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How Tight Should An Oil Filter Be?: Things You Must Know

Have you ever wondered what to do if you see the oil filter not opening or being too tight when changing the oil in your car? 

Over tightening the oil filter more than the usual amount will waste both your time and effort. Excessive tightening of the oil filter can result in damage during subsequent changes. We will discuss in detail how tight should an oil filter be? So that you do not have any problems while changing the oil filter.

How tight should an oil filter be

How tight can the oil filter be?

When installing an oil filter, you need to be careful not to use a tool. Gently screw by hand to install the oil filter. If you put the oil filter too tight, the filter may get stuck in a horrible way when changing the oil after a few days. 

Even if you tighten it less, there will be a possibility of loosening later, and leakage occurs. The best way to install a filter is to rotate the filter 3 to 4 times by hand. In this way, the filter stays in perfect condition and can be opened very easily. 

How to remove an over-tightened oil filter?

As a result of over-tightening, the oil filter gets jammed after a while. Then it gets stuck on the compressed gasket between the block and the filter. 

You are either using methods or tools to remove the stuck filter but are not getting results. Attempting to open it using the wrong tools will damage or break your filter. So below this article, we will discuss the correct and easy way to remove the tightened oil filter.

Screwdriver method

It would help if you had a flat screwdriver, then insert the screwdriver between the block and the gasket. Slide the screwdriver around the gasket to loosen the oil filter. Hopefully, this way, you will be able to open the filter.

Extraction tape method

It would be best if you had an extraction tape. You will find it in any car workshop. Loosen the extraction tape and tighten it in the middle of the oil filter. Turn the extraction tape counterclockwise to open the oil filter.

Extractor type Octopus method

An octopus extractor is needed, and a spanner wrench. You can get it in any car workshop. The rotation switch at the bottom of the extractor expands when you rotate to the right and is mitigated when turned to the left. 

Then extend the extractor to the bottom of the oil filter and mitigate the extractor to hook it. You have to take the spanner wrench, attach it to the rotating bolt switch and rotate it forcefully to the left. The work is done. Thus you can open the oil filter that is stuck.

Pipe wrench method

Take a pipe wrench, adjust it, apply it to the oil filter and turn it counterclockwise. However, this method is quite risky; the oil filter may break if you put too much pressure

Make a hole in the oil filter and leverage it with a large flat screwdriver: 

If any of the methods shown above do not work, then this is the final method you need to follow. 

First, You need a flat screwdriver and a ball-pin hammer, then make a hole in the back of the oil filter with a screwdriver and hammer, or you can drill if you want to, depending on your own will. Hold the screwdriver you have inserted and rotate the counterclockwise with pressure to open the oil filter, but keep in mind that this is the last resort. 

Which direction to loosen and tighten the oil filter?

You may be excited to change the oil filter for the first time, but you do not know which way to turn the filter will be tightened and loosened. Before installing the new oil filter, you must remove your old filter, so rotate the filter counterclockwise. 

If your oil filter gets jammed, you have to use the tools to open it in the same direction. Once your old oil filter is removed, take a new oil filter. Please rotate the filter 4- times clockwise with your hands.

What will happen if the oil filter is over-tightened?

It is best not to over tighten an oil filter. The biggest problem with this will do the damage to the filter thread. After a while, a leakage problem could be seen. Many of us unknowingly tighten the oil filter for fear of leakage. It is not the case at all. 

Oil filters are the safest to install by hand. Over tightening the oil filter, you will get into trouble the next time you try to change it. You may also have to break and remove the entire oil filter for over-tightening a lot of the time. 

 What will happen if your oil filter is loose?

You do not tighten the oil filter moderately. It will continue to leak oil while pumping your engine oil because the oil filter does not stick well to the gasket due to excessive loosening. 

You need to install the filter well to the gasket so that there is no possibility of any leakage. If the oil filter is too tight, cracks can be seen in the gasket, and there is a possibility of oil leaking from there. Oil filters should not be applied too tight or loose.


It would be best if you never kept oil filters tight or loose. It is more a loss than again. You do not want your oil filter to leak on a long ride or race track. So it is best if you apply the oil filter by hand without wasting as much energy as you can easily open it again. 

Tightened can later cause the filter to become jammed, which may cause you to use tools to open it and eventually damage your filter. We have analyzed in the above discussion how tight the oil filter should be or what could be the problem if it is overly tight and loose and how to get rid of it.

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