ACDelco PF48 Vs. PF48E – Differences

We all know how important motor oil is for all internal combustion engines, but oil filters are just as important. Oil filters keep different contaminants like metal shavings, sludge, and moisture away from moving parts of the engine which would otherwise cause a lot of damage. So, the question at hand is important if you want the best for your car. Here is the answer.

The PF48 vs. PF48E differences are minimal. The PF48 filter has an internal construction around the filter made of metal, while the PF48E has a plastic construction. The PF48 also has thicker anchor points for the filter inside, while the PF48E only has two thin metal tabs and a plastic clip. But other than that, the two filters are virtually identical.

pf48 vs pf48e

ACDelco PF48 Oil Filter Overview

The ACDelco PF48 filter is an original equipment part for GM’s V8 engines made from 2007 to 2015. More specifically, LS-based engines, including Vortec. The PF48 filter has been in production since 2007. LS models came out and went out of production in 2015 when the last LS engine of that generation rolled off the production line.

And in 2015, the PF48 filter was replaced by the PF48E. Now, there is nothing particularly notable about the PF48 oil filter by itself. It’s a pretty standard paper filter with a metal casing made to fit specific vehicles. There were never any issues with its design in its long 8-year production run.

And that’s not surprising because ACDelco has a long history of supplying GM with parts and always adhering to its strict quality standards, and the PF48 filter is no different. The GM manufacturer number of the PF48 filter is 12710960, which means it’s different from the PF48E. So, why is it necessary to replace a good and proven design with a new one? That’s what we will answer later on.

Pros of PF48 Oil Filter

The pros of a PF48 oil filter all have to do with consumer feedback or lack thereof. Nobody reviews a standard oil filter unless it has problems, and the PF48 never had any. So, these are the pros.

  • High-quality original equipment components.
  • No reported faults or defects in its 8-year production.
  • Has a sturdy internal structure made of metal.

Cons of PF48 Oil Filter

All the cons of the PF48 oil filter are in relation to the newer PF48E. However, none of them are significant in the real world. The size is irrelevant because they fit the same vehicles, and the same goes for weight. The only notable difference is the price, but even that is less than a dollar.

  • Slightly more expensive than the PF48E.
  • Heavier than the PF48E.
  • Bigger than the PF48E.

ACDelco PF48E Oil Filter Overview

As we mentioned, the PF48E filter replaced the PF48 in 2015. That means both filters are designed to fit the same vehicles, so what has changed? Well, in 2015, ACDelco decided to replace the internal metal structure with a plastic one, which is the so-called E-Core design, but why? Well, that depends on who you ask.

One side says the change was made to lower pollution and production CO2 emissions. However, metal is biodegradable and 100% recyclable, unlike plastic, so I’m not too convinced by that theory.

On the other hand, some say the change was made to lower production costs and thus increase profits. That theory I find much more plausible. Plastic has always been much cheaper than metal, and it’s easier to work with, which lowers the production cost significantly.

That said, the PF48E costs less than a PF48, although only marginally. Still, we have to give credit where it’s due. As for the performance of the PF48E, there have been no complaints, so judging by that, it’s just as good as PF48. Moreover, the AC Delco PF48E is still an OE part, so it, too, has to go through GM’s rigorous quality standards.

That said, the center tube of PF48E filters is guarded by a sparsely distributed plastic construction. Because of that, there were some PF48E oil filter problems. Specifically, where the paper filter ripped through that plastic construction, leaving a big hole behind. However, it’s hard to say whether that’s a design fault or if the engine was defective and had a problem with high oil pressure.

Pros of PF48E Oil Filter

The pros of the PF48 filter as virtually all neglectable. The weight and size are basically irrelevant, while environment preservation is nothing more than speculation. And even the price is only marginally lower.

  • Cheaper than PF48.
  • Lighter than PF48.
  • Smaller than PF48.
  • Better for the environment.

Cons of PF48E Oil Filter

When talking about the cons of the PF48E filter, you will notice that they are much more relevant than the pros. And although we can’t prove that the filter failure is a design fault, we can say that something like that never happened with the PF48.

