How To Change Oil Filter Step By Step | How To’s

October 16, 2021

Changing the oil is an interval maintenance service you make on your car based on the owner’s manual reference. Oil is a very important liquid for your car engine to run efficiently without causing wear. Oil Filters are also part of the oil and filter change maintenance and you should pay close attention to your oil filter change. 

Oil and filter change can be expensive depending on where you live. This is an easy process you can make on your drive-way without many professional tools. Here you will find how to change oil filter step by step. But before we get into that let’s talk about oils and filters.

Why It Is Important To Have An Oil And Filter Change

Oil is what keeps the engine parts running together without causing too much friction. Oil works well as a lubricant and prevents the parts from wearing. Depending on where you live and what car you drive you can refer to your owner’s manual about the best engine oil and when to change it. After a few thousand miles oil starts to lose its ability to lubricate the engine parts. Other cases include high-mileage cars where the components start to wear causing little pieces of metal to mix with the oil. 

This is where the oil filter comes into play as it does not allow these tiny particles to be supplied to the engine components causing more wear. But as the oil filter starts to accumulate these particles it stops catching these particles but rather allows them to enter to the engine parts. A bad oil filter can cause low oil pressure and blow up the engine block. Every time you change the oil, change the oil filter.

What To Look Out For When Buying An Oil Filter?

Buying an oil filter is important, it keeps the dirty oil away from getting to the engine components. When you look out to buy an oil filter for your regular maintenance of oil and oil filter change here are the things you should look out for:

  • Filter Material
  • Gaskets
  • Anti Drain Back Valve

The filter material is important and you should pay close attention to that. Cheap oil filters use cheap materials like paper filters which after a few thousand miles will not filter at all. If you use one and try to take it out you will see the oil filter material is very soft and breaks on your hand like a wet newspaper. Other premium oil filters manufacturers like valvoline oil filter or Premium Guard oil filter use better materials for their filtration. If you come up with an oil filter that has a synthetic blend filtration material you know you are in good hands.

Gaskets on oil filters don’t do much in terms of filtration. Basic engineering, we cannot install something metal to metal, it needs some kind of gasket for better functionality. Premium oil filters have better gaskets. These will help installation and taking out an oil filter much easier for you or your mechanic. Premium oil filter manufacturers use well-build gaskets lubricated with oil.

Anti-Drain Back Valve helps the oil stay up on the engine blockhead. The engine blockhead is made out of expensive parts like camshafts, valves, and other components. When you turn off your car the oil goes to the oil pan but not all of it. 

The Anti-Drain Back Valve helps the oil from coming out of the filter or taking the oil from the engine head to the pan. With cheap oil filters, you will experience cracks of the anti-drain back valve, or it might become stiff over time and no longer block the oil coming out of the filter. With that being said we made our research on the best oil filters to buy in 2021. 

Best Oil Filter In 2021

  • Best Choice: OEM 
  • Best Price: Fram Ultra Synthetic
  • Premium Pick: Bosch Premium FILTECH

Best Choice: Genuine OEM

When it comes to changing the oil filter is it best recommended to use the oil filter that your owner’s manual suggests. It has been put to test by the manufactures and proven to be the best to work with your car.

Using OEM oil filters will not void any of your warranties and they have the best price for your car in particular compared to aftermarket oil filters. For older cars, this might not be the best choice for oil filters as newer technology offers better filtration. When buying genuine oil filters make sure to check carefully and buy on authentic sellers because you can sometimes find counterfeits.

Best Price: Fram Ultra Synthetic

Fram Ultra Synthetic

Fram Ultra Synthetic is the best price oil filter you can buy. It costs around 9$ on Amazon, check compatibility before buying. This premium ultra synthetic oil filter claims 20000 miles of protection. The filtration material is dual-layered, synthetic media that Fram reinforced with a metal screen traps and holds dirt and extends the life of the filter.

This is the best oil filter for start-stop cars. With start-stop intervals in heavy traffic, the anti-drain back valve is put in a lot of stress. Fram Ultra Synthetic is designed for these heavy traffic technologies and protection of the engine to the fullest. Best used with full synthetic motor oil.

Buy Now

Premium Pick: Bosch Premium FILTECH

Bosch Premium FILTECH

Bosch Premium FILTECH Oil Filter is our premium pick. Bosch Premium Oil Filters protect your engine by keeping harmful particles and dirt out, preventing premature wear and engine failure. Key features of this oil filter include the filtration media with the capacity to hold up to 14 grams of dirt in the filter media.

The filtration media is called Filtech. Filtech utilizes an exclusive blend of natural and synthetic materials to provide superior oil filtration and increased engine wear protection. Filtech is discontinued by the OEM Honda oil filter and this is the best engine oil filter for Hondas. Before purchase make sure to check the fitment as this filter does not go in for all cars. The overall protection and material used in this make it our premium pick.

