Reasons why your car oil filter is leaking

Reasons why your car oil filter is leaking

Even though it would be simple to disregard a few oily drops on your driveway, doing so is never a good idea. A little oil leak might become a bigger, more expensive problem if it is not fixed. Additionally, if the leak gets worse while a car is moving, it might cause the engine to seize. Passengers in your car and other drivers on the road may be put in a risky scenario as a result of this. You may prevent oil leak problems from growing worse by obtaining routine oil changes.

Even with frequent oil changes, debris and contaminants can find their way into the lubrication system over time and cause havoc. This is where the oil filter enters the picture. Filters protect your engine from severe harm and give an easy point of maintenance that, if properly maintained, can extend the life of your vehicle by years. These benefits may be jeopardized by an oil filter leak, but if you know what causes a leak and how to avoid it, you may take steps to keep your engine in top shape for longer. Well, in this article, you’ll know the common reasons why your car oil filter is leaking.

Reasons why your car oil filter is leaking


Reasons why your car oil filter is leaking

Most drivers would assume the worst when they see an oil filter leak leaking or puddling beneath their car. Although you should always look into oil filter leaks to prevent engine damage or a breakdown near Cincinnati, Ohio, many of the causes are straightforward and quick to remedy. In fact, Canadian mechanics will go straight to the oil filter when a car owner complains about leakage. Most of the common causes of oil leaks, including each of the following, are simple to rectify when discovered in time:

  • Double gasket
  • Oil filter gasket
  • Over or under-tightening
  • Filter housing (oil filter mounting adapter)
  • Damaged threads
  • Wrong filter
  • Damaged oil filter housing


Double gasket

Any gaps and spaces can be a source for an oil filter leak, regardless of whether your gasket is damaged or your seal is damaged. The “double gasket,” where the old filter gasket sticks to the engine and is overlooked when a new filter is installed, is the most frequent reason for oil leaks. Two gaskets that were inadvertently put together will result in a messy blowout, which could be hazardous if it occurs while you’re driving.

Along with ensuring that there isn’t a double gasket, you must ensure that the rubber mounting gasket is in perfect shape and free of any nicks or debris that would prevent it from sealing.

Oil filter gasket

Make sure that the rubber mounting gasket isn’t cut, nicked, twisted, or otherwise damaged, and that it’s correctly installed and snug in the filter base plate. If the gasket is damaged, replace the filter immediately. Remove any old gasket material that may stick to the mounting surface and clean the region where the gasket touches the engine of dirt and grime. Before installing a new filter, clean the gasket-contact area with a degreaser and spread a thin coat of new oil on the gasket with your finger.

Over or under-tightening

Overtightening can compress the filter gasket, causing it to leak, in addition to making it difficult to remove when replacing the oil filter. Any vehicle part designed to seal against a leak will loosen from normal engine or driving vibrations and create leaks if not properly tightened. Oil filters should be hand tightened before being given a quarter turn to secure them without being too tight. An oil filter wrench should only be used to remove an oil filter, not to tighten it.

It’s simple to tighten the oil filter too much or too little. After being hand-tightened, it should be rotated a quarter turn to complete. Overtightening an oil filter could damage the filter gasket. The engine may actually rattle it out of alignment if it is not properly tightened.

Filter housing (oil filter mounting adapter)

Instead of mounting an oil filter directly to the engine, some manufacturers employ a filter adapter or housing that bolts to the engine. Not only the oil filter gasket but also the gasket between the adapter and the engine can be damaged by overtightening the filter.

Check that the filter threads are snug against the nipple inside the adapter. Thread on both sides, and the nipples can loosen while removing the old oil filter. If the threads are slack, the filter gasket may not fully seat and leak.

Damaged threads

The baseplate threads on an oil filter are softer than the threads on the mounting nipple, and they can cross-thread if the oil filter is put incorrectly. If the lines are destroyed, you’ll need to replace the filter. Even if you have no difficulty installing the replacement filter and there are no visible oil leaks, it’s still a good idea to have your mechanic inspect the filter mounting nipple threads for damage.

Wrong filter

If the oil filter is the wrong size, it could be installed incorrectly, and drip oil if it is crooked. For attaching the oil filter, the engine may occasionally have a housing. To prevent leaks, make sure the housing’s components are all well-fastened. To prevent oil filter leaks, it’s also crucial that the oil filter is inserted correctly into the housing’s threading.

