Stuck oil filter? Use a pipe wrench...

What a nightmare this was. I figured i would make a post about my issues with this to possbibly help others that face this same issue... First of all, i bought a car a couple of months ago because i needed another car. I figured after the snow stopped i would do an oil change. Easy, right? Nope. A nightmare. Oil drain bolt was stripped so i had to buy a bolt extractor kit and use a 10" pipe wrench to get it off (took a couple days to get to that point). Then i put a band wrench around the filter and it kept slipping/slightly crushing so i waited for a better day to try again. I tried a smaller band wrench (crushed it), 3 jaw wrench (ultimately ripped it open), rubber strap wrench, hammer/flathead screwdriver, hammer/chisel, screwdriver through it (tore it apart). All that was left was the metal plate. I sprayed it with liquid wrench. I tried to make a tool made out of a bracket with screws in 2 holes to fit the holes on the plate... a screw snapped off in it. I tapped at it for a while with a hammer and screwdriver + chisel in the holes. Didn't budge. I tried to use a razor blade to cut the gasket but couldn't get to it. Ending up getting the remains off with a 24" pipe wrench that my neighbor had. It was a Fram Extra Guard, BTW.

Actually, they make a tool for that. I saw Trav post this. I've never needed it, but I'm willing to wager this would have worked: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...&pf_rd_p=5ae2c7f8-e0c6-4f35-9071-dc3240e894a8
 
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24
Location
USA
Essential and very effective kits

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Messages
364
Location
KY, USA
I don't know what it is about my Nissan Versa but every time I do an oil change the filter is tight to get off. I always tighten about 3/4 turn after gasket makes contact and on other cars I can usually remove them barehanded even in the hardest to reach places. The Versa filter is right up front wide open and I have to use about a 15" pair of channel locks to take it off. First oil change I did on it I destroyed the filter before going for the channel locks, now I just go for them first thing instead of wasting my time.
 
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1,476
Location
California
Nearly everyone who does their own (or anyone else's) oil changes has dealt with a stuck filter. Good job getting this one un-stuck. Sounds like it was a real bastard.
 
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1,677
Location
Paradise of Florida
Those filter removal sockets, with teeth or prongs, would remove the filter. But, might need to use a impact driver/wrench.

Can't use excessive constant torque brute force. If the filter does not remove easily, use your oil filter socket and tap your breaker bar with a hammer. Constant breaker bar torque just mangles the filter. Tap away and watch it slowly move. Eventually, you'll be able to spin it off without mangling it.

Once you mangle the filter, your only option is filter mutilation along with busted knuckles, verbal obscenities, and excessive pain relieving beverages, along with stern warnings from the pretty woman that hears you.

Get a torque wrench for filter installations. 15-20ft lb is plenty. Can always add 5 more ft lbs if there is a filter gasket leak.

I have nothing against the entry level filters. But, a premium mid or higher tier filter could have a stronger shell.

Same impact wrench will take off a stripped head drain bolt with a quality socket(kind that grabs the flats/flanks) and not the corners. SK, Mac, Snapon, Metrinch, and various brands have sockets that remove rounded bolts/nuts easily. Never need to use bolt-out extractors but do like those newer grip/spline sockets from Craftsman/Husky/GripTite... work like a sprag

Pipe wrenches and channel locks = epitome of DIY... and why everyone hides the sledge hammers when I'm around
 
Messages
25,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Get a torque wrench for filter installations. 15-20ft lb is plenty. Can always add 5 more ft lbs if there is a filter gasket leak.
Never tighten a spin on filter to 15-20 ftlb unless specified by the manufacturer, that is far to much. The most I can recall seeing when a spec was given was 7ftlb or 10Nm, most are hand tight only.
 
Messages
25,937
Location
PNW
Usually around 12-15 ft-lbs when a torque spec is called out. Never seen one as low as 7 ft-lbs called out in any manual.

Go by the filter instructions on the box, which always call out turn amount after gasket contact. I've used 3/4 turn (with oiled gasket) forever, which is really "hand tight". Never had a problem.

XSR900 Oil Filter Torque Specs.JPG


G35 OIl Filter Torque.JPG
 
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Messages
25,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Just because you never saw one doesn't mean there isn't. In fact its quite common especially on filters that use an o ring type seal instead of a flat seal. 10Nm or 7.2 ftlb

2021-01-14_16-43-54.png
 
Messages
25,937
Location
PNW
Never said there isn't any ... about every manual call-out I've seen is in the range I showed. If you do your own experiment and follow the turn amount listed on the box instructions, you're going to find the torque required will be way more than 7 ft-lbs. Try it sometime, I have on many filters over the years and it takes way more than 7 ft-lbs to achieve the amount of turn listed on the box instructions. The many I've checked showed the torque required pretty much correlated with the turns/torque spec called out in the manual (when both are shown). Bottom line is follow the instructions on the box, regardless if there's a torque spec or not.

And exactly what engine is that snip-it for ... perhaps a lawn mower?
 
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Messages
25,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Honda car. You left out where I said "unless specified by the manufacturer".

Another one, 2019 Honda ..

Engine Oil Filter Torque: 12Nm / 8.7ft-lb (from an Accord factory service manual, see below)
 
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Messages
25,937
Location
PNW
I didn't need to include it ... just sayin' that 7 ft-lbs is not typical and I've never seen it listed that low. You said: "The most I can recall seeing when a spec was given was 7ftlb or 10Nm". I showed it is typically way more than 7 ft-lbs. You found a unicorn or haven't looked very far ... do the test I described and you'll see that.
 
Messages
25,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Not a unicorn at all most Honda cars are in lower than you cite. In fact Honda has a preset torque wrench for oil filters, older ones were even lower.
How do you call this a unicorn? Nuff said IMO, the only thing you showed is that there are some that are higher not typically and as I said unless different in the FSM.

 
Messages
25,937
Location
PNW
Honda OEM filters have a P-gasket, so they typically bottom out the can on the mounting surface, so they don't need as much torque (the can is biting into the mounting surface). But 8.7 ft-lbs (Honda filter tool) is still more than 7 ft-lbs. Some of their filters say 1.4 kgm, which is 10 ft-lbs. Regardless, I'd never go with 7 ft-lbs regardless of the gasket style. The first figure I posted is also a P-gasket design, and it calls out 12 ft-lbs.

Checkout this Honda oil filter.

Honda Filter Torqu Specs.JPG
 
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Messages
25,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Give it rest. I showed your values are not typical. What I said is perfectly in order do not tighten any filer to those levels unless specified in the FSM, tighten a low torque filter up to higher torque can result in extreme difficulty removing it like the OP ran into.
 
Messages
25,937
Location
PNW
And I showed that your claim of "the most I've ever seen is 7 ft-lbs" isn't even close to reality for the majority of oil filters. It might be the lower end for some P-gasket type filters, but no where even close for a non P-gasket filter. Torque on P-gasket filters is not "typical" except for them, and sometimes not, as shown on the Honda filter in post #58.
 
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