How to Remove a Seized Oil Filter

Written by arthur heberger Google
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How to Remove a Seized Oil Filter
Crushing or tearing an oil filter while trying to remove it can be frustrating. (tools image by CraterValley Photo from

Oil filters do get stuck from time to time. Usually it's from either not spreading a coat of oil on the filter seal before installing it or from over-tightening the filter. If you're using a strap or band type filter wrench you can crush or tear the filter if you need to use excessive of force to remove it. Cup type filter wrenches that attach to a ratchet are the best to use to remove an oil filter.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clean Rags
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Long screwdriver
  • Oil filter
  • Oil

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  1. 1

    Raise and support the vehicle. If you know your oil filter is seized your vehicle is probably already jacked up, but make sure you support it with jack stands under the frame. You do not want a quick oil change to turn into an injury or worse.

  2. 2

    Place a drain pan under the oil filter. Punch a large thick screwdriver through the side in the centre of the oil filter and out the other side, so it can be used as a handle to break the filter loose. Be careful, because oil will most likely start draining out when you do.

  3. 3

    Put pressure on the screwdriver in a counterclockwise direction until the filter breaks loose. You will probably have to put a considerable amount of pressure on it. Pull the screwdriver out of the oil filter. Remove the filter from the engine. Make sure the filter seal is not stuck to the engine.

  4. 4

    Apply a coat of clean oil to the seal on the replacement oil filter. Install the replacement filter. Tighten by hand. You should never use a wrench to tighten an oil filter, you could crimp the seal causing a leak.

  5. 5

    Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground. Put the recommended amount of oil in the vehicle. Run the engine for a minute and shut it down. Let the oil settle. Check the dipstick.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the engine is cool enough to work on before you start.

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