Tech

Oil Filter Removal 101

Changing your car’s oil regularly is an essential part of being a car owner. How often you need to perform this maintenance task depends on your specific vehicle, as older vehicles need changes more frequently than newer cars. An important part of changing your car’s oil is removing and replacing the oil filter. If this is your first time DIYing your oil change or you simply need a refresher, follow this guide.

How To Change an Oil Filter

Changing an oil filter is a basic maintenance task that can typically be completed in about 30 minutes. Start by properly setting up your vehicle, ensuring it’s at the right temperature and in the proper position.

Run the engine for just a few minutes, allowing the oil to heat up slightly without reaching full temperatures. If you have recently driven your vehicle, you need to wait at least thirty minutes to let the fluids cool down. Next, use jack stands to prop up your car so you can safely get underneath.

Use your vehicle’s manual or scan it to locate the oil drain plug. You will need to place a pan underneath at an angle to catch the fluid that is about to be released.

Carefully loosen the plug using an oil filter wrench, and then use your hand to completely remove it. Once all the oil has drained from the vehicle, replace the plug and tighten it (but not too tight).  

Next, you can focus on the oil filter. Move the pan so it is underneath the filter you are replacing and use a filter wrench to wiggle it free from your vehicle. Wipe off the mounting surface and ensure that the old gasket isn’t still attached.

Grab your brand-new oil filter and use an oil designed for your vehicle to lubricate the seal before screwing the filter into place. If you’re not sure what product is right for your vehicle, a VIN lookup can help.

Finally, add fresh oil using a funnel, being careful not to overfill it. Replace the cap. Make sure your job is done by running the engine and looking for any leaks. Check the oil level to make sure it is at the proper level.

Why You Should Change Your Oil Filter

Over time, your oil filter becomes clogged with debris and dirt, which can keep it from doing its job effectively. A clog can prevent enough oil from getting into the engine and allows harmful debris to make its way in, which can lead to premature failure. A clean oil filter is designed to catch dirt and various contaminants before they make their way further into your vehicle’s engine.

Get Everything You Need To Successfully Change Your Oil Filter

While changing out your oil filter is an easy job suitable for even beginner DIY home mechanics, there are several tools and parts you need to make the task a success. For instance, you’ll need a car jack, oil filter wrench, oil pan, an oil filter, and the right oil. Virtually or physically make your way to a trusted automotive part retailer that can guide you to everything you need for your specific vehicle.

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