Good way to get an oil filter off w/o the mess? - Honda Civic Forum


Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 03-27-2006   #1  
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Good way to get an oil filter off w/o the mess?

It seems that oil changes have been more and more of a nightmare for me that longer I've been doing them. At first I had a dodge neon, and the plug and filter were right next to eachother, and the filter was facing upward, like a cup holding the oil in it. This seemed like a pretty logical place to have it, and it was a pretty good car to get me into the habit of changing my own oil.

Then I got the car I own now, an 01 cavalier, and I was a bit annoyed by the filter placement. Way behind the engine and facing horizontal to the ground, so the oil spills out all over my exhaust whenever I change the oil. Ensuring a nice cloud of white smoke that billows out from under my hood after I take it for that after-oilchange drive.

But the worst by far has been my girlfriends civic. It was bad enough that it took me two hours to even find the filter, but then once i was able to position myself under the car and reach alllll the way up behind the engine to get it, it proceeded to spill oil all down my arm and into my armpit.

It's the first time I needed to take a shower after changing oil.


This is where i'm hoping you guys come in. You all seem like you know your civics inside and out, and I'm hoping you'll have some brilliant tip or trick you can show me so I dont end up looking like a brainless amateur schmuck the next time I change my girlfriends oil. Is there any way to change the oil without it spilling all over myself when I remove the filter? My cavalier spills oil when I remove the filter, but fortunately I can reach down from the top of the engine. In her civic, I dont see any way to do that, so I have to reach up from under the engine positioning myself directly under the falling stream of oil.



Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2006   #2  
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yeah, well unless you can flip the car on it's roof, j/k.....

It really sucks, I just did it yesterday, reach in from under the front of the car and do the mighty reach around..lol.........w/ gravity, there's nothing you can do
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Old 03-27-2006   #3  
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If you can find a place with a hydraulic lift. Make sure you take off the oil cap first, then take off the drain plug and let the oil drain for 5 mins, then take off the oil filter. Worked good for me and never had oil leak on me.
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Old 03-27-2006   #4  
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there is 1 way, let the car sit overnight.... although that's not always a good way to do it (b/c it's better to drain warm oil) but 5W20 is like water compared to 10W30/40 so thats what I used to do.
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Old 03-27-2006   #5  
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this is how i do it: position yourself so that you're not directly under the oil filter. instead, position yourself so your arm can reach far enough to grab the oil filter. loosen the filter slowly until oil starts to drip down. let it drip into some sort of oil container, loosen the filter more progressively until all the oil is drained from the filter. some oil will be on the side of the oil pan and exhaust, but you cant avoid that. oh yea, remember that the filter will still have some oil inside, so dont flip it upside down when you take it out.
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Old 03-27-2006   #6  
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I know exactly where it is now. I bought a big bag of oil dry and put on an old shirt. I expect to get dirty and make a mess. But what else am I doing with my time?
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Old 03-27-2006   #7  
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How about putting a rag in between the driveaxle and the engine so it spills on a rag, not on you? That's what I did...
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Old 03-27-2006   #8  
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Take it to the lubeshop. Too easy.
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Old 03-27-2006   #9  
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Compared to all the other cars i've had to change oil in. I found my civic to be the easiest. Even the brakes took all but 5 mins a tire. Normally to prevent dripping i just place a rag under the filter.
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Old 03-27-2006   #10  
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i just loosen it a tad and let the oil drip and then take it off slowly
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Old 03-28-2006   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i8dabomb
i just loosen it a tad and let the oil drip and then take it off slowly

That's what I do, I also come in from behind the front tire instead of from the front of the car, that way you are behind the filter and when it does leak, your arm is not in the way.
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Old 03-28-2006   #12  
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Jack up rear end as high as you can.... empty filter out. then jack up front end, drain oil, remove filter while laying underneath the front wheel so as to avoid the flood, filter comes off. Big waste of time.
Alternatively, you can buy full arm length rubber gloves from aquarium stores, but I don't see the point, its an oil change, getting messy is part of the fun.

I relocated mine, it now sits like a cup, I still get covered in oil.
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Old 03-28-2006   #13  
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what?? boilermaker, you relocated your oil filter? i want see that!!!
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Old 03-28-2006   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boilermaker1
Jack up rear end as high as you can.... empty filter out. then jack up front end, drain oil, remove filter while laying underneath the front wheel so as to avoid the flood, filter comes off. Big waste of time.
Alternatively, you can buy full arm length rubber gloves from aquarium stores, but I don't see the point, its an oil change, getting messy is part of the fun.

I relocated mine, it now sits like a cup, I still get covered in oil.
yeah you got that massive v-8 ford filter. those things are the weird, I usually let the gasket on those lose it's suction and let it spill down the one side into the catch till is done then spin it the rest of the way off. BTW turbo yet?


as to the og poster, I started a thread a while ago about worse cars than our civic to change the oil and filters on, cavalier was right up there (models with those taillights that look like lil footballs) and miatas and lexus is300 sportwagon with the non-transverse mounted engine. so quit the bitching man hehe, be proud in the fact that you aren't getting jacked by quickie lube places and that if you screw up something you know you only have yourself to blame and don't have to play the blame game with those places. (speaking form experience while I worked at the wal-mart)
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Old 03-28-2006   #15  
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I worked at Wal-Mart Tire&Lube up until about....Two days ago. The worst car for me was the Ford Powerstroke Diesel. Two quart filter doesn't feel good when it slips from all the oil on it and falls right onto your chest.
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Old 03-28-2006   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01HonderCivic
I worked at Wal-Mart Tire&Lube up until about....Two days ago. The worst car for me was the Ford Powerstroke Diesel. Two quart filter doesn't feel good when it slips from all the oil on it and falls right onto your chest.
the older dodge diesels aren't fun either...and the 80's maxima with the filter hidden and wedged above the exhaust.
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Old 03-28-2006   #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01HonderCivic
I worked at Wal-Mart Tire&Lube up until about....Two days ago. The worst car for me was the Ford Powerstroke Diesel. Two quart filter doesn't feel good when it slips from all the oil on it and falls right onto your chest.