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How To Change Oil Filter Step By Step

  1. Put your car in Park and apply the handbrakes, for manuals use first gear
  2. Lift up the car using a jack stand or car ramp
  3. Open the Hood and Locate Your Oil Filter(You can refer to the owner’s manual)
  4. Using a socket wrench unscrew counterclockwise to remove the old oil filter
  5. Remove the old oil filter and insert the new oil filter to the oil filter housing
  6. Make sure to apply fresh oil to the gaskets before installing
  7. Screw the new  oil filter  back into the engine block assembly
  8. Turn on the car and check the engine oil level after the car is in level.

The process might look difficult but it really isn’t. All the essential tools you will need are:

  1. JackStands
  2. Socket Wrench
  3. Oil Pan 
  4. Funnel

As explained above you will need to let the car cool off because you don’t want to work with hot oil. Let the car cool down before you change oil filter and oil. The first step is to jack up the car using jack stands. If you find those to be expensive you can use your car jack together with some tough pallet wood. Before you put the car on jack stands make sure to secure the back tires, put a rock behind the wheels.

The next step is to open the hood and locate the oil filter assembly. Refer to the manual or look it up online based on your engine code. The oil filter change is easy. Once you have located the oil filter assembly you need to unscrew it counterclockwise.

Now you will have access to the old oil filter. Make sure to dump the old oil filter or send it for recycling. Remove the old oil filter and insert the new oil filter into the oil filter housing assembly. Once the filter is on and secures you will need to install the sealants. Use fresh oil to lubricate the gaskets so it is easy to install. Lubrication of oil filter sealants will also make it easier for you next time you change the oil filter.

Now is time to install the oil filter to the engine block assembly. Just like uninstalling, locate the oil filter housing and insert the new oil filter assembly. This time you need to screw the oil filter assembly clockwise. Make sure to tighten the oil filter but do not over-tighten it as it might cause damage.

This is the last part of the step-by-step process on how to change the oil filter. Put down the jack stands and remove any objects you used to secure your car from rolling backward. The car will be at ground level and you can start up the car. Let the car run for a minute so all the oil will circulate. Turn off the car and check the oil level. If additional oil is required make sure to put more oil in.

Should I change The Oil Together With The Oil Filter?

If you are about to change the oil filter on your car, chances are likely to change the oil as well. Oil is important, you do not want your car to run on bad oil because it will wear it out quickly. Let’s go back to the oil filter installation steps. 

Your car is jacked up and you can now locate the oil drain plug on the bottom of the engine. Make sure you have your oil pan just beneath the oil drain plug so you will spill no oil on the ground. Using an oil pan is important because you can send the oil back for recycling and lower the environmental footprint of pollution. Once you remove the oil drain plug the old oil will come out. You can use an oil pan many times on many cars, it’s a must-have accessory for your garage.

With the oil out you can start uninstalling the oil filter just like the step-by-step guide on how to change the oil filter. Using a funnel we found on Amazon for just 1$ you can prevent oil spilling over your engine bay. Before putting fresh oil on your engine make sure to re-install the oil drain plug. Do not overtighten it as you might break it and cause oil leaks. 

For the best engine oil to use on your car you can read our best engine motor oil review. Make sure to use the funnel and put the correct amount of motor oil as mentioned on your owner’s manual. Startup the car and let it run. Using the dipstick you can measure the engine oil level. The engine oil level must not be too high, either too low. Keep in mind that newer cars might not have an oil dipstick but you can rather check the oil level using the on-board computer. 

How To Change Oil Filter Step By Step FAQ

Q. Can you change oil filter without changing oil?

A: Yes, absolutely you can change the oil filter without changing the oil. When taking out the old filter you will spill oil because the anti-drain back valve will be set free by you can add more oil after you install the new oil filter.

Q. Can I change oil without changing oil filter?

A: Yes, you can follow our guide on how to change oil step by step. We do not recommend you change oil without changing oil filter as the old oil filter will get clocked up with dirty particles which will make your engine wear out sooner.

Q. Do you have to change oil filter every time?

A: Anytime you change the oil make sure to change oil filter as well. Both oil and filter change come as a maintenance package for your car and you get a better deal if you shop for both.

Q. What is the best engine oil filters?

A: The best engine oil filters are the OEM filters recommended in your owner’s manual. Make sure to follow those and try to avoid aftermarket oil filters as much as possible. If you have the oil filter for your car is discontinued make sure to get a premium oil filter that works best for your engine. 

Q. When to change oil filter?

A: Everytime you change the oil you also need to change oil filter.

Q. How often to change oil filter?

A: Oil filters are best recommended to be changed every 3000 miles together with the oil.

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