I just did my own oil change

but there are droplets forming on oil filter so i provide these photos to ask whether the oil filter is leaking or not. i hand tightened oil filter and i tightened with fairly strong grip. i didnt use any tools to tighten oil filter.

the above pic is after oil filter was checked after driving 7 miles after oil and filter change.

below pic is about an hour after i came home and checked again

as you notice there are small droplets

when i unplugged oil plug the oil came out looking like hot coffee.

i checked dipstick prior to oil change and it was indeed quite dark.

currently the oil is tea colored and extremely light in color thus new.

this is residual smudge on paper towel. left being current oil from dipstick. right smudge on paper towel being stains from the residual off the oil filter.

the plug is not leaking and dipstick is showing proper oil levels

i feel quite content i didnt have to go to a quick lube place i never trusted them anyways i trust myself more because this is my car and i care about it running properly

my question is whether that oil filter is possibly leaking

I doubt it. The oil drops are probably from when you removed the old filter. I can’t speak to your filter tightening technique, other than when I do it I first tighten to hand-tight, then another 1/4 turn. I’ve always thought instructions R=referring to threading tightness by “hand-tight” doesn’t seem a very good idea, b/c folk’s hand & arm strength varies widely. In any event, suggest to keep monitoring the situation over the next week. Check the oil level on the dipstick before venturing out each time , and report back if there indeed seems to be a leak remaining.

Did you smear oil on the new filter gasket ?

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yes i used old oil on drip pan to smear oil on the rubber gasket on new oil filter. there were instructions on the oil filter boxes for FRAM oil filters but i bought STP brand oil filter

i dont know how my grip compares to others but im a 175lbsish guy that can manage to do 20 chin ups proper form and also hang on a bar for over two minutes. i think my grip is decent but i also grappled with other guys and know there are guys with stronger grip

Then there’s the old seal. Is it accounted for? If it’s still up there you could get a major leak.

Not something to lose any sleep over, but suggest to use new oil for that next time. If the old oil contains any grit, it may scratch the filter’s gasket during the tightening process. For the same reason I also take time to thoroughly clean any grit from the surface on the engine where the gasket seals. This is easier said than done, b/c the cleaning can actually introduce grit that wasn’t there before.

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let me go see if the old seal is in the old filter i still have it in garage. yes old seal is on the old filter.


There is residual oil on the filter mounting surface and in the filter gasket grove. See if the filter can be hand tightened further just to be sure.

1/4 of a turn is not enough. The instructions usually show to tighten the filter 3/4 to 1 full turn after the gasket makes contact with the mounting surface. See number 4 in the example below.


Thanks for the clarification. By “hand tighten” I don’t mean when the filter first makes contact. I mean after it makes contact and I’ve tightened it as tight as I comfortably can by hand.

I mark the filter at the first-contact point, and that mark is usually about 3/4 of the way around at the completion of my tightening process, so matches pretty closely what you say.

i just tried tightening further with hand. it wont turn anymore. also it looks like this currently. i dont think there is an active leak but not sure if leak manifests while car is running as i notice the oil filter does get pretty hot after the car has been running.

Well , yes it will .

You CAN cause seepage by overtightening the engine oil filter, which will overcompress the new seal

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Well the mechanics will disagree but I go beyond grip tight with a filter wrench. Not crazy tight but good and snug. Never had a problem getting it off again and never had one come loose in 50 years.

What I do is clean the old oil off of the mating surface with a paper towel and take a look to make sure the old gasket is off. I also add oil to the new filter and naturally some will spill on the outside of the filter. So I wipe down the filter again. At the end I start the car and check for any drips.

I always have a spare filter on hand just in case. But I never use fram. Doubt you have a leak but clean it off check again in a day or two but I would give it a tug with the wrench.

People will argue with that but when I took my car in for a trans fluid change, he changed my oil instead. A week later I drained it out and put my own in. It wasn’t a big problem but took some effort getting that filter off. So just saying, hand tightening is not universal among pros. Having the filter fall off will ruin their insurance rate.

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Buy a torque wrench from Harbor Freight (very affordable) and take the guess work out of “is it properly tight”.

The spec for your car should be online somewhere, generally 12 to 20 foot pounds.

Also, the best bang for buck oil filters are Purolator Boss according to Project Farm guy on YouTube. The absolute best are AmsOil…pricey. Phram and STP are not for people that love their cars. I would not use those filters, check YouTube teardowns, and I certainly wouldn’t run them more than 3k miles. There Are vids of guys cutting open new Phrams and finding holes in the media.

My wifes retirement check says FRAM .

I pay about $6 or less for oem Honda filters. I order six at a time. Hard to beat the cost.

I have cut open and checked the basic line for myself and agree, but for the last 35 years that I remember it, it is spelt FRAM… Not picking, just making sure you are spelling the company you are bashing correctly…

Their air filters are not to bad, as long as they keep the butterfly’s out of my engine I am good…

I am wondering about their ATF though… :thinking:

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Wix are generally considered to be pretty good as well.

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How many vehicles have enough room to use a torque wrench on the oil filter? I would guess only those with cartridge type filters.