Hole in Oil Filter

Posted below. Don’t see damage to the filter…

I found this. maybe the pan gasket is leaking by the oil filter and spraying the oil on the filter. just a thought.

http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/vdirsnet/TSB/EU/ (nhtsa.gov)

opps, sorry its not for the explorer.

Thanks. I’ll look and show to Oso.

Yes, and not Ecoboost. Of course, it makes me wonder about the 2018 Explorer. I was out of town and Oso Blanco took it in when they fixed it. He didn’t see the oil filter.

The true answer will remain a mystery now - unless you finally spot a hole which is unlikely - or, the replacement filter also gets bathed in oil.

I see the gasket is no longer on the filter. Most of the time the gasket sticks on. When installed, the mechanic needs to rub a dab of oil on the gasket (dirty or clean oil) before screwing the filter on. Either way, it shouldn’t effect a leak, but filters are not put on as tight as they should be just as often as they are put on too tight. A loose filter might leak before it falls off, I don’t know.

Also, if the filter is installed with tools, or otherwise bumped, a weak spot on the housing is possible. Filter quality, inside and out, varies, with many being thin and fragile (don’t know about that Motorcraft). Some of them, I wonder if they aren’t a little too disposable.

I spent some time in a can factory. We made beer cans, aerosol cans and bottle caps. Quality control regularly checked for bad seams under pressure. An oil filter has the same type of seam at the top as a can. The cap is all installed by machine but they can leak from time to time. Wouldn’t have to be a hole in the drawn filter portion but the connection of the lid to the drawn can can leak or a defective top. Thousands per hour are produced. Ever had a can of Coke leak?

1 Like

Not that it’s worth anything but the “dirt monkey” on youtube I think had a bad filter on his truck once. He’s a landscaper in the Minneapolis area so I see what he is up to once in awhile. Seems to me in one episode he was stuck enroute someplace with a leaky filter and lost his oil. Can’t remember if he had a Dodge or a Ford and that wasn’t really the purpose of the youtube but just showed oil leaking and trying to get it fixed.

Like I said though, I always have an extra filter on hand and extra oil when I’m doing an oil change. Ever since my dad forget to put the plug in, changing oil on our 58 Chevy. Be surprised what you learn and sticks with you as a kid.

I re-read because the original post was somewhat confusing to me - and still is.

If this is possible, then it’s likely:

Filter was not installed tight enough by mechanic. Eventually, oil seeped out and owner saw oil on ground or else oil warning light went on. Owner returned to mechanic who said filter had a hole in it. …

It looks to me tat someone is over tightening the oil filter and distorting the rubber past its modulus of elasticity. The rule of thumb is to compress the gasket 30% for maximum sealing. Go too far and the rubber will squeeze out and leak. The fact that the gasket came off the filter when it was removed tells me that it was tightened enough to break the bond between the rubber and the filter housing. That trail of oil is from the gasket.

Edit: Just a little tidbit. If the gasket on the filter is 4 mm thick and the thread pitch is 1.5, then turning the filter 7/8 of a turn after contact would compress the gasket about 33%. Tightening it 3/4 of a turn would compress the gasket about 28%. This is why the instructions on the filter are usually 3/4 turn or 7/8 turn after contact.

1 Like

It sounds like the shop (dealer?) probably installed the filter and no mechanic would ever tighten a filter enough for the gasket to bulge. Furthermore, unless he returned the car to the shop that was responsible for its maintenance, they would have dutifully explained exactly the condition of the filter. That they may have been hiding what happened strongly supports guilt. You can’t say anything for sure about the gasket not being there except it’s not there. Sometimes they don’t stick on the filter when the filter is removed under normal conditions. Mechanics forget to tighten stuff all the way all the time although not really for a filter because you’re only doing one thing and it’s quick. It didn’t leak out the gate so maybe the mechanic had a bad day and put it on snug but just not tight enough.

On the other hand, the op hasn’t come back to clarify things - so maybe this is diy job and you could be right. I’ve heard of filters not being tightened but I’ve never heard of one being put on so tight that its gasket bulged. Maybe you have?

Furthermore, if the gasket bulged, it would leak immediately, not later!

I’ve been doing my own oil changes for a decade and a half. I’ve never had the gasket fall off of the old filter when I’ve changed the filters in my admittedly smallish sample size. Nor have I ever had gasket material left behind on the engine block.

I’ve had the gasket stick to the block a time or two. Hence, I always check the old filter to make sure the gasket is still on it to avoid “double gasketing” the new filter. I’d guess about 95% of the time or more, the old gasket comes off with the old filter.


I’ve seen the old gasket cling to the engine block or filter adapter at times.

There’s been posts on this forum over the years where vehicles suffered oil leaks or damage when it was discovered the filter was double gasketed and leaked or flat blew out.

1 Like

agree it happened to me as a teen. it was the first and last time I didn’t check to make sure the old gasket was on the old filter. and I always put a little oil on the new gasket.

I may have had a gasket stick once or twice over the last 50 years but frankly don’t remember. I just make it a habit to check to be sure and run the car and check for leaks when I’m done.

We are just guessing as to what caused the filter to leak. So was it a bad filter? Was it put on too tight, too loose? I guess I’m more afraid of a filter being too loose than tight. When the shop inadvertently changed my oil and I changed it back a week later, that filter was on extremely tight. Had to struggle with it and much tighter than I have done. But I tighten mine more than hand tight and never had a problem. We shouldn’t expect that it was done right just because a shop did it, but I think we shouldn’t expect a zero defect in the filter either. That’s why we check when we’re done.

How do you know it did not start leaking immediately? But also, many times you can’t remove a filter, especially one pointed up, without making this mess.

1 Like

The original poster should have come back and clarified what the heck went on. We all seem to be guessing because it was poorly laid out. I thought, but who knows, that the “hole” occurred well after he acquired the car, which might have even been a new or a newly purchased car. And I thought he might have been suggesting a dealer was involved. It’s been several days now. I’ve been loathe to reread but if someone can stipulate what happened based on a good read, please do. I tried and failed but maybe I was in a bad mood or something. I’ve changed the oil on a wide variety of cars, with filters in all directions, of all sizes, and even cartridge filters which most of you have probably never seen. I still have up to ten filter wrenches of my own of various capabilities. If I haven’t seen them all, I’ve seen a lot.

1 Like

Speaking of cartridge filters…it’s kind of funny that both the oldest vehicle I’ve worked on (Dad’s 1950 Chevy truck) and the newest vehicle I’ve worked on (wife’s 2013 Highlander) both have a cartridge filter. Everything I’ve worked on in between has had the spin on type.

1 Like

The original poster provided a follow-up on November 11th, she doesn’t know what was leaking. The “hole in oil filter” claim was made before inspecting the source of the oil leak.

1 Like