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13 comments

How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

Posted June 25, 2010 12:01 AM by CarDomain

I've always felt that the time-honored technique of punching a screwdriver through an oil filter was just plain asking for trouble, but from the looks of it, this poor guy was doomed from the start no matter what he tried.

In the course of the struggle, the filter ended up getting sheared off down to its base, so there's now basically nothing left to grab onto to make it turn.

I'm not exactly sure how the Saab 9-5 is set up, but from these pics, it doesn't look like getting to the threaded spigot from the other side of the block wall with the motor disassembled is much of an option either.

Ever had this happen to you? What should he try next?

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#1

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/25/2010 2:32 AM

The answer is staring you in the face (unless I'm somehow mistaken)
There are nice holes in that thick filter base plate.
Make up a lever with a couple of pins to suit.
Del

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#6
In reply to #1

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/26/2010 12:04 AM

Yes, a "spanner" [in the American usage] is the way to go. I don't see such an answer on the original site - but the hassle to get on to answer is not worth it for me (connection speed issues, plus godawful reliability of the connection the last several weeks). Even using the tips of a bent-nose set of needle-nosed pliers might be adequate, though clearly a husky steel bar and steel dowel pins are far better.

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#2

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/25/2010 5:59 AM

The answer is obvious. Don't put it on that tight in the first place.

Firm hand tight with the O-ring seal pre lubed is the correct way.

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#3

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/25/2010 7:00 PM

You could remove it using a hammer and a punch driving against the edges of the holes in the filter base.

I saw this a lot at the John Deere dealership I worked at.

people would buy the wrong filter (wrong thread pitch) force it on and this is what happens.

I also encountered a situation where a customer decided she wasn't strong enough to tighten the filter properly so she used high strength loctite.

I can't quite tell, but it also looks like the person may have forgot the old saying "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey"

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/25/2010 9:02 PM

Is that also true in the Southern Hemisphere?

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/25/2010 10:53 PM

Had it happen to me on one that someone put in too tight. Took out what was left with the hammer and punch method. Only possible problem is if you punch at too acute an angle, and punch THROUGH the baseplate, cause that can damage the mating surface so that a new filter either can't seat, or is bypassed by oil flowing in the resulting grooves (depending on exactly where the grooves are with relation to the filter mating surfaces, seal groove, etc.).

But it DID come out. Hated the guy who put it in that tight in the first place. Told him in no uncertain terms that I'd kill him if he ever did that again. I listened to me, too, and never did that again. Guess I learned me!

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#7

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/26/2010 12:27 AM

Every mechanic needs one of these at the bottom of their tool box.

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#8
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Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/26/2010 1:35 PM

Or, one of these, used with caution.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/27/2010 3:25 AM

Extreme caution. I resorted to this once and was fortunately smart enough to have a fire extinguisher nearby.

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#9

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/26/2010 11:44 PM

Before punching through with a screwdriver, try putting the filter wrench an it and putting a couple or bungee cords on the wrench, hooked to the car frame or what ever and go off to lunch should be loose when you get back.

Chiseling wont usually work because the sealing ring (o-ring), will just bounce back and cause more frustration than removal progress. It's hard to swing a hammer in those tight locations, too.

Lubing of the o-ring seal should always be done with the same lube that you put in the crankcase. Never use chassis or wheel bearing grease, that will cause almost as bad a situation as no lube on the seal.

The idea of a spanner sounds pretty good. If you can get it to stay in the bungee cord deal will probably work on that too.

Good luck.... It's amazing how something as simple as an oil change can get so complicated. But like they say, "if it has boobs or wheels you are going to have problems"

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#11

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/27/2010 10:58 AM

It seems that automobile designers delight in placing important service items in places that you cant get at with normal tools.

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#12

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/27/2010 11:19 AM

And who's the flaming idiot that decided that oil filters should be mounted up-side-down? You dump 1/2 quart of oil down the side of your engine when you remove the thing and can't charge the new one with oil prior to installation.

STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: How Not To Un-Stick an Stuck Oil Filter

06/27/2010 10:03 PM

Thats why someone else, who was probably not a engineer, developed those kits for remotely mounting your filters some place where you can change them with ease and without spilling all over.

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