should see economic as well as performance gains.
There’s just one problem: what do I do while I wait for the filter to go through the mail, get cleaned, and get sent back to me?
There are a few options here. If you live nearby an Authorized Dealer, this is easy. You can just run up there yourself, though this does likely require a second vehicle.
Some mechanics shops have their own Hubb Cleaning System, so you could just take your truck into those authorized shops to have your oil changes. But that kind of defeats the purpose of saving money and doing it yourself, doesn’t it?
You could buy your own Hubb Cleaning System, but those babies get a little pricey and will eat into the economics of saving money by switching to reusable filters.
At this point, you’re probably assuming I have an answer for you. Well, of course I do. But I do want to take a second to emphasize this issue. Cleaning the filter at home is really not an option. You’re going to have to either physically take the filter somewhere to be cleaned or mail it in. It is as simple as that.
So the only real solution is actually pretty simple when you think about it, and likely you already figured it out yourself. You’ve gotta buy two Hubb filters and keep them in rotation. Don’t worry. We’ll crunch the numbers below and let you know exactly how this is all gonna work out for your pocketbook. But we thought we’d explain this conundrum up front in the sake of transparency.
But before we get there let’s have a look at what makes Hubb so great and why it is a much better oil filter than traditional filters.
How Does the Hubb Oil Filter Work?
What makes Hubb Oil Filters better than traditional filters?
You mean besides the paper vs surgical stainless steel, which should be pretty obvious?
Hubb Filters utilize two filters in one, with their filter-in-a-filter design. Stainless steel filtration allows for 99% efficiency when removing oil contaminants that are 25 microns, and can even filter out particles as tiny as 5 microns. To give you an idea of how small a micron is, human hair is about 70 microns across. Their filters capture up to 5 times the gunk and grime without slowing down your oil flow, when compared to traditional filters. In fact, Hubb filters will increase your oil flow by up to 5 times too, keeping your engine properly lubricated. Finally, these reusable filters will reduce your emissions, and they can even double the amount of time you go between oil filters.
Let’s take a look at the cross section of a Hubb Filter. We looked at a traditional paper filter earlier.
How it works
The first thing that should jump out at you is that Hubb Filters all have two actual filter media, not just one made of paper like the traditional filters. Already, you should be starting to see just how superior these filters are. Two filter media, stainless steel instead of paper--it’s pretty clear from the get go. But we want to explain it all, so here we go.
Starting at the bottom of the image, you’ll see Hubb has cleverly labeled this cross section.
- The dirty oil enters the filter, similar to how it would on a traditional filter, except on a regular paper filter, typically the entry openings are circles and pretty small. On a Hubb Filter the two openings are kidney shaped and pretty darn big. Already you can see how Hubb gives you up to 5x better engine oil flow. It's all about that design.
From here, the oil flows around the outer portion of the filter, again, much like a traditional filter.
- Here we see the oil is pushed through the first or outer filter. Think of this first filter as similar to the only filter on a traditional oil filter, except that this one is made of surgical stainless steel whereas a traditional disposable filter’s is made of paper.
Most of the oil during idle and cruising speeds is filtered by this main or primary filter. But what happens when you open up and really start gunning it?
On a traditional filter, when your filter gets too clogged with particles and contaminates, your engine needs to push oil through your filter at such a rate that those paper media just can’t handle anymore. In order to put up with this demand, traditional disposable filters use a pressure bypass valve located at the top of the filter. When the pressure within the oil system increases, say due to acceleration once the filter has become somewhat or close to completely clogged, this valve opens and allows the oil to flow freely through the center of the oil filter.
This means traditional oil filters aren’t actually filtering oil from this point on. The oil is just flowing right through, unfiltered. Why would you want your oil to stop being filtered when your engine is going through the most extremes an engine can be put under? Especially when the oil is already pretty dirty?
The simple answer is this was the only option at the time. The oil needed to flow faster when the filter was getting clogged. The only way around it seemed to be a pressure bypass valve which could stop the filtration from even happening, increasing the oil flow. Typically this would only happen when the filter was clogged and about done for, but if you increase the pressure due to something like rapid acceleration, this could cause the pressure valve to open a little early even. And on traditional oil filters, once that valve is open, it is open for good, meaning no more oil filtration until you replace the filter.
Here’s where Hubb really starts to show off.
