No oil in filter of 2003 Kia Spectra

I change my own oil but recently my daughter took the car to a service station to have the oil changed. When the time was up for another I changed the oil and found no oil in the filter they put on. The filter was the correct size for the car. What should I do and is there a way to get the “blockage removed” to allow oil into the filter again?

Is this a canister filter? Is the mounting flange mounted downward i.e. is the end of the filter pointed upward?

How is the filter mounted??

If it’s mounted with filter cap UP…then the filter either doesn’t have a anti-drainback valve or it’s not working correctly.

It has a spin on filter that mounts upward. Sorry for the late reply.

To clarify …the spin on part is upward.

I have to assume several thousand miles elapsed between the oil and filter changes, and that the oil pressure warning light has not been on. I can’t explain this, but I suggest installing a new filter, adding the correct amount of oil to the engine, running the engine a few minutes, then removing the filter to see if there is oil in it.

Report back with the results.

I did as you had mentioned. There has never been an oil light that came on. It comes on at start up and goes off is a second or two as usual. What next?

What was in the filter?

If the answer is, “nothing,” then I suggest you discuss this with your independent mechanic or a Kia dealer.

I’ve never heard of a downward facing oil filter that didn’t have some oil in it when removed. Even filters mounted on the side of upright engines (filter parallel to the ground) have oil in them.

Thanks for the advice. I just thought maybe someone had run into this problem before. As usual, I have odd mechanical problems.

I had an 83 Camry with the same situation at 255,000 miles. I liked it because oil changes were so easy. It was that way at 235,000 miles when I got it for free.

It may have been a bad filter. If so it was not good, but not all that bad. After doing an oil change, I would check it again and see if the new filter is dry after a few miles. If so you have some sort of blockage and it needs to be addressed.

I have seen this with ‘upward’ pointed filters. If you take the filter off within a few minutes of the engine being run there will be oil in the central cavity. If you change it at home, you position the car; maybe, let the exhaust manifold cool; drain the pan and let it stop dripping; put the drain plug back in; move the pan to under the filter; and remove the filter, it will come off dry. If you lift the antidrain back valve flap, you can drain oil that is trapped between the outer case and the element. In the 15 to 30 minutes it takes to get the oil filter off the oil in the center cavity has time to drain into the oil gallery.

I have noticed on cars with the filter pointed ‘upward’ is that the oil light goes off a little sooner when the car is restarted within a few minutes versus after a half hour. The extra time would probably be time to fill the center cavity.

One thing I have wondered about is with the canister pointed up as the engine starts pumping oil, the oil is going to fill up the outside of the element. Once oil gets through the element and covers the center pipe to the oil gallery, there will be air trapped above the oil level that will not be expelled. This air will be compressed as the oil pressure rises but I see no way that it can escape. When the engine is shut off, that compressed air is going to expand forcing any oil below it into the gallery. Therefore, I can see why the center cavity comes off dry. I have considered extending the center pipe up to the top of the filter so oil enters at the top of the canister. That experiment would put to rest my questions. However, I don’t want to second guess the engineers who didn’t worry about the original problem. Also, after such a modification the oil filter would come off wet, spilling oil all over the side of the block.

Let us what you find out about this.

I must clarify again, the filter is not showing ANY signs of ANY oil in the filter. If you are under the car the filter screws on with the opening up at a slight angle forward. Thus making the closed end down pointed downward. I have never had a filter not have oil in it. I guess I am stuck?