I used to have the Powerstroke diesel.... that thing was a beast for towing my horse trailers. But yeah.... the Two quart filter sucked, come to think of it my F-150 5.4L isn't exactly small, makes my Honda filters look like tea cups, but at least it's easy to get to.
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Old 03-28-2006   #18  
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Quote:
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That's what I do, I also come in from behind the front tire instead of from the front of the car, that way you are behind the filter and when it does leak, your arm is not in the way.
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Old 03-28-2006   #19  
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I put a old rag under the filter that way when i unscrew the filter the oil the oil drips go onto the rag and absorbs it without any getting on the engine and exhaust
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Old 03-28-2006   #20  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01HonderCivic
I worked at Wal-Mart Tire&Lube up until about....Two days ago. The worst car for me was the Ford Powerstroke Diesel. Two quart filter doesn't feel good when it slips from all the oil on it and falls right onto your chest.
ow!
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Old 03-28-2006   #21  
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I put my car on a lift....then use a rag when I'm unscrewing it

yes i realize you dont all have access to a lift.....
but deffinantly makes it easier
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Old 03-28-2006   #22  
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I heard the easiest way to change an oil filter and not drip any oil is to use a styrofoam cup.Loosen the filter then put the cup around the filter and unscrew it till its off.
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Old 03-29-2006   #23  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelswin
I heard the easiest way to change an oil filter and not drip any oil is to use a styrofoam cup.Loosen the filter then put the cup around the filter and unscrew it till its off.
i am working with you here. you need a pretty big styrofoam cup, right? Like maybe a 16 ouncer, but the cup wont catch all the oil. i just cant see it. the cup tapers down to the bottom. wouldnt the cup need to taper 'up' to the top for this idea to work and for the cup to catch the dripping oil?

i got it. drain your oil from the drain plug. next, go get a vacuum hose, like a shop vac, and somehow jimmy the hose in up behind the engine and below the oil filter, then turn it on. now loosen the oil filter until it starts dripping. go get a beer, and finish it. now go get under the car and unscrew the filter. use a rag in case any oil slid down the side of the filter. throw out the filter open end up. reinstall the drain plug. install your new filter with fresh oil on the gasket, get it hand tight. now fill up your engine with fresh oil. yum.
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Old 03-30-2006   #24  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edicivic2k1
i am working with you here. you need a pretty big styrofoam cup, right? Like maybe a 16 ouncer, but the cup wont catch all the oil. i just cant see it. the cup tapers down to the bottom. wouldnt the cup need to taper 'up' to the top for this idea to work and for the cup to catch the dripping oil?

i got it. drain your oil from the drain plug. next, go get a vacuum hose, like a shop vac, and somehow jimmy the hose in up behind the engine and below the oil filter, then turn it on. now loosen the oil filter until it starts dripping. go get a beer, and finish it. now go get under the car and unscrew the filter. use a rag in case any oil slid down the side of the filter. throw out the filter open end up. reinstall the drain plug. install your new filter with fresh oil on the gasket, get it hand tight. now fill up your engine with fresh oil. yum.
.

I'm not even going to touch this......just pure stupidity.....
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Old 03-30-2006   #25  
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^^^ Don't laugh. We did that at Wally World with the Cummins Diesels that when you took the plug out it would turn into a sprinkler. We'd put the vacuum hose where you fill the engine with oil and voila...

Last edited by 01HonderCivic; 03-30-2006 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 03-30-2006   #26  
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you talking about the drain plug that is on the direct bottom of the pan? just take it out with a socket wrench and be done....well you are done now with that place anyways hehe...
I was also silently mocking the fact the man, used 6 different emoticons...and said yum at the end...
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Old 03-30-2006   #27  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomster
you talking about the drain plug that is on the direct bottom of the pan? just take it out with a socket wrench and be done....well you are done now with that place anyways hehe...
I was also silently mocking the fact the man, used 6 different emoticons...and said yum at the end...
one day in the future, when our children are driving, all oil filters will be positioned in an accessible location, and maybe allowing you to be in a standing position, so that oil doesn't drip on the ground when changing...
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Old 04-04-2006   #28  
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I bought a package of towels at costco for $12 for 45 white terry towels. I just wrap 1 towel around the filter after I lossen it and the towel soaks up most if not all the oil as long as you do it nice and slow, I spill more oil trying to be a hero and refill without a funnel.
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Old 04-26-2006   #29  
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best way without making a mess:
just let it sit overnight then change your oil in the morning without moving the car. no oil comes out of the filter.
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Old 04-26-2006   #30  
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theres different ways.. all of which im too lazy to do.

you could use an old milk jug.. cut the jug in half down the middle vertically.. then cut the top horizontally so it fits flush against the block.. and then slip that contraption under the filter, and reach up and finish unscrewing the filter.

some people have also used plastic bread bags.. hold the bag around the filter, and with your other hand, unscrew the filter from outside the bag so it falls in, along with the little bit of oil.

again, ive never tried this with my civic and i dont feel like going underneath it to double check that it will work. but its what some people have done with other cars.
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