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#1276512 - 11/07/08 01:20 AM How tight is too tight for oil filter?
crazyoildude Offline


Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 5598
Loc: new jersey
I have noticed that many people tighten their oil filters like they are putting lug nuts on their wheels... I even see that with a local ford dealer especially on the 4.6 litre 820s filter is there something i am missing here? I would love to here from everyone on this subject.. We had one on a f-150 today that we had to use an extension breaker bar to loosen it and yes we were turning it counter clockwise.
The other extreme is leaving it too loose which may be worse i see that too.

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#1276541 - 11/07/08 03:30 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: crazyoildude]
kingrob Offline


Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 1372
Loc: NC
 Originally Posted By: crazyoildude
I have noticed that many people tighten their oil filters like they are putting lug nuts on their wheels... I even see that with a local ford dealer especially on the 4.6 litre 820s filter is there something i am missing here? I would love to here from everyone on this subject.. We had one on a f-150 today that we had to use an extension breaker bar to loosen it and yes we were turning it counter clockwise.
The other extreme is leaving it too loose which may be worse i see that too.



As far as Ford 4.6's go, I had my Crown Vic serviced at the dealer once while it was getting warranty work done, went to change the oil the next time and couldn't remove the drain pan bolt or the oil filter. Breaker bars were no help either.

Went back to the dealer and they refused to touch it, saying that they may strip the pan getting the bolt off. I stood there like an a-hole and told them I wasn't going anywhere until they got the bolt and filter loose.

Finally the manager came out and I told him what happened. He inspected the drain bolt and put a wrench on the filter. He couldn't budge either one.

He called out the guy that changed the oil on my car previously and told him we wasn't to leave until he put got them loose. The guy looked like a drooling retard with severe emotional problems. About an hour I came back and the guy said he had everything loose. I told him to keep it on the lift, I wanted to inspect it before I left. He balked, but I'm one of those guys that can be pretty persuasive when pi**ed. Looked up under there and danged if it wasn't the same exact filter and drain bolt. He hadn't done anything to it.

I called the manager out and he acted like he didn't believe me at first, then put a socket and breaker bar to the bolt and it wouldn't turn. Same with the filter.

After it was all over with I ended up with a new oil pan, drain bolt, and filter. Somebody with an IQ over 85 must have replaced both because they both came off pretty easy that time.

Somewhere in that craziness one of the guys ended up breaking my drivers side door handle from the inside and getting grease all over my leather. Instead of taking it back there I replaced the handle myself and did what I could to get the oil stains out of my upholstery. In my experience, Dealership service departments are no better than the typical Jiffy Lube or Wal-Mart IMHO.
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#1276561 - 11/07/08 05:02 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: kingrob]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 4233
Loc: Michigan
I have never had a problem when putting one on hand tight. By that I mean turning by hand till tight. I do not "strain" to tighten it.
I think using a wrench fools you into tightening them too tight as you can't "feel" how tight it is.
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#1276563 - 11/07/08 05:07 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: ZZman]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21561
Loc: NY
I've always found that some people tend to complicate installing an oil filter. Over the years whenever I had a shop do an oil change I cursed them the next time I did the change. Either the drain plug was tightened like a lug nut, or the filter had to be removed with a big Channel Lock Plier, or stabbed with a screw driver!

I put the filter on by hand, then give a 1/4 turn with a wrench, that's it. Now well over 30 years I never had a problem getting one I installed off, and never had one leak.

Frank D
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#1276600 - 11/07/08 07:11 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: demarpaint]
cowhorse01 Offline


Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 396
Loc: Oceanside, CA
What Frank said....hand tight, then 1/4 turn with an oil filter wrench, THAT'S IT. No more.....
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1997 F-350, 7.3 Diesel, E4OD, Rotella Dino 15w-40, Donaldson ELF7405
1989 Volvo 740 Turbo Wagon
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#1276612 - 11/07/08 07:33 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: cowhorse01]
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12949
Loc: By Detroit
I wonder if the manufacturer gives a torque specification for oil filters. Maybe not applicable because of the rubber gasket. Anyway tightening a filter is a feel thing and generally the filter says 3/4 turn after gasket hits mounting flange, but I find it pretty hard to hand tighten to 3/4 turn.

