Guide & Tips

How to Use an Oil Filter Wrench – Step by Step Procedure

In this guide we will tell you, how to use an oil filter wrench, its types & sizes to remove the oil filer effortlessly from your car.

Oil filters are essential for the smooth functioning of a car’s engine as they filter impurities from the oil for its smooth processing.

However oil filters corrode or clog with time and need changing so that the cars lubrication system runs efficiently. A specialized tool such as the oil filter wrench is required to easily change the oil filters.

Oil filters can get difficult to remove as the oil filter casing can tighten during the heating and cooling down of the engine and it gets so firmly fixed that an oil filter wrench is required to remove it.

Also, the grime and grease stuck on the oil filters make it even more difficult so using the correct tool is key for stress-free removal.

There are many different types of oil filter wrenches used according to the car model, positioning of the engine, and the workspace available to remove the oil filters but basically, there are three main types of oil filter wrenches that are normally used.

  • Strap-style wrench, socket-style/cap-style wrench, and a specialized wrench that is dedicated to working in your type of car.

Follow the detailed step by step instructions below to efficiently remove your car’s oil filter. Before you start make sure you have the necessary tools at hand that you require to undergo this procedure.

The Tools/Supplies you Require are:

  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil drain pan
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ratchet handle or socket extension (depends on your wrench tool)
  • Open-end wrench
  • Old rag

Step 1

  • Prepare your vehicle

Park your vehicle at the work station you are going to work at and shut off the engine, let your car and its engine cool down completely (make sure it is completely cool before starting to work, it might take half an hour or more).

This step is only required if you have started your car before this procedure. Make sure you have all the tools and supplies you require close by.

Step 2

  • Jack-up your car

Jack-up your car before starting and place the jack stands to elevate and fix it in place. Your car doesn’t have to be elevated too much just enough so that you have an easy access angle to work in. 

Step 3

  • Drain the engine oil

Position your oil drain pan below the drain or slum plug. Using an open end wrench, remove the drain plug/ slum plug from the engine oil pan.

Allow the oil to flow out onto the drain pan. Once all the oil is out empty the drain pan and replaces it. Now replace the drain plug and tighten it with the open-end wrench.

Step 4

  • Strap Style Wrench

For a Strap-style wrench simply clean the oil filter with an old rag and slip the strap of the wrench on the casing of the oil filter. The end of the handle should be counterclockwise

Slide off the strap of the casing, now simply turn the casing of the oil filter counterclockwise by hand and it will come off.

Step 5

Push the handle in the same direction to release the oil filter casing. If you don’t have enough room to rotate, pull the handle clockwise

Step 6

  • Socket Style/Cap Style Wrench

For a socket-style wrench, simply place your cap first, you should place it on the end of the filter, push it firmly so that it doesn’t slip off.  In case you are not able to reach it use a suitable tool to adjust the cap at the end.

Specialized Wrench

There is also a specialized wrench available for specific models of cars that are easier to use and are made according to the requirements of the car.

Steps for that might differ slightly, your best route in case of confusion is to contact the manufacturer for a procedure or simply have your mechanically take a look at it.

And that is it, you are now acquainted with how to use an oil filter wrench to remove an oil filter from your car.

Tip: Make sure to be extra careful when working in limited space it is likely that you might damage any other component.

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