- When oil pressure starts to increase due to acceleration, Hubb’s 1st pressure differential valve opens up at number three on the diagram. Instead of completely stopping filtration, the secondary filter comes into play.
- The oil is pushed through the secondary filter at more extreme pressures while under acceleration. Only instead of the oil being forced from the outside edges of the filter to the inner, like on the primary filter, it goes from inside the filter towards the outside edge within the center of the primary filter.
I know. Mind blown, right?
This filtration method prevents any cross contamination. The only oil that is ever on the inside edges of the primary and on the outside edges of the secondary filter is clean oil. Kinda brilliant, when you think about it.
This means your engine oil will stay cleaner, longer.
Secondly, this 1st pressure differential valve will close when the pressure goes back down. This means that whereas on the traditional oil filter when the bypass opens, that filter is not going to filter any more oil ever again, on a Hubb Filter, the valve just opens when it needs to.
And even when this valve is open, Hubb’s secondary filter is still filtering your oil, albeit at a higher pressure rate but still.
But it seems to me that the bypass valve on a traditional oil filter is a necessary safety precaution? I mean, if your filter is clogged and you can’t get engine oil into your engine fast enough, you’re going to really damage your vehicle. That’s why the bypass is there in the first place, right?
Absolutely correct, hypothetical person. That valve is necessary. Furthermore, if you change your oil at the proper intervals, that valve may never have to open. It should only pop open on traditional filters it the filter media is really clogged up and your engine oil is under increased pressure due to the clogging and perhaps rapid acceleration (like the kind I do every day when I merge onto the highway).
So of course, Hubb has a bypass too.
- The 2nd pressure differential valve at the bottom of that secondary filter is designed just for this reason. When pressure gets extreme, under heavy acceleration or when the filter is becoming too dirty, this secondary pressure valve can open, allowing oil to flow freely, similar to a tradition filter. The big difference though is when the pressure goes back down, this valve too can close again, resuming filtration.
Think of it this way: when pressure gets high under acceleration, the first pressure valve, #3, opens. But the second valve, #5, doesn’t open until you reach even more extreme levels of pressure from acceleration and clogged filters.
Also, you have twice the filter media to clog, so you can easily see how this is all so superior to the traditional paper filters.
- Finally, the clean oil flows out the center bore and into the rest of your engine. This is designed just like traditional filters. And now we’ve made our journey through a Hubb filter.
At this point is should be quite clear all the extra steps and valves and filtration that Hubb filters has to offer. But just to put it all into perspective, Hubb laid out a comparison that we’re going to chart for you below:
Traditional Disposable Filters
- Use paper to filter
- Have only One filter inside
- Oil flow is regular, not improved
- Only rated at 52% efficiency when removing particles that are 25 microns in size
- Filter actually captures and stores oil along with contaminants
- Standard emissions rates
- Have to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles as recommended by manufacturer
- Surgical Stainless Steel filters
- Filter-in-a-filter design--two filters in one
- Improves your oil flow up to 5 times
- A whooping 99% efficiency when removing 25 micron contaminants (and removes particles down to 5 microns in size)
- 5 times the contaminant storage and does not capture dirty oil within the filter media
- Reduced carbon monoxide emissions by up to 30%, nitric oxide emissions up to 16%
- Doubles your oil change interval, as long as you clean your Hubb every 7,500 miles
The Low Down on Hubb
So we have performance level oil filters here that are much better at filtering your oil, provide better oil flow to lubricate your engine parts, reduce your emissions, filter more efficiently and for longer intervals, perform much better under extreme measures like rapid acceleration, and the damn things are reusable, under warranty for 100,000 miles, and if properly maintained they should last the lifetime of your vehicle? Great Odin’s beard, that’s pretty darn impressive!
You aren’t kiddin’, man. These Hubb filters are a major leap forward in oil filtration technology. So the only real pain in the butt is the fact that you’ve gotta buy two of them if you want to be able to drive your vehicle around while you send the dirty filter in and wait for it to be cleaned and sent back. But let’s crunch those numbers and find out just how much of a pain in the butt and pocketbook that is going to be. Cause I mean, only having to buy two filters for the life of your vehicle instead of say… I don’t know, my daily driver is at about 200k right now, and I’ve changed it every 5k or so, so let’s assume I’ve used roughly 40 filters and might go through another 10 before… Wow. Those numbers do start to add up. Don’t worry. We’ll crunch them for you below.
