oil filter hell - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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oil filter hell
Friday, April 05, 2019 7:31 AM

I've read all the threads and posts that have anything to do with this long ago and many times. I'm just gonna vent here.

2001 Cavalier 2.2 5-speed manual 241K. I have tried everything to get the oil filter off. It has been on there WAY too long. I had tried back in the winter and gave up waiting for warmer weather which has now arrived. I expected to just be able to reach down with my left arm and get it off. That has not happened. I have long skinny arms and I am right handed, which doesn't help.

I can't get it to move at all from the top using either my left arm/hand or right arm/hand. I tried cleaning it off to get a better grip, I have tried gloves and no gloves, I have tried wrapping a rag around my arm so I will stop getting all cut and sliced-up. I then tried to see if getting it from the passenger side wheel area which I didn't want to do (among the many problems I have is a power steering fluid leak from the rack which means I try to avoid turning the wheels to full-lock in either direction) - that also failed. There is no way to reach it with enough of a grip to move it.

So then I made 3 trips to 3 different stores looking for a cup-type filter wrench that would fit (first 2 stores either didn't have the right size or only had filter wrenches that wouldn't fit or work due to lack of room or clearance). So I finally got one that fit on the FRAM filter in the store for my car that has the black textured grip thing around the top. I thought I was going to finally be able to get it off. Wrong. Instead, it just slips around the non-textured, smooth metal canister top section of the filter instead of gripping it. The one that is on there is an AC Delco and the filter am putting on also lacks the black textured gripping stuff.

Parameters: I can't raise the car. I don't have jack stands or anything other than the spare tire jack from the trunk. I also don't have ramps so this must be done without raising the car. I spent about 2 hours looking at that filter but gave up because there isn't enough to grab onto to twist it off. And I am at a loss about what type of wrench to try since the cup type that is supposed to fit doesn't and like I wrote - the other types - the strap kind or the big jaws type do not appear to be able to fit anywhere from the direction I have to come in from.

Any suggestions?

Re: oil filter hell
Friday, April 05, 2019 7:23 PM
Pound a screwdriver through it and use it as a wrench.
Works every time on a stuck filter.
When you replace it, tighten the new one only hand tight and don't overdo it, so it won't happen again.

BTW, if you are reading the other threads especially the one about my totaled 2001 Z24, I have a replacement.
It's a 2000 Z24 Black convertible. Absolutely pristine, less than 60 k miles, always garaged, original top and 1 owner.
YIPPEEE !!!!!!!!
Re: oil filter hell
Sunday, April 07, 2019 6:30 AM

Update: went to the store again to get a different type filter and while I was there decided to test the kind that I had got on several of the brands of filter for my car to see which worked and why - in the process, found that by intentionally mis-aligning the flutes on the wrench so that it got stuck - and I mean REALLY stuck on the filter so badly that I had to slam them on the floor to get them separated - that I could use this half-ass method to get mine off even though I am sure that is not what was intended. Sure enough - a couple of hours later - that is what I did - got the filer off and the oil changed. First thing this morning - the CEL comes on. It's always something.
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