How to Remove a Stuck Oil Filter

If you’re like most car owners, you probably don’t think about your oil filter until it’s time to change the oil. And even then, you may not give it a second thought if you’re able to easily remove the old one. But what do you do if your oil filter is stuck?

Removing a stuck oil filter can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little patience, it can be done easily.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to remove a stuck oil filter quickly and easily. With just a few simple steps, you can have your car back up and running in no time. So read on to learn more!

Why my oil filter is stuck?

Why my oil filter is stuck

As anyone who has ever changed their own oil knows, getting the oil filter off can be a real challenge. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the filter to become stuck, seemingly no matter how much force is applied. There are a few reasons why this might happen.

  • It’s possible that the filter was tightened too much in the first place. This can cause the housing to become distorted, making it difficult to remove.
  • The O-ring that seals the filter in place may have deteriorated, making it harder to get a good grip.
  • Not lubricate the O-ring: Another common mistake is failing to lubricate the O-ring before installing the new filter. This can cause the O-ring to become stuck in place, making it difficult to remove.
  • There could be built-up dirt and grime that is preventing the filter from coming loose.

Whatever the reason, if your oil filter is stuck, don’t despair. There are a few tricks that can help you get it off without damaging the housing. With a little patience and perseverance, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

How to remove a stuck oil filter

How to remove a stuck oil filter

If the filter is stuck, it can be difficult to get it off without damaging the housing. The good news is that there are a few tricks you can use to break loose a stuck oil filter.

Lift the car

First, you need to lift the car. You can do this by either using a jack or ramps. Make sure that the car is on level ground and that the parking brake is engaged. Then, locate the jack points on the car – these are typically located near the corners of the vehicle.

Once you have found the jack points, place the jack under the car and begin to slowly raise it off the ground. Once the car is high enough, insert jack stands under the car and lower it down onto them.

Remove the jack from under the car. You should now be able to safely work on your vehicle.

Locate the oil filter

While the oil filter in your car may be located in different places depending on the make and model, there are a few general tips that can help you to find it.

First, consult your car’s owner’s manual. The oil filter is usually located near the engine, so start by looking in that area. If you still can’t find it, try tracing the path of the oil line.

The filter will be located between the oil pan and the engine, and will usually be attached to the engine block with a bolt or clamp. Once you’ve located the filter, place a drain pan beneath the oil filter to catch any spilled oil.

Now everything is ready and you can start to remove the oil filter. Here are 4 oil filter removal methods you should try:

Remove with an oil filter wrench

Things you will need: 

  • Oil filter wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Ratchet and extension


  1. Find the right size oil filter wrench. This can be done by trial and error, or you can consult your car’s owner manual.
  2. Place the oil filter wrench over the housing and turn it in a counterclockwise direction. If the filter is tight, you may need to use a socket wrench or ratchet to give the wrench some extra leverage.
  3. Once the filter has loosened, remove it by hand. Be careful not to spill any oil as you remove it.

Remove with a pair of pliers

Things you will need:

  • A pair of pliers 
  • A rag or a glove


  1. Place the pliers over the housing and grip it tightly.
  2. Turn the pliers in a counterclockwise direction until the filter starts to loosen.
  3. Remove the filter by hand, being careful not to spill any oil. You may need to use a rag or glove to protect your hands from the hot oil.

Remove with a hammer and screwdriver

Things you will need:

  • A hammer
  • A screwdriver
  • A rag or a glove


  1. Place the screwdriver over the housing and hit it with the hammer to loosen the filter.
  2. Once the filter has loosened, remove it by hand. Be careful not to spill any oil as you remove it.

Remove oil filter using sandpaper

Things you will need:

  • Sandpaper


  1. If the above methods don’t work, you can try using sandpaper to remove the stuck oil filter.
  2. Start by wrapping the sandpaper around the housing.
  3. Rub the sandpaper in a circular motion until the housing is clean and free of dirt and grime.
  4. Once the housing is clean, try one of the other methods to remove the filter.

With these 4 simple methods, you should be able to easily remove a stuck oil filter. Just remember to take your time and be patient, and you’ll be back on the road in no time.


