I’ve had to do this a lot, and, while I really don’t mind getting messy, what bothers me about all this is that it’s so easily avoidable. Just don’t crank those filters down so hard!


Popular oil filter company Wix recommends only three-quarters of a turn on some of its filters, starting once those filters’ gaskets have touched the oil filter housing. That’s it. Purolator, one of the oldest names in the oil filtration business, recommends three-quarters to one turn, depending on the filter.

A full turn after gasket contact is actually pretty tight, and I myself generally go with somewhere just over 1/2 a turn on my Jeep Cherokees (this is obviously dependent upon the vehicle); the filters on my XJs seem to remain nice and snug even after 4,000 miles of driving. The point is to ensure that the rubber o-ring is being crushed enough that it seals the filter, and that the filter is snug enough to remain in place over time, even with heavy engine vibrations trying to shake it loose.


I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to just be able to reach into my engine bay with one hand, and twist the oil filter out without having to jerry-rig some sort of contraption or make a mess puncturing the filter with a screwdriver.

As someone who does oil changes frequently, fighting overly-tightened, poorly packaged oil filters is a waste of time I refuse to ever deal with again. And you should, too.