  • Weaker plastic internal construction.
  • The center tube isn’t guarded enough, and there are reported incidents of oil flow blowing a hole in the paper filter.

ACDelco PF48 Vs. PF48E Oil Filter: Differences

All differences between the PF48 and the PF48E have to do with internal and external construction. Other than that, they are identical. Both fit the same vehicles, the volume is the same, the size of the paper filter is the same, etc.

Now, to the differences. The AC Delco PF48 vs. PF48E differences include that PF48E is taller than the PF48 filter because its plastic structure requires more space. The PF48E is also somewhat lighter because of that, but it also has plastic anchor points on the inside instead of the full metal ones that the PF48 has.

And the most important difference is the center tube. On the PF48, the center tube is lined with thin metal that has small, roughly 3-millimeter-sized holes for the oil to flow through. The PF48E, however, has nothing more than a plastic frame which makes the oil flow holes ten times bigger than on the PF48.

PF48 Vs. PF48E Comparison Table

PF48 PF48E
Weight 6.9 oz Weight 7.8 oz
OE Part Number 12710960 OE Part Number 12690386
Metal Internal Construction Plastic Internal Construction
3 Millimeter Center Tube Holes ½” Center Tube Holes 12690386
Price $8.99 Price $8.08


Is a PF48 the same as a PF48E?

No, PF48 is not the same as PF48E, even though they are made for the same vehicles. A PF48 is an older version of an LS and Vortec oil filter that went out of production in 2015. At that time, PF48 was replaced by the new PF48E, which has a plastic internal structure, the so-called E-Core, instead of a metal one found in the older PF48.

What does the E stand for on ACDelco oil filters?

E on ACDelco oil filters stands for “environmentally friendly.” ACDelco filters with an E designation have the latest E-Core design that replaces metal internals with plastic ones. That lowers the CO2 emissions made while producing the filter and makes it easier to recycle.

What does an ACDelco PF48E fit?

ACDelco PF48E and PF48 oil filters fit GMs LS and Vortec engines made between 2007 and 2015. And if the question is, AC Delco PF48 fits what vehicle, here is the answer.

  • 2007-2013 Chevy Silverado (4.8L/5.3L/6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade (6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2007-2014 Chevy Tahoe (4.8L/5.3L/6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2007-2013 Chevy Corvette (6.2L)
  • 2009-2012 Chevy Colorado (5.3L)
  • 2007-2013 GMC Sierra (4.8L/5.3L/6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2007-2008 Chevy Trailblazer (5.3L/6.0L)
  • 2008-2010 Hummer H3 (5.3L)
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL (4.8L/5.3L/6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2007-2013 Chevy Avalanche (5.3L/6.0L)
  • 2007-2014 Chevy Suburban (5.3L/6.0L)
  • 2006-2008 Chevy Corvette Z06 (7.0L)
  • 2007-2009 Hummer H2 (6.0L/6.2L)
  • 2010-2015 Chevy Camaro (6.2L)

What is the longer version of PF48?

The physically longer version of the PF48 filter is the PF63. Both PF48 and PF63 fit the same vehicles, even though PF63 is primarily designed for Ford vehicles while PF48 is for GM engines. The PF63 is 0.75″ (22 millimeters) longer than PF48.

Are PF48 and PF48E interchangeable?

Yes, PF48 and PF48E oil filters are interchangeable. As a matter of fact, they are made for the same vehicles, and the PF48E is nothing more than a modern version of the PF48 and has a plastic internal structure instead of metal which makes it more environmentally friendly.

Final Words

So, when it comes to PF48 Vs. PF48E, there are some differences between the two oil filters, even though they are made for the same application. The PF48E has a plastic E-Core internal structure which makes it more environmentally friendly than the older PF48, which has a metal structure. That means they are interchangeable, but which is better? Well, the older PF48 is better because there are some reports that the plastic structure in the PF48E can cause the paper filter to blow out.


Ibro Cehic

From a young age, I was captivated by cars and motorcycles, and my first driving experience only fueled my passion further. By the age of thirteen, I was already tinkering with vehicles and knew that my life would revolve around them in some way. Combining this passion with my love for writing, I now share my automotive expertise with fellow enthusiasts through my articles.

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