Alright, DIY mavens, let’s get our hands a little greasy today and delve into the nitty-gritty of engine oil change. Specifically, we’re talking about how to use that nifty little gadget: the oil filter wrench. This specialty tool isn’t just another fad, it’s a necessity for your oil filter maintenance routine.
So, what’s the big fuss about this tool, you ask? Well, for starters, it makes the job of oil filter removal a cinch. Especially when dealing with those stubborn, stuck-on canister filters, an oil filter wrench becomes your best buddy. Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
First off, let’s chat about the tools you’ll need. Obviously, the star of the show is the oil filter wrench. There are several types of oil filter wrenches – some fit over the top of the filter, others wrap around it. Choose one that suits your vehicle’s oil filter and your comfort. Also, arm yourself with a ratchet or wrench to turn your oil filter wrench.
Other than that, you’ll need a new oil filter, some engine oil, a drain pan, and maybe some gloves to keep your hands clean. Now that we have our gear, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to use that oil filter wrench!
Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle
Before you get your hands dirty, it’s essential to prepare your vehicle. First, you’ll need to lift your car using a high-lift jack or a ramp. If you’re looking for the best high-lift jack, do check our guide on the best high-lift jack. Make sure the car is stable before you start working.
Step 3: Drain the Old Oil
Position your drain pan under the oil drain plug and use a wrench to remove the plug. Remember to do this slowly, as the oil may be hot if the car has been running. Allow all the old oil to drain into the pan.
Step 4: Remove the Old Filter
4.1 Position your drain pan
Position your drain pan directly beneath the oil filter. Even if you’ve drained the oil already, there’s usually a bit more trapped in the filter. You don’t want this spilling out onto your workspace.
4.2 Attach the oil filter wrench
Take your oil filter wrench and attach it to the oil filter. Depending on the type of wrench you have, this could involve fitting it over the top of the filter, or wrapping it around the sides. Ensure it’s adjusted to fit securely on the filter.
4.3 Turn the wrench
Now it’s time to apply some force. Turn the wrench counterclockwise. You might have to put a little elbow grease into it, especially if the filter was overtightened during the last change or if it’s been a while since it was replaced.
4.4 Apply steady force
Remember to apply steady, consistent force. It’s tempting to yank hard when the filter doesn’t immediately budge, but resist that temptation. Yanking can cause you to slip and potentially damage other parts of the car, or worse, injure yourself.
4.5 Be patient
In some cases, filters can be incredibly stubborn. Patience is your friend here. Keep applying steady force and eventually, it will start to turn.
4.6 Unscrew the filter
Once the filter has loosened, you can usually unscrew it the rest of the way by hand. Keep that drain pan handy and be prepared for some oil to spill out as you remove it.
4.7 Dispose of the old filter
Oil filters can’t be tossed in your regular trash since they’re filled with used oil.
Instead, take it to a recycling center or an auto parts store that offers recycling services.
Step 5: Install the New Filter
Once you’ve removed the old filter, it’s time to install the new one. Before you screw it on, though, dab a little bit of new engine oil on the gasket on the top of the filter. This helps create a seal and prevents the filter from sticking the next time you have to remove it. Screw on the new filter by hand. You don’t need to use the oil filter wrench here – hand-tight is tight enough.
Step 6: Add New Oil
With the new filter installed, you can add new oil. Consult your vehicle’s manual for the correct type and quantity of oil. Once you’ve added the oil, replace the oil cap and start the engine. Let it run for a few minutes to allow the new oil to circulate.
And voila! You’ve just completed an oil change using an oil filter wrench. Regular maintenance is vital for the longevity of your vehicle, and knowing how to change your oil and oil filter is a significant part of that.
To those of you who’ve just completed your first DIY oil change, I tip my hat to you. It’s not always easy diving into the world of canister filters and specialty tools, but once you’ve started, it’s a satisfying journey.
Check out our article on how to remove a stuck axle nut if you’re facing challenges with other parts of your vehicle. As always, stay greased and stay grinning!