Roughly 4 years ago, I received a university study showing how badly the HPD catch can we were running was at catching oil, and a new kit came out that allowed us to swap to a Provent on our Isuzu Dmax. I made that swap, and we’ve been running a Provent 200 for about 4 years, and roughly 70,000km, so its time to do a formal review.
We paid full price for our Provent 200
Like all reviews, I start off by explaining how we received the product. I’m tired of people raving about things that they got given for free, or were paid to ‘review’, and refuse to be a part of that. I paid full retail price for the Provent 200 catch can and dual filter mount from Western Filters, and received no compensation in any form then, or since then for doing so.
Why the Provent 200?
Put simply, these were the best in the game according to the Curtin Uni study, and the more I researched, the more I had faith in Mann and Hummel. They’re a massive filtration business with a huge number of staff, a ridiculous amount of turn over and they know their stuff.
Since then, the Ryco catch can has come out, which has great reviews and I have no doubt is good (and saw lots of paid promotions regarding it), but have yet to see any independent testing.
Provent catch can review
As mentioned above, I’ve been running a Provent 200 for about 4 years now, and I’ve replaced the filter once, with the next time coming up very shortly.
I’ve been replacing them at 30,000km intervals with genuine filters, to ensure that we have no crankcase pressurization issues, and that it does a good job of filtering.
To date, we’ve collected about 1.5L of oil, with more in the filters that doesn’t get counted. I also had a bit of a leak from the drain, which would have been a bit more lost, but we’ll overlook that.
So, what can I say? It works, and really well. We’ve had no issues, it collects a heap of oil and there are no negative side affects from running it so far.
What’s gone wrong with our Provent 200?
Honestly, we’ve had no real issues with our Provent 200. I did install a brass cap on the end of the drain line early on as I’d heard of sand and grit going up when off road, which eventually scores the ball in the valve and makes it leak, and I was quietly confident I’d ironed that issue out.
I did however, find the ball valve got knocked a couple of times off road and opened up enough to let the oil out, and the brass cap without thread tape was not enough to stop the oil from leaking out.
One day I got back from dropping the Dmax off and found an oil stain in our garage, which was from this. I’ve since put another hose clamp in place to lock the ball valve shut along with some thread tape on the brass cap, and have had no further issues.
Other than this, its been flawless, and asides from having to drain it more often than I’d like, its working really well, and doing its job perfectly.
Would we get another Provent Catch Can?
If we were going to fit a catch can on another vehicle, it would be a Provent 200, or a Ryco. I have no issues with the quality of the Provent, but would re-consider the need to install one if the time came around again.
This is two fold; it costs a fair chunk of money to purchase a Provent and then replace the filters regularly, and I have to wonder if you are better off just leaving it off and doing a manifold clean more often. I’m certainly not unhappy with the Provent Catch Can.
If you replace the filter every 30,000km, that means its costing you about $90 for a genuine filter each time. Call it $30 for every 10k, and after 200k you’ve spent $600 in filters. Is that money better off going towards an intake clean, or the filters? I’m not really sure.
The second thing that I’d really like to see is some proper, researched data on the difference that a good catch can makes to the longevity of a motor.
I chuckle when I hear some mechanics rave about them, and suggest they are a good idea, and then hear from other mechanics who say they are a waste of time, and cause issues. Sometimes both are diesel mechanics too, and they both can’t be right. What’s the definitive answer? It can’t swing both ways.
I know the Provent Catch cans can cause a restriction if the filters aren’t replaced often enough, and this is a common problem that people face because they don’t maintain them properly. I’ve met people who didn’t even know they had to replace the filters, and that’s a bit of a worry when it can cause such a problem down the line, but it makes it far more likely for people to have issues with them.
There seem to be a number of people who have crankcase pressurization problems with the Provent catch can, and in my opinion a lot of this comes down to the wrong size unit (like a Provent 100 in a 200 series V8), not draining the oil enough (like leaving it for 5000km before you drain it!), or a lack of changing the filters on time.
They now have an internal bypass so if the filter blocks up it will just run straight through (they used to go to atmosphere).
Why don’t we get an EGR delete?
In a perfect world, there’s not really much wrong with oil going through your intake. On a vehicle without an EGR, I would never bother with a catch can as the only thing they do is reduce the amount of oil going in, which marginally improves the efficiency of your intercooler. That is it.
When you have an EGR though, your soot and carbon mixes with the oil and forms a lovely vegemite like paste on your intake, and causes all sorts of issues with air flow down the line. So, why not delete the EGR completely (either electronically, or mechanically) and be done with it?
The truth is this is what is really common, and is done by thousands of people in Australia every year. There are two reasons I don’t do this. The first is that its illegal, and the fines for tampering with environmental controls on a vehicle are astronomical, and in my mind not worth the risk.
The second is that those environmental measures are put in place for a reason. It might be a load of rubbish, but the idea of looking after this planet is something I do where possible. For these two reasons, I refuse to do an EGR delete, which would eliminate the need to run a catch can all together.
Overall, I can’t really say anything bad about the Provent Catch Can, but know this; if anything changes we’ll be the first to write about it.
Do you run a catch can? Are you happy with it?