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Please explain how a oil filter could " just come off"?

It can’t, unless it wasn’t installed correctly to begin with.

If it wasn’t properly lubricated and torqued, it might fall off.

The installation of most oil filters require you to only tighten them as tight as you can get them with your bare hand. Whith my motorcycle, I torque them on with a wrench, but with my car, I only torque them with my bare or gloved hand. Therefore, It would be really difficult to under-torque an oil filter on a car.

If you went to Jiffy Lube, or one of its “quickie lube” type competitors, they probably never installed an oil filter at all. If you had your oil changed by anyone else, I guess it might be a 50% chance they made a mistake.

Please tell us more about the circumstances surrounding this question.

Most shops have “bonehead” insurance to cover these types of mistakes. If you talk calmly with the manager, you should be able to work this out.

I can not imagine they forgot to install the filter…wonder when he/she discovered no filter?

I have a friend with a boat that when changing oil filters did not realize the old gasket was in place but found out quickly that 2 gaskets are not better than 1.

I can not imagine they forgot to install the filter

We see that problem a lot and a high percentage of them come from quick oil change places. Their business model does not allow their employees enough time to do the job right.

Sorry, sports fans, but while it is rare, oil filters properly installed can indeed come off by themselves. I base this on a very large sample of one, heh, heh.

Five or six years ago, my son had a girl friend with a high mileage Toyota Camry. They always changed the oil themselves. He has been changing oil since he was a young man.

One day, she called him by cell phone. Her oil light had come on, so she immediately pulled over and shut the car off.

When he got there, they looked and the filter was lying down inside the motor compartment. He screwed it back on properly, went and bought some more oil, and topped it off.

Almost exactly a block later, the oil light came back on and she again shut the car off.

The oil filter was again lying down somewhere inside the motor compartment.

He went out and bought another oil filter and put it on, again topped off the oil, and until he engaged in an instantaneous breakup with her over her extracurricular activities, the oil filters stayed on when they were put on.

This filter was a certain brand name from Wal-mart. He asked her to mail it into the company which made it, but she never did. They should have seen it, because this is rare, but if it happened once, it can happen again.

There are not many ways a filter can come off that way when it is properly installed. I don’t even need to explain it to the mechanics here. But, clearly it was a statistical aberration or other defect in production, or very unlikely, somehow mishandled after production.

We might suspect problems with the motor where the oil filter goes, due to the high mileage, but no other filter ever did that.

But, yes, though it is very rare, filters can indeed come off by themselves when properly installed.

From past experience, I will not be surprised if one or more naysayer engages in inappropriate pooh-poohing of this true story, based on the fact he has never seen it personally, but let us hope not.

Could it be that since the oil filter was covered with oil, your son wasn’t able to properly torque the filter with his hand after it came off? Was this oil filter painted with a textured paint for easy gripping or did it have a smooth surface?

I am not saying you are wrong, I am just asking if it is possible.