Will WD40 loosen the oil filter?

It is always best to check your owner’s manual before trying any new products on your vehicle, but in general, WD40 can be used to loosen an oil filter. Simply spray WD40 onto the filter and wait a few minutes before trying to remove it.

The WD40 will help to break down the oils that are holding the filter in place, making it easier to remove. Just be sure to follow up with the recommended oil change procedure once you have removed the filter.

What happens if you over-tighten an oil filter?

If you over-tighten an oil filter, it can cause damage to the seal. This can lead to oil leaks, which can be a fire hazard. In addition, if the filter is not properly sealed, dirty oil can bypass the filter and contaminate the engine. Over tightening an oil filter can also damage the housing, which can lead to premature failure.

How do you remove a mangled oil filter?

When an oil filter becomes mangled, it can be very difficult to remove. The first step is to identify the point of attachment. Usually, this will be a nut or bolt that can be unscrewed by hand or with a wrench.

Once the point of attachment has been removed, the filter can be pulled off and disposed of properly. In some cases, however, the point of attachment may be damaged beyond repair.

In this case, it may be necessary to cut the filter open in order to remove it. Be sure to take care when cutting the filter open, as there is a risk of damaging the engine if done incorrectly.

With a little patience and care, however, it is usually possible to remove a mangled oil filter without too much difficulty.

Can you tighten an oil filter by hand?

Many people assume that hand tightening the filter is enough, but that is not always the case. Depending on the size and type of filter, you may need to use a wrench to achieve the correct level of tightness.

If the filter is not properly secured, it could come loose and cause an oil leak. In addition, an incorrectly installed filter could cause engine damage.

As a result, it is important to take the time to consult your owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic before changing your own oil.

How do you remove a broken oil filter?

Sometimes a filter can become damaged or broken, making it difficult to remove. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do.

First, try gently tapping the filter with a hammer. This may loosen the grip of the oil and allow you to remove the filter. If this does not work, you may need to use an oil filter removal tool. These tools are specifically designed to grip the filter and unscrew it from the engine.

What are some famous oil filter brands right now?

Some of the most popular oil filter brands on the market include K&N, Mobil 1, Microgard and Fram. Each of these brands offers a variety of different oil filters that are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of customers.

I’ve written an article about the company who makes Microgard oil filters, make sure you check it out if you are interested in this brand. Whether you need an oil filter for your car or truck, there is likely a brand that will offer what you need.

Will a dented oil filter still work?

A dented oil filter will likely still work, but it may not work as well as a non-dented filter. The purpose of an oil filter is to remove impurities from engine oil as it circulates through the engine.

A dented filter can still catch some impurities, but there is a chance that larger impurities will bypass the filter and end up back in the engine oil.

Over time, this can lead to increased wear on engine components and may even cause engine damage. As a result, it is generally advisable to replace a dented oil filter with a new one.

Do you really need an oil filter wrench?

No, but it’s a great tool if your oil filter is stuck. This simple tool helps to break the seal on the filter, making it much easier to remove.

In addition, an oil filter wrench can help to prevent damage to the filter housing, which can be expensive to repair. While you may not need an oil filter wrench for every oil change, it’s definitely a good idea to have one on hand for those stubborn filters.


When removing a stuck oil filter, it is important to take your time and be patient. There are several methods that can be used, and the best method will depend on the situation.

If you are having difficulty removing the oil filter, do not force it. Trying to remove the filter too quickly could damage the engine or cause injury.

Always consult with a mechanic if you are unsure about how to proceed. In this blog post, we’ve shown you 4 methods that you can use to remove a stuck oil filter quickly and easily.

So next time your filter becomes stuck, don’t despair. Just follow the steps on how to remove a stuck oil filter, and you can safely and effectively remove the filter and get your car back on the road.

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James Todd

I'm James, I've been a car mechanic for as long as i can remember, It's always been my dream to work on cars and i love it more than anything. I love the challenge of figuring out what's wrong with them. I'm good at my work and people often come to me for advice. I'm happy to help out whenever i can and i always try to learn something new. I enjoy nothing more than helping people keep their vehicles running smoothly - It's what makes me happy.

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