The best oil filter removal tools

Protect your engine and save yourself money by performing an oil filter change by yourself.

A oil filter being removed from a car

by Ryan Gilmore |

Garage labour costs can be ludicrous. For some jobs, you need a professional who has the kit to get it done properly, and you probably don't mumble too much about the cost (I know I wouldn't trust myself changing a head gasket at home). For other things, however, it seems like a lot of money for something most people could do. One such example is an oil change. Some garages can charge as much as £100 to refill your oil, but if you have the right tools and know-how, you can save yourself a pretty penny.

It isn't too difficult to change your own oil and regular oil changes will help your engine work more efficiently and prevent unnecessary (and expensive) damage in the future. It's important to remember to change your oil filter, too.

Removing it is usually fairly easy, but very messy, so an oil filter removal tool is a good idea. These tools are also super useful for removing stubborn and awkwardly placed oil filters, so should be considered. We've selected the best examples on the market currently so that you can change your own oil filter with ease.

What you need to know about oil filter removal tools:

Which type of oil filter removal tool is right for me?

The biggest thing to consider is where your oil filter is in your car. Either refer to the car's handbook or using a small mirror, have a look under your car to find it. If there is limited room surrounding it, then you'll need to choose a tool that'll work well in compact places. If, on the other hand, it looks like you have a fight on your hands, you'll be wanting a more powerful tool that'll be able to remove a seized filter without damaging the filter and spilling old oil everywhere.

Finally, consider that cap and claw tools will require a socket wrench to properly work. If you already have one then you're good to go. Otherwise, you'll be needing one of those, too. We've included our top pick below.

How do I change an oil filter?

  1. Run your engine for a few minutes so the oil is heated, it'll drain quicker this way (but make sure it isn't too hot to be safe to remove).
  1. If you can, get your car on ramps (using a ramp, inspection pit or jacks will make things a lot easier but it's in no way essential). Just make sure you have enough room underneath your car to work safely.
  1. Put on some gloves and safety goggles.
  1. Find the oil drainage plug and place an oil pan underneath it, use a socket wrench to loosen the plug and remember that the oil will drain at an angle.
  1. Drain the old oil.
  1. Reattach the plug, secure it with a socket wrench and make sure not to over-tighten it.
  1. Find the oil filter (a small mirror can come in handy if you can't safely get under your car) and place the oil pan underneath it. Attach the removal tool to the oil filter and remove it. Make sure to clean the mount with a rag.
  1. Using a little bit of your new oil, lubricate the filter's gasket and screw it into place by hand.
  1. Add the new engine oil to your car and check you've added enough.
  1. Run the car and make sure there are no leaks from the filter or drainage plug. If there are, you'll probably just need to tighten them.
  1. Dispose of your old oil at an appropriate location, some recycling centres will dispose of it for you.


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