Importance of canister oil filter O-ring placement

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Texas
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About 6 months ago I sold my mom's mint 2008 CTS to a female friend at work. As part of the deal, I gave her the next 4 oil changes free. I figure the car going to a "good home" and I would ensure it was maintained with the proper oil and kept up. Well, since she had it she had 2 accidents, but the car was fixed perfectly. This last time they did an oil change for her....even though the OLM was still at 65% essentially dumping perfectly good Mobil 1 EP for who knows what oil they used. HERE IS THE CLINCHER: She came by the house today to drop off some stuff and have me check the bosyshop's repair work. I go out to give my usual courtesy oil check and NO OIL at all on the stick. I show her and remind her that I told her she needs to check the oil! That is when she said she just had it changed. I added 3.5 qts of oil. Figured we were good. Nope - she pulls away and oil trailing under the car! I stopped her and showed her the oil and immediately put it up on my lift. Drain plug was tight - the oil was coming out of the oil filter adapter and down the engine, filled up the belly pan and the whole entire underbody was wet with oil all the way to the rear bumper!! ROOT CAUSE: the person changing the oil filter had the o-ring on the cap threads and NOT on the recess groove where it is supposed to be, the oil flowed thru the threads and out the cap. Therefore the woman, had she not came to my house and I checked the oil, would have burned up that engine today!
 
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40
Location
Australia
Yeah I've done that before on a customer car, found out pretty much straight away so no harm no foul. Easy enough to do if you're not paying attention or are new at it. Hopefully no damage to the engine.
 
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Western S.C.
That must be a cartridge filter housing, NOT a canister. That mistake is as easy to make as double-gasketing a spin-on (canister) filter.
 

pbm

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8,678
Location
New York
I learned that lesson (putting the O-ring on the threads rather than in the groove) on my (sold) Chevy Cruze which is the only car I've ever owned with a canister filter. I had changed the oil using Mobil 1 and after driving about 5 miles I saw smoke and immediately pulled over. I saw oil all over the engine compartment and eventually realized what had happened. I called my wife to come pick me up....got my cap socket and wrench...repositioned the O-ring and topped up the oil. It turned out that I lost only about a quart and a half (of 4.5) so I'm sure there was no engine damage. Lesson Learned...
 
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6,424
Location
Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
That's why I absolutely hate that type of oil filter design.
Yes but the bigger issue here is someone didn't check to see weather it was leaking. Part of the job when you're changing oil.
 
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800
Location
Northern Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
That's why I absolutely hate that type of oil filter design.
The design is sound, it's the lack of mechanical aptitude that's the problem. Reading the instructions might help also but some people are too proud to do that.
 
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24,430
Location
Central Florida
Originally Posted By: funflyer
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
That's why I absolutely hate that type of oil filter design.
The design is sound, it's the lack of mechanical aptitude that's the problem. Reading the instructions might help also but some people are too proud to do that.
True that...
 
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8,299
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Texas
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As pointed out, I meant cartridge filter not cannister. I agree with what most said except that the design is bad. I think the cartridge style is the best filter design because its not messy and you see the filter w/o having to cut it open. This was just a case of someone either not knowledgeable or just DGAF. Also, they did not check their work when complete. When I pulled the filter, I installed a new filter (never know what they put on lol) and O-ring and re-topped off with M1. Told her to run until the OLM comes on and I will do change it. based on the OLM % left she will probably run 3-4000 miles.
 
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