Why do we wipe off the oil filter mount?

Messages
1,200
Location
Missouri
The process of changing an oil filter is a bit strange, we wipe off the old oil and apply new oil to the gasket. Is the old oil not capable of lubing the sealing ring? I think the wiping process is really an inspecting process, being sure the old sealing ring isn't stuck.
 
Messages
3,402
Location
Iowa
Ha! I wondered that same thing last OC last week. I was looking up wondering why? I guess I'll keep doing it though.
 
Messages
6,987
Location
Michigan
1. It is a good time to inspect for old gasket or some left over gasket material. 2. Old oil might have some material in it that could stop the new gasket from sealing well.
 
Messages
9,678
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
I've pondered the same question and similarly why do we wipe off the dipstick after checking the oil level. I wipe off the filter mount to remove any dirt that may have built up around the outside of the old filter gasket. As for the dipstick, as far as I can tell it's just habit.
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
I have never done it what is the reason? unless dirt gets on the area . I guess it is the same mentality that lets the oil drain overnight.
 
Messages
14,714
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
i would always wipe if off if anything to make sure there isnt an old gasket or gasket material left on there. i would spray it down with brake cleaner and wipe it off with a clean rag.
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
i would always wipe if off if anything to make sure there isnt an old gasket or gasket material left on there. i would spray it down with brake cleaner and wipe it off with a clean rag.
Look at the filter that was removed or look at the area . Wiping it off leaves lint from the rag.
 
Messages
14,714
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
i would always wipe if off if anything to make sure there isnt an old gasket or gasket material left on there. i would spray it down with brake cleaner and wipe it off with a clean rag.
Look at the filter that was removed or look at the area . Wiping it off leaves lint from the rag.
ya ive actually had a filter get double gasketed and not leak, so i always checked. and if i saw red lint it got taken off. sometimes i just sprayed it with brake cleaner and looked for clean metal if i was in a rush.
 
Messages
610
Location
Afghanistan
I have never wiped it, I didn't know you were supposed to. 30 years later nothing has happened. I always oil the rubber gasket before putting the new one on. You're supposed to wipe the dipstick unless the car has been sitting for a while, and then there is no need. For example first thing in the morning is a good time to check the oil, and no wiping is needed.
 
Messages
22,675
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: ocrstar
I believe he means, why wipe the dipstick a second time after you've checked the oil level, only to stick it back in the oil.
Why? If I do not wipe the dipstick prior inserting it back into the tube, I will drip some oil onto the garage floor.
 
Messages
549
Location
New Mexico, U.S.A.
I normally wipe down the oil filter mount with a shop towel to make sure I haven't left the old gasket on there. A little bit of old oil from the drain pan works fine for lubing the new gasket.
 
Messages
3,118
Location
San Antonio, TX
 Originally Posted By: tom slick
I wipe off the filter mount to remove any dirt that may have built up around the outside of the old filter gasket.
The gasket on the new filter may not be the same diameter as the gasket on the old filter if it's a different brand.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
Generally not necessary to wipe off the filter mounting surface, but either way I would lube the new filter's gasket. Should at least visually inspect the mounting surface.
 
Messages
14,431
Location
The Old North State
 Originally Posted By: moribundman
I ARX the oil filter mounting flange diligently.
I'll bet you do! Zinnngggg! Agree with mechtech, cleaning it serves two purposes for me. Clean all the dirty oil crud (with a shop towel) from the gasket mounting surface and the oil outlet mounting screw area. Also, it does serve as a check to make sure the old gasket is gone. Then I use some fresh oil from the bottle, which I can usually get when I prefill the filter. As for dipstick, when cold I don't usually wipe. When hot, I wipe the first time because of residual oil that hangs high on the stick from a running engine. If I have to put the stick against a shop towel to see the oil level I may wipe it the second time. If you don't wipe it could drip on the engine. Done that a time or two.
 
Messages
34,953
Location
NY
On my Aerostar I wipe the filter mount, this way I know its clean and the gasket is off. Ford set up the 3.0L oil filter to marinate the starter when you remove it, so the less oil the better. I drape a rag over the starter before removing the filter and use that rag to wipe the mounting area. As far as wiping a dipstick, I only do that if I double check the oil, otherwise I don't wipe the dipstick. These habits carry over to other cars as well.
 
Messages
507
Location
St. louis
I have changed oil on several cars where the owner or jiffy lube guy had not been cleaning the mount and they were leaking slightly at the filter base due to debris on the mount. Cleaned it up and no more drips. I always inspect and often clean it.
 
Top