Do You Put Oil In The Oil Filter Before Putting It On (Know The Best Answer)


Do you put oil in the oil filter before putting it on? Or, Is there any benefit of pre-filling the oil filter? Both are the burning questions among car enthusiasts. 

You can put oil in a vertically fitting oil filter, like SUburbanas, as it won’t make the space messy. On the other hand, you should not put oil in a horizontally fitted oil filter because the oil will pour out while installing it and make the surroundings messy. 

That’s the straightforward answer to your inquiry. But, it’ll be better to know more about properly taking care of your car. As the more you care for your car, the longer its lifespan and the more secure your massive investment will be. So let’s check out. 

What Is Oil Filler?

An oil filter removes toxic particles from the engine, transmission, and differential oil. After running the car for a lot of miles, you should change the filter to prevent mixing contaminated debris into your engine oil. 

Otherwise, it becomes clogged with oil-contaminated particles and fails to pass enough clean oil into the engine. As a result, in the long run, your car engine will suffer from oil deprivation and severe damage. 

When To Change Oil Filter? 

The ideal time to replace the oil filter is every 6300 miles for petrol cars and 9300 for diesel cars. The other basic way to determine the oil filter replacement time is every 2nd time you change your vehicle oil. 

Should You Pre-Fill An Oil Filter?

Generally, there is no hard and fast rule for pre-filling or not pre-filling the oil filter before installation. Actually, it’s your personal preference and your vehicle’s oil filter installation position. 

If you pre-fill the oil filter, the oil starts to circulate into the engine slightly earlier than a not pre-filling oil filter. Except for this, it doesn’t offer you any extra benefits. However, if you don’t put oil in the oil filter before installation, it won’t hurt it. 

Which Vehicles Can You Pre-fill Oil Filter?

If you drive a heavy-duty truck, full-size car, SUV, or ATV, pre-filling the oil filter will help you to install it. The oil will lubricate the filter, and you can easily screw it. On the other hand, if you drive just a compact car or any other smaller vehicle, there is no need to pre-fill the oil filter before installation. 

How Do You Put Oil In The Oil Filter Before Putting It On?

If you have previous experience changing your engine’s regular oil, then you already know 90% of the process. The 10% difference is just putting oil in the filter, ensuring no oil seeping during installation.  

However, if you don’t have any previous experience, there is nothing to worry about. Here we’ll describe the whole process with short and simple steps for your convenience. 

The Tools You’ll Need 

  • A quality oil filter
  • Regular engine oil
  • An oil catch pan
  • An oil funnel 
  • A jack stand 
  • A screwdriver 
  • A socket wrench
  • An oil filter wrench
  • 2 disposable plastic bags 

Step 1: Prepare your car

Shut off your car engine, and set up its first gear for manual transmission and emergency brake. Put it in the park by blocking its rear tires. 

Step 2: Lift the car

Now, you have to level up your car from the ground to get enough space underneath the car for crawling. After lifting the cat with a jack, securely place a jack stand under the car. 

Step 3: Reach the oil drain plug 

Crawl underneath the car and remove the access panel with the screwdriver to reach the oil-draining plug. Now, detect the oil drain plug and set the oil catch pan exactly below the oil drain line. 

Step 4: Drain old oil

Attach the socket wrench with the oil-draining plug and rotate it clockwise to remove the plug. As soon as you remove the plug, the contaminated oil starts to flow out through the plug. Wait a few minutes to ensure all oil drains out. Pour the gunk oil into a disposable plastic bag and leave it in a waste bin to avoid environmental pollution. 

Step 5: Replace the drain plug

Reinstall the drain plug by rotating it anticlockwise. First, do it with your hand and then with the socket wrench. Ensure the plug is tight enough not to leak oil with the plug but not too tight that it will stripe the oil plug. Then replace the access panel. 

Step 6: Find the old oil filter

In most cases, the oil filter is located beside the oil pan or under the hood of your vehicle’s engine. Again place the oil catch pan under the oil filter. 

Step 7: Remove the filter

Attach the oil filter wrench with the filter and rotate it to remove the filter. If the filter is greasy, you must wipe it with a rug. Otherwise, the filter wrench will be slippery, and you can’t rotate it for removal. Keep the old filter and the drained oil in a disposable plastic bag and leave them in a waste bin. 

Step 8: Put oil in the new oil filter 

Take the new oil filter and keep it standing. Put oil into the filter gasket till its neck, and twist it onto the stud. Start tightening it with your hand until it is snug, and then tighten an additional ¾ quarter with the wrench. Be sure not to over-tighten it. 

Step 9: Pour fresh oil

Since the old oil is drained and the oil filter replacement is done. So it’s time to fill the vehicle with fresh oil. Open your car hood and remove the oil reservoir plug. Insert an oil-filling funnel into the reservoir hole and pour your car recommended engine oil into the reservoir. But don’t overfill. 

Step 10: Lower the vehicle 

Securely replace the reservoir cap and wipe the space with a clean rug. Before closing the hood, remove the jack stand and lower the vehicle to the ground. Remove the blocks from the rear tires.

Step 11: Check the oil pressure 

Start the engine and run it for a couple of minutes to check the oil pressure. Remove the dipstick, wipe it, and again place it into the reservoir to check the oil level. If the oil level and pressure both are ok, close the hood. 

Why Not Fill Oil Filter Before Installing?

Nothing but the oil filter position of your car is the main reason not to pre-fill oil in the oil filter before installing. If you fill, the oil will spill out all over the filter and make it greasy. As a result, when you install the filter in its position, you face difficulties getting your job done. 

Some Useful Tips 

  • Before performing any task with your vehicle, ensure you carefully read the user manual to know what the vehicle owners say about it. 
  • If you are a DIYer and love to do your vehicle maintenance work yourself. It’s a good idea to own some basic tools in your garage. 
  • Always wear hand gloves before doing this work to avoid making yourself messy. 
  • If you aren’t confident in doing the job, it’s better to take professional help. A little bit of carelessness may damage your vehicle. That will be more difficult to repair and cost you more bucks. 

Final Words

That’s our discussion, and hopefully, we can let you know whether you put oil in the oil filter before putting it on or not. The thumb rule is putting oil for the vertical filter and avoiding it for the horizontal filter. 

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