How to Remove Stuck Oil Filter

How to Remove Stuck Oil Filter, The Tips and Best Ways

How to remove stuck oil filter? If you happen to get your oil filter stuck and you are trying to use a specific tool but unfortunately fail to take it out, then you better stop what you are doing. If you keep on using the inappropriate tool, you may crumple the can, which may develop spillage of oil.

Replacing your oil filter is the foundation of culpable engine care. But what crops up if you try to perform the task, but the oil filter is not cooperative? If you learn the steps on removing a stuck oil filter, it will be easier for you to look after your car to keep it run placidly.

If an oil filter gets stuck, it gets stranded on the condensed gasket, which is seen in the middle of the block and the filter. Fortunately, there are several methods to address this concern and remove stuck oil filter.

About the Oil Filter

An oil filter is normally a cylinder-shaped component seen in vehicles. Its location is nearly the same. It is found on the lower part of the engine and, in many instances, at the front end. The most suitable way to get access to it is coming through the front part of the car.

The working principle is comparably easy. It has mesh built from industrial paper with little holes. The oil is pushed in the mesh and being filtered. As an outcome, the entire particles, metal fragments, and sludge shall be cornered inside the filter. The one that is pushed back to the car’s engine is the clean oil.

Why Oil Filter Won't Come Off

To open your old oil filter, you should place your vehicle in a hole and hoist through the use of a jackscrew. However, if the oil filter will not unscrew, several reasons can lead to this scenario.

There was no oil in the filter before screwing it

It is very typical for the engine to get extremely hot while it is running. This component comprises a rubber gasket where the oil filter is attached to the car’s engines. It dissolves a bit and adheres to the engine if you fail to oil the filter before screwing to the engine.

The gasket turns a type of sticking component. Because of this, it can be more challenging to unscrew the filter.

The filter was twisted firmly

The gasket in the filters inhibits oil leakage. Some mechanics believe that they should firmly screw the oil filters to the engine. However, manufacturers explain that the oil filter has a unique tightening torque, normally close to 20 Nm.

If the gasket is extremely contacted, particularly if using a unique key, the oil filter turns nearly not feasible to unscrew.

To avoid this concern, entirely screw oil filters using your hand, and then a one-quarter rotation. This will let the filter securely fit without getting extremely tight.

The Best Way to Remove Stuck Oil Filter

It is very simple to determine whether your oil filter is stuck. However, before you start to remove it, you should first identify the reason why you have led to that kind of situation. Seemingly, the last person who changed the filter did not perform the fundamental guideline of installation.

Executing with an oiled finger near the rim through the gasket and tightening the filter by hand to the engine will keep you away from this situation. Many veteran mechanics choose to use a wrench when installing a filter. However, if you are going to do the task, consider using something else. It is not an essential tool and shall likely to come back.

The following tricks and methods are some approaches you can use. If you think that the presented method can potentially destroy the body of the filter, proceed to the next alternative.

Crunching too much on the filter can destroy it, which can create a mess or crippling any possible influential points. Also, bear in mind that doing counterclockwise is unbinding.

Tip #1: Wrenches that are Engine-Specific

Some companies come up with systems that demand a particular oil filter wrench. You should review your manual. If it suggests that you use a particular one, then use it.

  • Adjustable Oil Wrench Pliers

This is an ideal tool to use since it is adjustable. Hence, it can be useful for filters of various sizes. Sadly, the grip is not always excellent, and it may be hard to move in the confined spaces of the engine compartment.

  • Chain Wrenches

These tools are also adjustable, although they have an ideal grip compared to the pliers. However, these tools are inclined to damage the filter. Thus, you should be cautious and bear in mind that if they get oil around the surface, there is a good chance that they can be greasy.

  • Band Wrenches

Band wrenches are specifically useful for spin-on type filters. Fasten the metal band through the canister of the filter to oblige it. It can work on chunking sandpaper amid the filter and the wrench to improve friction. Tighten the band wrench near the filter’s base to lessen the chance of smashing the canister.

These are particular to the filter’s circumference and have a comparably reduced profile in comparison to other kinds. With these tools, it is possible to wrench a bit harder without ruining the filter, although it is still feasible.

However, if you still find that the band wrench is not working on removing the filter, you may consider using a vice grip wrench or a synthetic or rubber material wrench to help you with your dilemma.

It may also be useful to get the engine warmed before taking out the oil filter since the heat can also help to loosen the filter. Simply run the engine for several minutes only; otherwise, it can become extremely hot.

  • Jaw Wrenches

These tools embrace onto the base of the filter to achieve maximum torque and secure the more solid you turn on numerous contact points. They are commonly adapters that bind to a regular ratchet.

Tip #2: Screwdriver Method

These tools embrace onto the base of the filter to achieve maximum torque and secure the more solid you turn on numerous contact points. They are commonly adapters that bind to a regular ratchet.

How to remove a stuck oil filter YouTube Video:

Last Considering

This method should be your last recourse considering the unavoidable mess it creates, with the additional risk of knuckle and component damage. However, if all the other methods would fail you, consider driving a screwdriver in the filter’s body and protracting it all –inclusively.

Seemingly, it will only rip apart the filter, although it will display the ring of the holes over the top portion of the filter where you may consider getting a hammer and chiseling to apply pressure to it.


Whatever kind of method you would choose to use, always remember to put on the new filter with a gentle covering of oil in the gasket. Remember not to tighten it too much. If you fit a new filter, bear in mind that you should grease the seal using engine oil. Do not excessively tighten the filter. This will prevent the filter from being stuck the next time.

It is imperative to highlight that if the vehicle is experiencing engine failure involving damaged little metal particles and parts, you should get the filter changed after correcting the issue.

Lastly, remember to avoid the things that could lead to a stuck oil filter. This will save you more time and effort in learning how to remove stuck oil filter.

Last Updated on: 09/16/2020

About the Author JamesL Davis

James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.

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