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Oil filter too tight - can I loosen it to see what happens?

I recently got married and because of that, I 'm now in charge of maintenance on my wife’s car - a 1990 Ford Probe 4cyl.

I changed the oil yesterday and noticed that there was what looked like a small leak around the oil filter. Checking again today confirmed it.

I think perhaps I over tightened it - it was only 3/4 or so past hand tight, but I’ve never used that brand of filters (Mobile 1)

QUESTION - can I simply loosen the filter and see if it works, or do I need to completely change it again?

Take a look at the old filter, is the rubber gasket still there?

If not, it stuck to the engine when you removed the old filter & you now have 2 gaskets. Not good.

In any case you can remove the filter without draining the new oil.

Been there & done that with the double gasket & when the extra gasket blew out while driving I had a real oil gusher under the hood. What a mess.

Unfortunately, the old filter is now in the dump :frowning:

I think I would have noticed if the gasket on it had broken, but I didn’t specifically check.

I guess I’ll try pulling off the filter and taking a look at the seal.

Before you do anything go get another oil filter and have it “just in case”. It doesn’t have to be a Mobil 1, but you do need to have a back up in case you did damage the seal on the one that is leaking. I would also use another brand, in case there is something peculiar about Mobil 1’s and that filter type.

These filters have an excellent reputation, so you can only assume the issue is with you and how you tightened it, not the brand.

Well, if the old seal is now at the dump, no problem.

If not it is stuck to the engine & you need to simply remove it & reinstall the filter.

Put a little oil on the gasket, tighten it one turn & back it off slightly.

Sometimes the gasket will bunch up & not seal, backing it off slightly should flatten the seal back out.

Well, I loosened the filter and it still leaked, so I went out and got a premium Fram filter (that’s what was on it before) and put that on. We’ll see how that holds up …


Yes, you can remove the filter and install it again. In the future, do as follows and you will likely never have a problem again: Of course you must make sure that the old rubber seal was removed so you don’t double gasket.

Remove the rubber seal from the new or reused filter and wet both sides with engine oil before repositioning the seal on the filter and installing the filter assy. on the engine.

too tight of a filter rarely leaks, just difficult to get off

For the cost, I would just replace the filter. Just make sure to clean the sealing surface with a clean rag, and wet the gasket with some clean oil. When you pull the other filter off, and clean the surface, check it for any damage or scratches.

If you’re going to go to the trouble of messing with an oil filter, then I say change it and the oil.

You might also consider that the leak may be something other than the filter. My memory is fuzzy on this car, but oil pressure sending units are usually located near the filter.

Don’t mess with trying to fix something like this. Get a new filter…too cheap insurance to take the risk.

I might add that yes, 3/4 past hand tight is overtightened. Filters should only be installed hand tight after lubing the threads and gasket with a thin coat of oil.

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