Oil filters can sometimes become stuck and seemingly impossible to remove. You may start to question whether you require special tools or the oil filter has an issue.
So do oil filters have reverse threads?
Oil filters do not have reverse threads. If you’re having issues removing the filter, try turning counterclockwise using an oil filter cup wrench tool.
We’ll look at how to stop your oil filter from getting stuck as well as some tips and tricks on how to properly put your oil filter on to prevent it from fusing. We’ll also look at some tools that are best for removing a stuck oil filter.
Do Oil Filters Have Reverse Threads?
Oil filters can easily get stuck and seem impossible to remove when you go to replace them. It can make it seem like oil filters have reverse threads that mean you should be loosening the filter by turning in the opposite direction to what is expected.
However, oil filters do not have reverse threads and the reason they are hard to remove is that they often get stuck due to not being prepared before installation.
Which Is The Correct Way To Unscrew An Oil Filter?
An oil filter is unscrewed counterclockwise. This applies to all makes, models, and vehicle types. The issue with stuck oil filters normally comes about because of improper use of tools.
To prevent your oil filter from getting stuck, it is good to have a few tools on hand to do the job properly when putting the oil filter on initially.
First, you will want a torque wrench. Torque wrenches allow you to apply the correct amount of torque to a component so that you get the oil filter tight enough to form a good seal but not so tight you cannot remove the oil filter later.
Amazon sells a variety of torque wrenches with various size attachments. Check the dimensions of your oil filter by looking up your vehicle on an auto parts part finder, and then find a suitable size oil filter cup.
Generally, the best way to unscrew an oil filter with no issue is to follow certain steps when you install it.
The first is to smear a small amount of oil around the rubber seal or gasket on top of the oil filter. You can use the engine oil and your finger, and make sure the seal is lightly lubricated with the oil.
Then, start to screw the oil filter on by hand. To make sure the threads line up, insert the oil filter into the housing and then turn backward, or counterclockwise until you feel the oil filter bump into place. This means the threads are lined up and you can start to tighten it.
Once the oil filter has been tightened by hand, then give it an additional one-quarter turn with the torque wrench. This allows the filter to be inserted properly without overtightening.
- The oil on the seal also provides a level of protection so that it does not become fused, causing the oil filter to stick to the engine.
How To Remove A Stuck Oil Filter?
There are a variety of tools that you’ll need for a stuck oil filter. Generally, you’re removing an oil filter to replace it with a new one, but keep in mind that most of these tools will likely destroy the oil filter in the process of removing it.
First, getting access to the oil filter is going to require getting under the vehicle. This is best done with some car ramps or a car jack. Car ramps or automotive ramps can be placed on a surface and then the car is driven on them to give more room under the hood.
The first tool to use is the oil filter cup wrench. This is a metal cup that fits over the bottom of the filter. You can buy a full set of cups but you’ll likely only need one per vehicle, as the oil filter is not going to change size too much even if you buy a different type for the same car.
You can attach a socket wrench or spanner to the cup and then twist counterclockwise to remove it.
Check out this YouTube video that shows how to remove a stuck oil filter.
Another choice of tool is oil filter pliers. The Powerbuilt self-adjusting pliers will fit any oil filter if the cup does not work. These will allow you to grip the filter and then twist it off. They have serrated edges, or other versions have spikes, to pierce and grip the filter.
The other type is the 3 leg wrench adaptor. Also fitting onto a socket, you can use this to fit onto any oil filter and twist off. The offering from Wadoy is universal and will remove filters measuring from 2 inches to 4.5 inches.
Will WD-40 Help Remove A Stuck Oil Filter?
As the issue with a stuck oil filter is that it has become fused to the housing, trying to get the area lubricated may help.
WD-40 is a great choice to help lubricate metal and also infuse rubber. Spray some around the top of the oil filter and leave for a few minutes, before attempting to remove by using an oil filter cup and socket wrench to remove.
Penetrating oils, also known as penetrating fluids, will be one of the best options for getting into the area to loosen the oil filter.
Penetrating oils are a type of oil with very low viscosity that helps stuck nuts and bolts be removed. Penetrating oil will get into the smallest gaps and spaces to help loosen the oil filter.
One of the best products for this situation is PB B’laster which can be found on Amazon. After spraying it around the stuck filter, give it around 20 minutes to seep in.
PB B’laster will evaporate quite quickly so spray a liberal amount.
To effectively use PB B’laster, you should spray some and then attempt to turn the oil filter. Repeat the process and then try to instead tighten the oil filter. By going backward and forwards by tightening and loosening the oil filter, spreads the PB B’laster.
Continue this process, occasionally spraying more PB B’laster, to try and get as much lubricant in the area as possible.