Removing A Destroyed Oil Filter & Step by Step Guide

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For a car enthusiast, it’s beyond description that how important role does an oil filter plays for the engine. It keeps the engine gunk-free and keeps the performance and durability at their peak point.

But what if you’ve ended up with a damaged oil filter?

Well, the oil filter can be damaged due to a number of reasons, but let’s not shift our radar on that. We’re here to provide you with a handy solution on removing a destroyed oil filter by your own.

If you’ve thought of spending bucks to call up a mechanic for the task, we’d urge you have a look at this super-actionable guide below-

Tools to Use In Removing A Destroyed Oil Filter

As you already can assume, removing a destroyed oil filter is not just unscrewing it up from its threads. It’s quite a complicated process and you need to have some technical assistance.

One of this assistance is the oil filter wrench that you must have. And we’re fortunate enough that there are already some heavy duty oil filter wrench in the market. Have a look-

End Cap Oil Filter Wrench

The first tool of the list is the end cap-style wrench for oil filters. This is supposed to be on the top of the oil filter and unscrew from its place when you rotate the wrench itself.

But unfortunately for really stuck up oil filters, all it might cause is spinning to the oil filter. So, we would call it a regular oil filter removal tool instead.

Our favorite oil filter: HeroNeo End Cap Oil Filter Wrench 

End Cap Remover

Next on, we have the 2 or 3 jaws, universal style end caps. What it does is, it tightens the bottom of the oil filter as you turn it around. The more you turn the handle, the tighter it becomes.

It can be a good tool to take off destroyed or hardly stuck oil filters.

We Suggest To Use: Innovant Adjustable 3 Jaw Oil Filter Wrench

Handled Band Style Oil Filter Wrench

This one is the modified version of the earlier tool. There is a swiveling handle and a couple of jaws to hold the subject. All you have to do is slip the jaws over the filter and keep turning until it starts to come off.

In case the filter isn’t stuck, you should be good to go with the oil filter removal.

Our favorite Handled Band Style Wrench: Lisle 57030 Standard Oil Filter Wrench

Filter Pliers

As the name sounds, it’s a modified version of regular pliers, which is supposed to be used with different kind of oil filters. Usually, it bites on the filter and leaves a small dent. But the traction force of this wrench is too high.

In case you don’t want to use the oil filter over again, you can surely go with this plier. Most car owners have this tool in their toolkit box.

Our Recommended Filter Pliers: TEKTON 5866 12-Inch Oil Filter Pliers

Chain Wrench/Cloth Strap Wrench

A chain wrench is made out of the chain, as you can already imagine, and it doesn’t sport a handle like a regular wrench. On the other hand, cloth strap wrench is the cousin of chain wrenches. But both of them work in a similar working process.

In case you are dealing with a large oil filter, then we would suggest you to go with any of them.

Our Recommended Chain Wrench: HomDSim Chain Wrench


Image: Completely Destroyed Oil Filter

Steps on Removing A Destroyed Oil Filter

Now we are at the center of the universe, i mean the article. On a serious note, we would like you to pay deep attention, as we will be taking you through the actionable steps required to remove a destroyed oil filter.

As we are dealing with a destroyed oil filter, we assume that the oil filter is not in its regular size and shape. For one of many reasons, this filter might get de-shaped.

Grab the tools that we’ve mentioned earlier, and proceed to the next section. Based on your size of the oil filter, you can choose one or two from the list. Don’t waste money buying them all at once.

However, here goes the step list-

Step 1: Drain The Old Motor Oil

As we are talking about a damaged car oil filter, there is a good chance that there are oil splits here and here around the filter itself. To start with the removal process, you have to drain these oils away.

Before draining out the motor oil, you should start your car and run it around for a couple of minutes. This will warm the oil up and let you drain the motor oil quite easily.

Now, find the oil pan and the drain plug under the vehicle. It might ask for jacking up the car to get beneath it. If you have to do so, never do that only by supporting the car by a jack. Use a jack stand to get underneath the car safely.

Once you have access to the drain plug with a socket wrench and take the oil out.

Step 2: Remove The Oil Filter Cap

Every oil filter comes up with a cap on the top segment of the filter. In case of your one, you should locate the cap first and take that off.

The cap always comes with a screw thread, which should be removable by a filter wrench. Just by using a socket wrench, the task should be done pretty easily. In case your oil filter is a large one, you should get large sockets as 36mm or so.

In case your car oil filter is not compatible with typical socket wrenches, you should get a model-specific one. If so, you should check out what you need before you even start the process.

Step 3: Deal With The Damaged Oil Filter

Got done with the previous steps? Here comes the most complicated one. And that’s removing the damaged oil filter. By damage, it can either mean internal damage or external damage. We will be taking you through both-

In the case of internally damaged oil filters, the exterior should be like before. If so, removing it from its place won’t be a hard chore. Most of the times, they come off just by hand-screwing once you remove the cap.

But in case your car oil filter is physically damaged at the exterior, things become a bit complicated. Here is a list of advises that you can go through in this regard-

  1. Use a sharp oil filter wrench on the filter body.
  2. Try using a pair of channel locks on it. This might lead to a tight grip onto the filter body. All it needs is a size inches space on the filter.
  3. In case you don’t have that much (six inches) space left to apply a pair of a channel lock, you should move to simple pliers. What the polier would do is, it will tear the remnants out. In the end, you will have the Threaded part of the oil filter left.

Step 4: Remove The Bolts and Uproot The Filter

This is the final step of the 4-step process of removing an oil filter from its damaged condition.

At this stage, you should have all the body parts of the filter removed by any mean. All there will be is the threaded part (stuck). To take that off, you should rip the center part of the oil filter until you reach the couple of bolts that hold the oil filter.

Now, take a screwdriver and unscrew the bolts. Once they are loose enough, take the base out. In case you face hardship, you can use a bench vise to put the filter on it and tear it off.

Bonus Step

In case the unscrewing part doesn’t work fine, there is another hack to get done with the hassle.

In case you don’t have anything to grab with the pliers, you might try drilling the holes bigger and keep doing that until the outsider area of that thing just falls off. Once done, just unscrew the parts of the roots.

Install a New Oil Filter

As you are done with the aforementioned programs, it’s time to renew for a new oil filter. Now, this process of putting a new oil filter into work should be done with equal care that you did with, in case of removing the destroyed oil filter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: How does an oil filter wrench come in help?

Answer: If there is a tiny parts remaining, the oil filter wrench would hole to take that off.

Question: Should I drain all my oils before removing the oil filter?

Answer: Of course, you should do that even if you are cleaning the oil filter as well.

Question: What is the temperature is so cold to remove and drain the oil?

Answer: Working with these steps under a cold environment is a hard chore. But if you drive the car for a few minutes before the process, that would help.

Bottom Line

Alright friends, that’s the wrap up for today’s posts, and hopefully, it had been helpful enough to let you remove a destroyed oil filter wrench. See you on the next post. Good luck!

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