How to Use an Oil Filter Wrench — Detailed Guide for Easy Removal

Every vehicle needs the engine or motor oil changed periodically if you want a smooth ride. Because each type of oil has a specific lifespan and requires replacement after that.

However, that’s not the only notable thing. An oil filter keeps engine oil free from all impurities, which also plays a significant role in your vehicle’s engine.

Eliminating the impurities for better health of your ride’s engine can wear the oil filters out. And if they aren’t changed over time, they lose their effectiveness.

Even worse, as it corrodes and degrades, you’ll have to spend a fortune on repairs. How do you replace an oil filter now that this is your only option? Well, it isn’t an uphill battle.

All you need is an oil filter wrench; the rest is on us. Because further down in this article, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to use an oil filter wrench and some pointers for your safety. So, let’s get to it.

What’s an Oil Filter Wrench

Some of you may be familiar with the term “oil filter wrench” and are looking for instructions on how to use it. However, others may be clueless and wonder what in the world that is.

It’s alright; whether you’re a novice or an experienced gearhead, we’ve covered you all, buddies!

Oil filters that are difficult to open require additional force to open their caps. And that’s where an oil filter wrench kicks in to get the job done. 

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We aren’t done, so don’t rush to the market asking for an oil filter wrench. Because the varieties you’ll see may baffle you.

You’ll find different oil filter wrenches with unique strengths, weaknesses, and usage. So a new search starts here; which one is ideal for you? Let’s see a few popular types.

Strap-Style Wrench

As the name implies, strap-style wrenches have a portion that tightens like a strap and is made of non-slip material like rubber or nylon. The wrench is adjustable to fit objects of various sizes in the strap.

This is ideal for working with delicate items that traditional straps could damage.

Plier-Style Wrench

This type is composed of combinations of pliers that are used to grasp various objects of different sizes. A plier-style wrench has two gripping jaws for adjusting different sizes of nuts, bolts, and other objects.

Plier-style wrenches have a slip-joint design that enables the locking of objects to give a firm grip on the things being turned. This wrench type also has a unique coating to prevent slipping on slick surfaces.

Socket-Style Wrench

This type of wrench is also called a cap-style wrench because it has no moving parts. It has a socket that covers the fastener and grips it tightly.

It can be adjusted to different sizes by swapping out different sockets. This wrench type is ideal for tasks demanding lots of torque, as the secure grip allows you to apply much force.

How to Replace Oil Filter Using an Oil Filter Wrench (Step-by-Step Guide)

So now that you’ve seen some wrench types, how’d you know which works best for you? Well, this depends on your oil filter. If you’re unsure about which wrench to use, check the owner’s manual or talk to a qualified mechanic.

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Once you have the right wrench at hand, it’s time to get rid of the worn-out oil filter. Follow the below steps to replace an oil filter using an oil filter wrench.

Step 1: Locate the Oil Filter

First, find where the oil filter is located. But how? An oil filter resembles a cylindrical metal canister with a textured surface. You’ll typically find it on the side or bottom of the engine.

Step 2: Position the Wrench

Slip the oil filter wrench over the filter and place it so that the teeth or claws firmly grasp the filter. Make sure the wrench is positioned at the base of the filter.

Step 3: Turn the Wrench

Turn the oil filter wrench counterclockwise while maintaining a firm grip. This will enable you to remove the engine’s oil filter.

Step 4: Remove the Oil Filter

Once the oil filter is free enough to turn with your hands, carefully unscrew it the rest of the way and take it out of the engine.

There you go. That’s this simple with an oil filter wrench. You can save time and effort, but keep in mind to properly dispose of the used oil.

Safety Precautions While Changing Oil Filters

As you’ve seen, replacing an oil filter using an oil filter wrench is as easy as rolling off a log. However, it’s crucial to adhere to safety precautions to lower the risks of harm and damage.

Here are a few safety measures to consider while you replace the oil filter.

  1. Wear Safety Gloves

Before anything else, wear safety gloves to protect your hands from cuts and burns because oil filters can be hot and greasy.

  1. Cool Down the Engine

Before you begin replacing the oil filter, switch off the engine and allow it to cool. This way, you can avoid injuries from hot engine parts, such as burns.

  1. Use a Car Jack
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Use a car jack to support the weight of your vehicle if the oil filter is placed on the bottom of the engine. Most cars have an oil filter located on the side of the engine, so you might not need it.


That’s it; that’s all from our guide for replacing an oil filter using an oil filter wrench. It’s only a four-step process, and you’ll be able to install a new oil filter for the job.

Remember to select the right wrench type for your vehicle and make sure it is properly adjusted before you start. If this is your first attempt, you might initially struggle to position the tool or adjust it, so don’t lose patience.

Also, consider the safety precautions so you’re safe while you work for the best of your engine. Now grab the wrench and get to work!

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