For the correct filter number for your engine, consult your owner’s handbook. When a filter is placed, it may seem snug, but the threads may not be identical to the mounting nipple. As a result, the filter will loosen and leak over time. In addition, the improper filter could have the wrong by-pass valve. If the filter becomes blocked, the bypass valve opens to protect the engine from oil starvation. Leave it to your mechanic if you’re not sure you’re installing the right filter.

Damaged oil filter housing

The oil filter outer housing shell might be punctured by a rock, stone, or road debris. Turn down your engine and ask for a tow to your repair shop if oil is leaking from the filter.

How does an oil filter work?

It’s crucial to have clean motor oil because if you don’t filter it, it can become saturated with microscopic, hard particles that can wear down your engine’s surfaces. This unclean oil can wear down the oil pump’s machined components and damage the engine’s bearing surfaces.

The filter has a metal can on the outside with a sealing gasket that allows it to be tightly held against the engine’s mating surface. The gasket is held in place by the can’s base plate, which is perforated with holes just inside the gasket. The oil filter component on the engine block is threaded into a central hole. The filter material, which is usually synthetic fiber, is found inside the container.

The oil pump in the engine transports the oil directly to the filter, where it enters through holes in the base plate’s perimeter. The unclean oil is pushed (under pressure) through the filter media and returned to the engine through the central hole.

How to choose the right oil filter?

If you found that your oil filter was the problem, you should probably consult a specialist to learn which oil filter is ideal for your car and where to buy it. The specifications should be in your owner’s handbook, however, an OEM oil filter is the best oil filter for your car. An aftermarket component might do the work, but since aftermarket oil filters are made to fit a variety of vehicles, they rarely fit a single vehicle perfectly. After an oil change, these fit concerns may result in installation complications and oil leaks. And if you installed it yourself, that applies twice as much. Professional mechanics are frequently adept at optimizing the fit of aftermarket components.


Is it normal for the oil filter to leak?

Oil may leak out if the oil filter is fitted too loosely because it may vibrate loose. A leak could result from the gasket being damaged if it is installed too firmly. If the gasket from the old filter adheres to the housing during an oil change, leaks may also happen.

How serious is an oil filter leak?

A little or large puddle of oil may be left behind under your engine by an oil leak. Ignoring a leaking oil filter can cost you a lot of money in engine repair.

How do I know if my oil filter gasket is leaking?

The Engine Oil Light turning on, oil leaking from the filter, and lower-than-normal oil pressure are typical symptoms.

How do you stop an oil filter from leaking?

For attaching the oil filter, the engine may sometimes have a housing. To prevent leaks, make sure the housing’s components are all well-fastened. To prevent oil filter leaks, it’s also crucial that the oil filter is inserted correctly into the housing’s threading.

Is hand-tightening an oil filter enough?

The filter gasket may be damaged or harmed by overtightening, creating an opening that lets oil leak. The answer to the question, “How tight should an engine oil filter be?” is, therefore: To ensure that the component sits properly, tighten it with your hand after screwing it in. To properly lock it up, turn it a quarter and turn slowly after that.

What happens if you tighten the oil filter too much?

Overtightening the oil filter runs the risk of breaking the O-ring or stripping the threads. If the O-ring is damaged, the filter may not have a good seal, which could eventually lead to oil leakage.

Do you have to fill the oil filter before installing it?

I received a lot of negative feedback over my 1995. because I didn’t fill the oil filter up in advance. This is how I see it if the filter is positioned vertically. And prefilling and screwing it in are simple.

How tight should my oil filter be?

An oil filter needs to be securely fastened to the main oil gallery. This tightness is easily achieved with just your bare hands. When you feel some resistance on your hand and the filter has used all of the threads, turn the filter clockwise. Oil filters should be appropriately tightened if they feel hard.

Do you put oil in the filter when changing the oil?

We advise lubricating the gasket with a little engine oil before replacing the filter as opposed to pre-filling it. The gasket won’t stick or result in an oil leak thanks to the motor oil.

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In car engines, oil filter also plays a vital role in the circulation and filtration of oil. So, the common reasons why they leak can be due to a couple of reasons which have been explained in this article. That is all for this article, where the reasons why your car oil filter is leaking, how it works, and how to choose the right oil filter for your car. I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!


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