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Oil filter double seal/gasket mistake

Hi Everyone,
I’ve just had some bad luck when doing an oil and filter change and need some advice please. Basically the old filter’s seal has stayed on the block and I didn’t notice. I’ve then gone and screwed the new filter on, filled the engine with oil and started it up. Because I was in the car I couldn’t see the oil gushing out from the filter. After around 15 seconds I heard some gargling noise and turned the engine off, got out and saw the puddle. I’ve sorted the filter out and ended up filling 2.8L (4.4 total engine capacity) of oil to get it to H on the dip stick. The car’s running fine as far as I can tell but do you guys think I’ve damaged the engine?

Hard to say. If it was just at idle speed probably very little damage. Just drive the car, do frequent checks of the oil level. Most likely some surfaces were affected but will still last a long time.

Thanks for the quick reply Purebred. Yes the engine was only at idle and only for about 15 seconds as mentioned above. What parts would be affected with this sort of thing happening? Do you think I need to get a compression test done or just stick with monitoring the oil level.

so you still had 1.6 L (1.7 quarts) of oil. I think you will be fine. You can do a compression test if you want.

Same thing happened to me after an oil change at a quickie shop. On the way home, after about 6 blocks, I heard a strange sound and stopped to check. Upon raising the hood I saw oil everywhere. I called the shop and they brought several quarts to my location and I drove back to the shop. That’s where the double gasket was discovered. They put on a new filter, wiped off the excess oil, and made sure my oil was at the correct level. I don’t remember how much oil I lost but there was no damage to the engine. I would suggest you continue to just drive the car and listen for engine rattles or knocks. If you hear none you are good to go. Good luck.

Sounds like you caught it quick enough that no harm was done.

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That exact thing happened to me with a Mitsubishi Colt. I was backing it out of the garage when my wife saw the oil on the floor. Stopped the engine, and fixed the problem. No problem with excessive oil consumption.

As long as you had some oil in the engine I don’t think any harm was done.

I did this once as well. I kept adding oil to top off the engine after a couple starts and checks. The engine takes like 6 quarts so I began to wonder after I added 8 quarts and it still wasn’t full. I could tell oil was EVERYWHERE near the filter so removed the filter and discovered my mistake.

I ALWAYS check the old filter to make sure the gasket is still on the filter now. This is a very easy mistake to make but also very easy to prevent.

You are probably fine as you caught it in time with oil still circulating through the engine and not bone dry.

I can’t imagine any damage is done after 15 seconds of idling. Most affected would be the main and rod bearings though, not the piston rings so I see no benefit from a compression test. There was still oil in the pan that was being circulated, otherwise there wouldn’t have been any oil on the ground, right? So just add this check to the checklist in the future and drive on. When I change oil though I always have a spare filter and extra oil just in case a filter is bad. Never needed it but that’s the reason for starting the car and taking a look underneath for leaks.

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You must be using el cheapo filters for the gasket to separate like this. They are usually crimped to the base.Put a light coat of oil on the gasket before you screw it back on to prevent that from happening.

Where are you getting your information . . . ?!

Just about any spin-on oil filter, you can easily pry the gasket out of the groove

I agree with that. But in my experience, it merely increases the chance of the gasket coming off with the filter, but it’s not a guarantee


If the oil light never came on, and I suspect it didn’t, then you never lost oil pressure so no damage was done. Except to your ego that is, but you are in good company there.

Thanks for all the replies everyone. Yes I’ve learnt a good lesson and will check the oil filter everytime now. I’m just going to monitor the oil level and see how the car runs and sounds, that’s about all I can really do. Once again thanks for all the advice.

Exactly. I’ve probably use every major brand filter out there over the past 40+ years and while it’s rare - not one brand is immune to this. Some vehicles are setup differently and it may never happen to that vehicle no matter what filter is used.

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