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Are Car Oil Filters Reverse Threaded?


The engine oil we add to our vehicles runs in a cycle inside the engine. An oil filter helps maintain the purity of the oil. You will need to change your oil filter as they get contaminated over time. Now to the question, we are here to answer, are oil filters reverse threaded?

Yes, oil filters are indeed reverse threaded. To access an oil filter, you will need to turn it counterclockwise. Oil filters protect the engine oil from getting contaminated, consequently cooling the car’s engine. 

A good oil filtration process increases the efficiency of your car’s engine. Oil filters are normally located near the car’s combustion chamber. To install or remove an oil filter, you will have to continuously rotate the filter accordingly as its head is reverse threaded.

Numerous car manufacturers produce their oil filters according to their specifications. However, it is exceedingly rare to see significant differences in the general makeup other than price, gasket size, and thread. In most cases, oil filters turn counterclockwise as an almost universal practice to maintain the direction of oil filters.

What Exactly Is an Oil Filter?

An oil filter is a mechanical device found in the car’s engine to remove contaminants such as dirt and unburned fuel and stop them from circulating. It maintains the circulation of fresh oil into the engine.


That is why we need to clean the oil filter regularly or change the entire component in some cases. Oil filters are also found on other automobiles with hydraulic systems. For example, power steerings and automatic transmissions. Jets with gas turbine engines also makes oil filters.

How to Identify a Clogged Oil Filter?

Poor engine performance: A poor-performing engine can be because of numerous things. A clogged oil filter is extremely high on the list. Once you notice transmission problems and a lag in acceleration. It is best to service your filter immediately.

Sputtering: A faulty oil filter cannot perform its duty of filtering contaminants from the oil. Suppose the filter is clogged and cannot release motor oil into the engine. Your car engine will suffer and sputter at certain intervals. Once you observe this endeavor to service your oil filter. 

Low oil pressure: Car users should always monitor the oil pressure gauge while driving. If the gauge drops, then you have an oil problem. This can be because of a clogged filter or a serious oil leak. However, oil leaks do not usually happen frequently.

Whatever the cause, immediately, you notice that your oil pressure gauge decreases quickly. Pullover and call for a tow to an auto shop. Do not keep driving.

Dirty exhaust: Once you notice smoke coming out of your tailpipe. It is probably because of a clogged oil filter. If you see brown or black smoke exiting the pipe, your vehicle could be burning oil or fuel. The smell of burning oil is strong. So, you should notice immediately that a clogged oil filter is causing the dirty exhaust.

How to Install/Remove Oil Filters?

An oil filter getting stuck is not an irregular experience. It has happened to a lot of vehicle owners. This could result from tightening the oil filter cap too hard on the previous installation.

It could also be that the top of your oil filter needs proper lubrication. Therefore, you will need to oil the top before attempting to remove the filter again. You can make use of the following to remove an oil filter.


Oil filter wrench: A stuck oil filter is a normal occurrence. That is exactly where oil filter wrenches come in handy, and they work perfectly. They come in diverse sizes that can help if your oil filter is in a hard-to-reach place or you need a little extra power. If you purchase the appropriate size, removing your oil filter will be an effortless task. 

Sandpaper: This is a cheaper alternative that everyone has access to. Grip the oil filter with the grittier side and twist the surface gently till the filter comes off.

Screwdriver and hammer: If all the listed alternatives do not work. You will need to use a screwdriver and hammer to beat the filter out of its chamber. This should be your last resort. You will also need to change the oil filter component entirely.

What Is the Size of My Oil Filter and Its Thread?

Oil filters are an important prerequisite for having a well-maintained engine. They filter out pollutants allowing clean engine oil to flow through the engine.

As mentioned previously, each manufacturer has specific guidelines for producing its oil filters. However, the standard should be within 13/16”-16 threads per inch.

The thread size is the measurement of the opening of the engine tank. This is an essential aspect of a good oil filter and an excellent filtration system. To find the right filter and thread size for your vehicle’s engine, follow these steps 

  1. Drain oil into an empty container
  2. Measure the diameter of the screw hole
  3. Gauge the diameter of the filter, and make sure to include the sealing area and rubber seal section
  4. Evaluate the height of the filter

If these steps seem confusing, you can contact a professional or compare this information with online guides.

How to Choose the Right Oil Filters?

The Oil filters in your vehicle are not a ‘one size fits all’ Each car manufacturer designs its oil filter threads according to its extensive research and specific product design plan. Therefore, buyers must be conscious when selecting the perfect oil filter for their engines. Here is some stuff to look out for 

  1. Size and Capture Efficiency
  2. Dirt-Holding Capacity
  3. Oil Pressure-Flow
  4. Design Integrity

How Often Should I Change My Oil Filters?

If you own a conventional oil filter, you will need to change your oil filters as frequently as every 6 months. However, if your oil filter is in the synthetic version, it can last up to 12 months.

Our engines today have increased in standard due to technological advancements. Therefore, the old industry’s standard of changing your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles is obsolete. Each manufacturer has different standards, but professionals recommend intervals of 7,500 miles or more. 

NOTE: Consult your vehicles owner manual to know the recommended intervals  

Final Thought

Manufacturers produce reversely threaded oil filters. Removing oil filters can prove difficult. Make sure to service it immediately after observing symptoms of clogging. DO not drive with a faulty oil filter. Contact a professional immediately if you observe any irregularities.

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