Economics of Oil Filters
Saving You Money with a Lifetime Filter
Hubb covers each of its filters with a 100,000 Mile Warranty. So first off, that’s pretty sweet. Let’s imagine that you’re driving the ever so popular Ford F-150 around on a daily basis. The average traditional disposable filter is going to run you say $10 to $15. Let’s stay at the low end and assume that you’re look at $10 for a filter plus the cost of the oil itself.
Now let’s just go through the first 100,000 miles for the vehicle. Assuming you change you oil every 5,000 miles, as the dealer / manufacturer likely recommends. In that first 100k miles, you’re going to make 20 oil changes then. Simple math, right? So you’re going to spend about $200 on that all those oil changes.
Now let’s try the same with a Hubb filter. A single HUB3202 Hubb filter for a 2017 F-150 will run you about $100. It should last the life of the vehicle and is under warranty through that first 100,000 miles. So you’re already saving yourself $100? Hold on.
Remember what I said above about the cleaning process and needing to have a clean filter in reserve? You’ll need a second filter, so you’re looking at about $200. We will bundle a Hubb filter with the tool you need to take it apart also, and that will run you another $15 or so, but should easily last the life of the vehicle also. So at 100,000 miles, your costs are pretty much equal.
But these days most of us don’t just drive our trucks 100k miles and then drop them off at the dump. No way. Most of us can get 200 even 300k miles out of a good American made pickup truck. Let’s try 200,000 miles.
With a traditional filter, you’re looking at 40 oil changes now, at $10 a filter for each, so roughly $400 worth of traditional oil filters at 200k miles.
With Hubb filters, you ask? Well, you’re still at the same total cost for filters. You’re looking at that $215 number from before, plus I guess the cost to ship the filter itself to an Authorized Hubb Dealer or Hubb themselves. Let’s try to get realistic about this.
We’ll say each shipment costs about $3. And you’ll have to have a filter cleaned every 7,500 miles. But since you have two, you’ll actually send one in roughly every 15,000 miles, right? I mean, you’ll ship that first dirty filter in at 7,500 miles. But you won’t use it again until 15,000.
But let’s just say you send one in every 7,500 miles to make this easy. At $3 every ship, you’re looking at roughly 27 times you’ve got to ship a filter to Hubb. So that’s going to cost you about $81.
Even when accounting for shipping, which is kind like accounting for the miles you have to put on your truck to drive to the auto parts store to get the new replacement traditional filter, but whatever, you’re still in the green with Hubb Filters are 200,000 miles. In fact, you’ve safed yourself roughly $120 worth of filters at least, maybe more.
We could push this number even higher if we adjust for 300k miles, but I think you get the point.
Not only is Hubb a better filter, but it will also save you money in the long term. These Hubb Oil Filters are just great all around. It is hard to find a real downside here. Sure, having two of them is going to be a bit of a hassle, and you are going to have to make some minor changes to the way you change your oil going forward. But overall, these Hubb Filters are simply fantastic.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to start using Hubb Filters in all my new vehicles. I don’t know if I’ll be getting one for my old work truck or not because I don’t know if she’s got another 100k miles in her, let alone 200k. But my wife’s new SUV and my Silverado are definitely getting Hubb Filters for their next oil change.
When you consider how much better the filtration will be for your vehicle, your truck is going to thank you too. And once you really get on her and that first pressure valve opens, you’re going to feel those performance gains. This Hubb Oil Filter is simply the best damn oil filter on the market. We should all be using it. Not only is it great for your truck, but its great for the environment too and for your pocketbook. You really can’t go wrong with a pair of Hubb Filters.
Ready to Upgrade to Hubb Oil Filters?
When you’re ready for a Hubb Filter, we hope that you’ll get yours from us, here at Midwest Aftermarket. Our collection of oil filters, pickup bed covers, truck running boards, and much more includes all the leading styles and brands. Midwest Aftermarket is the #1 online retailer for aftermarket truck and Jeep accessories, selling products at the lowest prices and providing the best customer service in the industry. With the goal to provide the highest quality product with the fastest shipping at affordable prices, look no further for your vehicle’s aftermarket accessories. From UTV’s to Jeep-fanatics to F150’s or Chevy Silverado’s, Midwest Aftermarket will give you the customer support you deserve.