The main purpose of the oil filter is to filter the engine oil and get rid of any carbon deposits and debris. Oil filter is an important part of the engine as it heightens the performance of the engine by keeping the engine oil neat and clean.
But the oil filter has to be removed for putting engine oil. Today, we are going to discuss and find out whether you need an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter or not.
Do you need oil filter wrench?
Oil filter wrench is a helpful tool in terms of removing the oil filter. However, this tool is not always needed as one can remove the oil filter with their hands too. Using an oil filter wrench definitely makes the removal process easier and smooth. But it is not a must have item.
Oil filter wrench is not an absolutely necessary tool for the maintenance of your car. Most of the car owners prefer to remove the oil filter with their bare hands. You will need an oil filter wrench in very few cases. These cases include the difficult positioning of the oil filter.
Sometimes your car’s oil filter will be unreachable with your hands and you will have to use an oil filter wrench to get a hold of it. There are different types of oil filter wrenches available in the market like the socket style wrench and the strap style wrench.
These two are slightly different from each other. However, the goal and the end result of these oil filter wrenches is the successful removal of the oil filter.
But using an oil filter wrench is not an obligation that you have to follow. You can easily remove the oil filter with your hands by firmly twisting and pulling it.
When is an oil filter wrench necessary?
Oil filter removal is quite an easy process. Usually, you can remove your car’s oil filter with your bare hands when you are trying to change the engine oil. However, the location of the oil filter can sometimes require you to use an oil filter wrench.
Additionally, if you do not want to get your hands dirty, you can certainly use an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench depends on practicality and personal preference.
How do you use oil filter wrench?
Using an oil filter wrench might seem like a difficult task if you do not have any prior experience regarding this matter. However, there are some steps and methods you can follow that will make the task easier. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Finding the oil pan:
First of all, your car has to be lifted up with the help of a jack stand and jacks. You will have to check the parts located underneath your car to find the oil pan. You will be required to detach the drain plug once you have found the oil pan.
Locating the oil filter:
You will have to seek the help of your car’s user manual to know where the oil filter is located. The most common location of the oil filter is underneath the car around the oil pan.
Finding the appropriate wrench:
Next, you will have to find the appropriate wrench needed for your oil filter process. Depending on size and type of your engine, you will need to select the appropriate oil filter wrench for removing the oil filter.
The list of wrenches includes end cap wrench, claw wrench, band wrench, chain wrench, and strap wrench.
You can also get your car checked by a mechanic to find out the appropriate wrench type for your oil filter.
Using a socket style wrench:
Socket style wrench can come in handy when you are working underneath your car. You will just have to place the wrench on the oil filter’s casting and twist it anti clockwise.
After you have loosen the oil filter with the help of the socket style wrench, you can pull it off with your hand.
Using a strap style wrench:
Another popular type of wrench for oil filter removal is the strap style wrench. You will need to place the loopy end of the strap style wrench on the oil filter’s casting and tighten it slowly until it fits perfectly onto the oil filter.
The handle of the wrench will need to be twisted in the anti clockwise direction to remove the oil filter.
Are oil filter wrenches Universal?
There are different types of oil filter wrenches available in the market. Some of these are universal wrenches while others are not. You can use either a universal wrench or a custom wrench to remove the oil filter.
The benefit of using a universal wrench is that you will be able to remove your oil filter without worrying about its size. But finding the exact custom oil filter wrench for your oil filter can be a difficult task if you do not have adequate knowledge about this matter.
So it is better to use the universal oil filter wrenches than the custom ones.
What size wrench do you need to change oil filter?
Deciding the size of the oil filter wrench for changing oil filter might seem like a daunting task if you do not have any prior experience regarding the matter. Let’s discuss in detail about how you can choose the size of the oil filter wrench.
The car’s specification:
The specification of your car can often decide the size and type of oil filter wrench you require. Different models of cars have different types of oil filter installed inside them. You can easily find out the type of oil filter your car has by looking it up on the internet.
Knowing the type of oil filter will make choosing the oil filter wrench easier.
The oil filter’s size:
You will have to select the wrench based on the size of your oil filter. You can manually measure the size of your oil meter or look it up on the internet.
If you can not measure the size of your oil filter accurately, you can go for a universal oil filter wrench to change the oil filter.
Location of the oil filter:
The location of the oil filter can often decide what size and type of oil filter wrench you need. If the oil filter is in a position which is hard to reach, you will need to use adjustable oil filter wrenches that have long handles or the strap style wrench.
How to remove oil filter without wrench?
There are other ways of removing oil filters besides using oil filter wrench. Let’s discuss in detail about those methods and ways.
Using bare hands:
The first and most basic method of removing an oil filter without a wrench is doing it with your hands. First of all, you will need to gear up by wearing glasses and gloves for your protection before you start the procedure.
Then, you will be required to lift up your car with the jack and jack stands. You will need to find the oil pan underneath the car and place the drainage pan to collect oil spill.
You will have to grab onto the oil filter firmly after cleaning it with a cloth and twist it anti clockwise. After a few twists, you will be able to pull off the oil filter.
Using a belt:
You can use a firm and strong belt to remove the oil filter without a wrench. Before the belt comes into play, your car has to be lifted up using the jack and jack stands and remaining oil has to be collected with the help of a drainage pan.
Wearing gloves and glasses is highly recommended before you begin the process.
You will need to make a circle by buckling it in. You will need to place the loopy end of the belt on the casing of the oil filter and tighten the loop until it fits the oil filter perfectly. You will have to pull the belt anti clockwise several times to loosen it and remove it.
Using a screwdriver:
It might sound surprising but you can use a screwdriver to remove the oil filter. However, the screwdriver has to be used in an unconventional way to get the job done.
After you have lifted the car using the jack and jack stand and placed the oil pan, you will need to put the screwdriver through the heart of the oil filter. It will drain the oil out and you will be able to remove the oil filter by either pulling it or twisting it anti clockwise.
Oil filter wrench is needed to remove the oil filter if it is located in a congested place of the car. But finding the right size and type of oil filter wrench needs some thinking. The specification of the car and the size of the oil filter can decide the correct oil filter wrench.
I am an automotive enthusiast and have been interested in cars since I was a little kid. I have worked in the automotive industry for many years and have extensive knowledge of vehicles and their engines. I am a father of two and I love spending time with my family.
Read more about the author here.