The life cycle design framework developed at the University of Michigan was applied by AlliedSignal to improve the manufacture, use, and end-of-life management of automobile oil filters. Three oil filter designs were investigated: a conventional spin-on filter which is a single-use product, a cartridge filter consisting of a reusable housing and a replacement cartridge, and a cleanable design which uses a reusable housing and cleanable filter element. Environmental, cost, performance, and legal requirements were developed using a matrix tool and tradeoffs between these requirements were studied. These design criteria are presented along with results from an analysis of user life cycle costs and a simplified life cycle energy analysis. Key elements of the life cycle design framework, which is based on systems analysis, multiobjective analysis, and multistakeholder participation, are also described.