Changing Oil Filter Without Draining Oil [DIY Guide & FAQs]

Changing your car’s oil filter doesn’t have to involve draining all the oil out of the engine.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to change your oil filter without draining the oil using a few simple tools and supplies. Plus, we answer some of the most common questions about changing an oil filter!

changing oil filter without draining oil

Can I Change Oil Filter Without Draining Oil?

The answer is yes! You can change your oil filter without draining the oil from your car’s engine.

In some engines, it may drain around half a quart of engine oil while you replace the engine oil. But in most cases, you’ll be able to replace the old oil filter with a new one without draining oil completely.

How to Change Oil Filter Without Draining Oil?

The process is quite simple and doesn’t require any professional. You can do it yourself if you have the right tools in hand-

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • New oil filter
  • Large catch pan
  • Wrench or socket that fits your car’s oil filter
  • Oil filter wrench (optional)
  • Car Ramp

Lift the Car

First, you need to lift your car so that you can have access to the oil filter. You can use a car ramp for this purpose.

If you don’t have a ramp, then you can also jack up your car and place it on jack stands.

Place the catch pan

Now, you’ll need to find the location of your car’s oil filter. It’s usually located on the side of the engine block near the bottom. If you’re having trouble finding it, consult your car’s owner’s manual for guidance.

You need to place the catch pan under the oil filter so that the oil doesn’t make a mess when you remove the old filter.

Remove the Old Filter

The next step is to remove the old filter. For this, you’ll need a wrench or socket that fits your car’s oil filter. If you can’t loosen the filter with a wrench, then you can also use an oil filter wrench.

Be sure to do this slowly and carefully so you don’t strip the filter housing. If the filter is difficult to remove, you can try using a ratchet or breaker bar.

Once you’ve loosened the filter, remove it by hand and dispose of it properly. Make sure that you don’t spill any oil while removing the old filter.

Avoid touching the grease inside the housing as it can be dirty and cause skin irritation.

Install the New Filter

Now, it’s time to install the new filter. Simply screw on the new filter by hand until it’s tight. Don’t over-tighten it as it might damage the filter.

Lower the Car

Once you’ve installed the new filter, lower the car and fill it up with fresh oil.

Start the engine and check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, then you’re done!

FAQs About Changing Oil Filter Without Draining Oil:

Can I reuse the old gasket from my old oil filter?

In most cases, you should not reuse the old gasket from your old oil filter. It’s best to replace it with a new one each time you change your filter.

Will changing my oil filter cause a lot of mess?

No, in most cases there won’t be much of a mess. You may lose a little bit of engine oil while replacing the filter, but it shouldn’t be too bad. Just make sure to place a catch pan underneath to collect any dripping oil.

Can I use a different type of oil filter than what’s recommended by the car manufacturer?

In most cases, you can use a different type of oil filter than what’s recommended by the car manufacturer. But we don’t recommend doing so.

Manufacturer recommended filter will fit in perfectly and will have better performance than any other filter out there.

How often should I change my oil filter?

It depends on your car’s manufacturer’s recommendations. But in most cases, you should change your oil filter every 5 to 10 thousand miles.

What happens if I don’t change my oil filter?

Over time, the oil filter will get clogged with dirt and debris, which can cause problems like decreased fuel economy engine wear.


That’s it for our guide on how to change an oil filter without draining the engine oil! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

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