Changing an Oil Filter on Your Car

A spin on oil filter does not look like it would be hard to change since it is spin on you would think you can just twist it off and on and that’s it. But it is not that simple. Generally the area where the oil filter does not have much space around it to maneuver so just reaching in and untwisting it and spinning it on rarely happen. Add to the fact that an oil filter should be screwed on very tight and typically is covered in oil or grease. Because of this you should use a wrench.There are wrenches available that are used especially for changing oil filters. Some of the ones you can use are a sleeve wrench, strap wrench, chain wrench or socket wrench. The amount of space around the filter will determine what type of wrench to use. If there is not much room around the filter you may want to use a socket wrench but if there is some room to maneuver than a sleeve wrench is a good option because they have long handles on them so you will have leverage in getting the filter off.

Considering that the old filter you will be taking off will be covered in oil or grease you should wear gloves either latex or general work gloves. Before trying to take the filter off you should try to wipe off as much of the grease or oil as possible so the wrench will be able to grab the filter better. Put a bowl or drain pan under the filter so that when you get the filter loose the oil will drain into it.

Next place the wrench on the filter and turn it hard enough so the filter loosens and then you can screw it off by hand. Make sure the oil catching pan or bowl is placed under the filter, as oil will run down the side when it is loosened. Now that the filter is loose off the threaded post place the filter into the pan or bin to drain out the oil.

When the old filter is off and all the oil has stopped draining take a towel and wipe off the filter mounting post or plate. Get the new filter and put a few drops of new oil over the whole surface area of the rubber gasket. Next screw the new filter on the post and run it up into the gasket plate and once it is fit on give the filter a ¾ turn in order to tighten it. Some new filters require extra tightening and you will be able to find this information out from the box the new filter came in. DO NOT USE A WRENCH TO TIGHTEN THE NEW FILTER. By using a wrench for tightening may result in warping the gasket and leaks may occur which will make filter useless. Once you are finished give it a few minutes and run the engine to check for any leaks. You’re done!

Remember get the right type of wrench for the job and make sure to use gloves and an oil catching device to make the job less messy. Changing an oil filter should only take a few minutes if done correctly.
Author: Jason Green