Oil filter for 1997 Saturn SL2 won't fit

Hey guys,

I have a 1997 Saturn SL2 that was parked for about two years. I changed to battery, coolant, and oil, but when I went to put on the oil filter, it doesn’t fit. It starts to go on fine, but it doesn’t screw down all the way. The filter I’m using is a Fram ph3614. Everything I’ve looked at recommends this as the filter for this model. Well, i should say that most seem to recommend the HX3614 instead of the PH, but is there really any difference in fit?

I won’t go into the spilled oil and kitty litter all over my driveway after the first attempt to start the car. Started up fine, but dumped about 2 qts through the ill-fitting filter. Ugh.

Any ideas? Should I just try a different brand? What am I missing here?

Try a different brand. The first 2 characters of Fram filters just indicate the type of filter. Supposedly there are different grades of filters by Fram (other makes have them too…Purolator for one).

Is there possibly the old gasket from the old filter still on the engine block.

My first assumption would be that you cross threaded it.

The first few times I tried, I didn’t have it threaded correctly. (The filter is an a gawd-awful place that you darn near have to be a contortionist to reach). But it seems to go on fine, just stops about 2/3 of the way down. I should also note that when I first got the car, I drove it about a year…oil changed at the local Jiffy Lube. It leaked about a qt a month, although I could never pinpoint the leak. In hindsight, I’m thinking maybe an ill-fitting filter may have been the culprit.

I wasn’t smart enough to save the old filter that I took off, but I do remember it was some off brand I’d never heard of. Big yellow filter that seemed about 2 inches longer than the Fram I’m trying to use. When i got it off, I noticed the old oil caked around the filter and the undercarriage.

I don’t see the old gasket, but I’m gonna take another gander…

Some filters are also defective off of the shelf. It could easily have an internal defect that blocks up the center of the filter.

Get another filter. Same brand or different, try another one. ( ACDelco PF53 - Motorcraft FL793 - STP S3614 - Car Quest 85348 )
If you didn’t cross thread it it may have been mis-boxed, mis-built, —OR —

You might have left the rubber o-ring from the old filter remaining on the block.
When you take this filter off, check THAT .

If you can get sufficient access, try to measure the length of the pipe end to which the filter screws on, and then the depth of the corresponding hole in the filter. That’ll tell you whether you’re dealing with a thread problem, a “pipe” problem, or a filter problem.

Post back with the answer.

check the threads on filter and housing . I once had a new filter with a bad threads. I could not see or feel it but bought another one and it ift well.

Since you tossed the old filter you can’t look to see if the rubber gasket came out the old filter, or is it stuck to the engine? When the old gasket doesn’t come out with the filter you will not be able to screw it down and it will leak.

Saturns used a spin-on transmission filter as well. Are you sure you are replacing the correct filter?

What I’m wondering is if the oil filter “union” has somehow come unscrewed.

Well, a lesser man would’ve just taken his lumps and quietly skulked away, but I am here to tell you all what a moron I am.

Seems as though I may have gotten the oil filter and tranny filter confused. Stopping by the parts store on the way home to grab a tranny filter, which I’m gonna bet a dollar to a dime slides right on. Then, take the passenger side tire off so i can get access to the oil filter, which again, I’m betting will slide right on. Laugh it up boys…I deserve this one.

You, my friend, are NOT a moron. A moron never would have realized he had a problem, never would have figured it out, never would have written in, and never would have learned from it.

Congratulations. Every new chore we tackle has the potenttial for error. It’s the intelligent among us who realize the error before it becomes a disaster, learn from it, and recover from it.

I call everyone that makes a mistake a moron. It a good think I never mak mitakes. It makes me th only person I no that not a moron. Once I thought I made a mistake, but it turned out that I was wrong about that.

Once I thought I made a mistake, but it turned out that I was wrong about that.

So you actually made TWO mistakes…lol

As MB said. Someone who learns from their mistakes is a wise man. Someone who REFUSES to learn is a Moron. You made a mistake (we all have…and trust me I’ve made much bigger blunders then that)…but you’re NOT a moron.