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OEM vs Generic Filters

6831 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  BlueNorther
My 2-year service is coming up and some of the (easy) maintenance I can do myself. Anyone have any feedback on Porsche OEM filters versus generic filters (i.e. MANN)?

Engine oil filter
Cabin filter
Air filter

Looking at prices online, there's definitely cost savings by not going with Porsche OEM. Just wondering if anyone has compared the quality and whether it's worth saving a few dollars on such an expensive car...
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I seem to stand alone with my opinion of mostly staying with the OEM branded product. It all boils down to sleeping better at night but there are a number of reasons why I feel more comfortable with the OEM branded part.

-Even if the aftermarket product comes from the same factory and looks identical to the OEM product, that does not mean it is made to the same spec, using the same production process, and with the same same testing/QC and QA program as the OEM part. The same factory might make it and put a different brand name on it but they may very well manufacture it using a different production run using a less expensive production process (e.g. less time for adhesives to set, subtle material changes, different coatings, less precision, less actual production sample testing, etc.). I think, in most cases, the OEMs (like Porsche) want a product less likely to fail or perform in a substandard manner because they care about the potential of expensive warranty claims if the part fails and the incremental cost for the higher grade product is an overall better approach with this consideration.
-Over the years (~50), I have experienced a few failures of aftermarket parts that were installed even though I insisted on all OEM parts whereas I remember very very few failures with OEM parts. I also have no way of comparing the performance of an aftermarket vs OEM part especially with filter medium.
-OEM parts are more expensive but most of the time the incremental cost difference is not sufficient to take a chance with an aftermarket product that may not be the same even though it might look the same.
-At least with respect to body parts, reputable quality body shops consistently have told me aftermarket parts frequently do not fit as well as the factory OEM parts.

I am anal about maintaining everything working well and reliably in my cars. Considering the ultra high cost of getting my brand new custom built Boxster in my driveway, the saving on a part not known for sure to be built and production tested to Porsche specs just does not sit well with me. I have taken this approach going back to a new 1974 Datsun 260Z (I did have a new 1971 Buick but that car was such a truly smelly turd I really did not care and even thought aftermarket parts, at worst, had to be better than anything GM/Buick etc. sold).
You are not completely alone in your philosophy. I do my own oil changes and order OEM filters online saving lots of $. I am very detail oriented and do my research before I go to aftermarket depending on the product. Simple maintenance procedures that one can do if mechanically inclined are definitely worth the time/effort. Keeping a close eye on your car could also potentially save you if you see something that doesn't "look right" before it can become critical.
It comes down to comfort level. Do what provides you with peace of mind. I think the key either way is to perform all of the maintenance in accordance with Porsche guidelines. Porsche oil change interval is 10K however I would not personally let my oil go that long. Oil is cheap compared to a catestrophic failure as a result of not changing your oil! Mobil One years ago had a commercial that once advertised 25k miles in between oil changes however there is no oil that can withstand that usage if you actually send a sample off for Oil Analysis Program (OAP) analysis. Even synthetic oil cannot last that long. Talk to engine builders; take a look at an engine after that interval. There will be irreperable engine damage and that is a matter of fact not my opinion.
Continue to do what makes you happy! Do the maintenance regularly and as we all know you will continue to drive your ride with reliability. I have had very few mechanical issues over the years like you by religiously doing preventative maintenance.
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Can't believe how dirty that engine air filter was. Leaves and cigarette butt!! Would make sense to add screens over the side intakes, for sure. Thanks for posting, I'll give it a try in a couple of years.
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