I have had shop oil changes where next time I could not get the filter off without a lot or extra effort. One shop put the drain plug in so tight I got a sore arm pushing on the box end wrench to get it off and my wrench was probably 9 inches long. There are a lot of ham fisted boneheads out there doing oil changes. Always do yourself. Another option with the filter is mount a bracket or use an existing bracket to tie back the filter (hose clamp around filter holding a heavy wire to the bracket so filter can't rotate).
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#1276619 - 11/07/08 07:44 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: crazyoildude]
FZ1 Offline


Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 4192
Loc: Texas
When in doubt;Torque it out! I use a torque wrench on all my motorized vehicles.

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#1276649 - 11/07/08 08:44 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: FZ1]
02zx9r Offline


Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 3205
Loc: Ball, LA
too tight for me is when you torque the [censored] out of it and oil leaks everywhere
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#1276674 - 11/07/08 09:21 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: demarpaint]
Bircsbor Offline


Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 23
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: demarpaint


I put the filter on by hand, then give a 1/4 turn with a wrench, that's it. Now well over 30 years I never had a problem getting one I installed off, and never had one leak.



^+2 , although using my old band wrench on the VQ in the Altima is a challenge, so I just picked up a ratchet mount filter wrench that uses cams to operate 4 "fingers" to grip the filter. Only 1000miles till I get to test this new mouse trap. I used to do just hand tight...but arthritis makes that unreliable now.
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03 Nissan Altima 3.5SE PP 5w30 w/ OEM Filter
00 VW Beetle GLS On-sale syn w/ Fram Filter
01 Honda Foreman 450ES Amsoil 0W40 w/OEM Filter

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#1276678 - 11/07/08 09:33 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: Bircsbor]
Cutehumor Offline


Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 9005
Loc: USA
I do hand tight. I have tighten the oil filter too tight before and it was a pain to remove when it was time to change the oil. most shops do it tight with a oil filter wrench to avoid liability if it pops off somehow
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#1276753 - 11/07/08 11:38 AM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: crazyoildude]
EagleFTE Offline


Registered: 03/28/08
Posts: 507
Loc: St. louis
Been changing my oil for about 30 years now and for last 10 - 15 I typically have had four vehicles so I do a fair amount of oil changes. I hand tighten only on filters and have not had any problems. I do wash my hands before tightening the filter to make sure I have a good grip. I bought a used vehicle last year and the speedy lube place that had last serviced it put the filter and drain plug on way too tight. I had to resort to a large wrench and a dead blow hammer for the plug. I don't know why someone would crank that hard on it.

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#1276801 - 11/07/08 12:34 PM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: EagleFTE]
Spawne32 Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 72
Loc: NJ, USA
more then likely they used an air ratchet on the drain plug, but yes i have seen that, my brothers ex-gf's car had the oil filter on there so tight we destroyed the oil filter wrench trying to get it off, as well as the filter, i dont know how they could have gotten the filter on that tight but they did. I even had a shop air gun spark plugs on my old car.


Edited by Spawne32 (11/07/08 12:34 PM)

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#1276847 - 11/07/08 01:21 PM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: Spawne32]
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12949
Loc: By Detroit
Bonehead at the qickie lube has one car come back with dripping from the drain plug and from then on he tightens the [living censored] out of the things.
_________________________
You're not a real gear head unless you love the smell of used motor oil.

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#1276880 - 11/07/08 02:12 PM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: Spawne32]
kingrob Offline


Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 1372
Loc: NC
 Originally Posted By: Spawne32
more then likely they used an air ratchet on the drain plug, but yes i have seen that, my brothers ex-gf's car had the oil filter on there so tight we destroyed the oil filter wrench trying to get it off, as well as the filter, i dont know how they could have gotten the filter on that tight but they did. I even had a shop air gun spark plugs on my old car.


Wow, airgunning sparkplugs, WTF!

From what I've seen in places "specializing" oil changes, heck most every Shop, period; airgun on the drain pan bolt is the RULE rather than the exception. I asked a guy once why he did that, he said it took too long to do it with a socket wrench. I said, what an extra ten, twenty seconds? He just glared. Laziness is what it was.

Another guy told me he did it because all the other shops did it and it was impossible to get it off by hand. So, why don't you just use an airgun to get it off, and a wrench to put it back on? Once again, it took too long to use two different tools. Laziness, and lack of sympathy for the DIY-er who goes to get it off the next time.
_________________________
Nosferautic Wizard Clean 3000
It's magic for your motor!

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#1276918 - 11/07/08 02:44 PM Re: How tight is too tight for oil filter? [Re: kingrob]
ted s Offline


Registered: 03/01/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Albany NY
hand tight.

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