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Old 07-06-2012, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default oil filter capacity question

I had my 2012 SX4 oil changed (second time) the other day and saw where the filter was and noticed how little space is alloted for it. This filter looks very small when compared to other 4cyl. cars I've owned.

Is there reason to be concerned about it's small size?

The guy asked if I wanted synthetic and I told him no for now, I need to do more research first. I would wonder if such a small filter would still be of benefit after the 6000 or so miles from synthetic. (does it really matter what number I type? Someone will say its wrong)

I'm not asking for another snythetic vs. conventional debate, go the other threads for that

This filter just looks way too small to me and I'd like some reassurrance that it is OK. Not that I have much choice in the end anyway.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like to be the devil's advocate

Q1 - what does your manual say?
Q2 - if I say the filter is too small, what will you do?

Now to be honest, I have no idea what filter fits the SX4 but I doubt it's any smaller than the one on my GV (same or very similar 2.0 litre J20A engine), I do have more room if I wanted to fit a larger filter, but I'm happy running the OEM sized, OEM branded (yes - I do use an OEM Suzuki filter), and with 80,000+ miles on the engine I have no regrets.

You say don't have much choice anyway - wrong - you do - get a quality filter, (personally I prefer to pay the extra few bucks for the OEM Suzuki filter), and use quality oil of the grade recommended by the owner's manual - use conventional or synthetic, as you choose - and I'm sure you'll be able to enjoy your new car for many years.
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Last edited by fordem; 07-06-2012 at 10:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Take a look around an auto parts store= lots of other filters in that size range!
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The Purolator Classic is a direct replacement filter for the SX4.

Walk into any Auto Parts store and ask the clerk to look it up for you, or go on-line and look it up yourself. There is NO mystery there.

The filter is NOT large, like you'd find on a Buick, but for the 3k oil change interval, it's more than enough.

Here's that filter, with the size F cap wrench used to take it out.


The Purolator, Fram and K&N oil filters are all the same size.

Even at 69 I still do my own oil changes. That way I know exactly what oil and filter I'm getting. When you go to an oil change place, you really have no idea what you're getting. Capacity? The way that the Suzuki engine is set up, it takes just five quarts of oil, to fill the engine and filter. No more, no less.

The filter on my 2006 Forenza was one of those little devils to get to, so I let Walmart change my oil for me. They used Quaker State oil and Fram filters. I got one filter that was so loose that all my oil drained out along I-75 one night, on my way home from town.

Unless you have disabilities that would prevent it.... I strongly suggest that you consider doing your own maintenance.

Cheers Mate!
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do 10000 mile oil changes on both my sx4 with synthetic oil. I also take my filters apart to inspect them. Always use a high quality filter. Purolator know has a filter that is rated for 10000 miles.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When your engine blows, don't tell Suzuki that you only changed your oil every 10000 miles. They will cancel your warranty.
That's ridiculous! Read your Owners Manual.

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Old 07-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info guys! I went to Wal mart after my post and scanned the oil filter shelf to discover that many filters are small like the one for the SX4. I guess they have gradually down sized over the years. I remember my "75" Toyota Celica used a filter about 3-1/2 inches in diameter by about 4" long. It was a 4 cly. 2 liter engine too.

I can only assume that there is more filtering elements rolled up in the smaller filters these days. When I said I didn't have much choice, I was refering to the physical size of the filter as opposed to the quality.

As far as refering to the manual, I believe they recommend 7,500 miles betwen changes I know this is a touchy subject but I personally think this is pushing it a bit. I've used 3000 to 4000 miles with conventional, manual recommeded weight, oil for many years. I drive only on clean paved roads but still think 4000 miles with conventional oil is enough.

Has this been proven to be overkill?

I changed my own oil for many years until one day the old seal stuck to the block and I didn't catch it. What a mess! All that new oil blown all over the driveway was the last straw. After about 20 lbs. of kitty litter and a thorough washing with a rented pressure washer was enough to make me switch.

Based on some Internet research, the Pennzoil chain (the place I go to) uses wix filters. I've seen this name here in the forum on other threads so I think I'm OK. there.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like to do my own oil changes, and I'm a 3000 mile guy - and your story reminds me of the time I forgot to move the bucket I was using to drain the oil, before backing the car off the ramps - and this on a Saturday three hours before a kid's birthday party.

Soap powder does a pretty good job, both at absorbing the oil and at breaking it down - and - yes, I still change my own oil.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shadow guess you can't teach a old dog new tricks. I think you need to educate yourself about synthetic oils. I've had multiple cars and trucks with high interval oil changes make it to 200k that were still running when they were traded in.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You (whoever) are doing your car a great disservice, by not maintaining it for 10,000 miles or more. Period! That's equal to three trips across the USA.

I've been maintaining my own and other vehicles for over 50 years now and I still see no downside to doing my maintenance every 3000 miles.

Insulting someone on a public forum can get you banned.
So state your opinion (you're welcome to it) but keep your insults to yourself.

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