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Torque on Motor Oil Filter and Drain Plug? 2005 Camry

I can’t find the specified torque values anywhere for my 2005 Toyota Camry. Can someone please provide the values? I know that most people say it’s just “by feel”. Which is fine. But I’m a beginner and I’m not exactly sure what “by feel” means. So I was hoping someone can provide the exact torque I need per some reference material, so that way I can know for sure that I’m not overtightening or undertightening the filter or drain plug?

I don’t know the exact torque values, but when I’m tightening the drain plug, I start it by hand, then tighten it until you hit some resistance, then go an extra 1/4-1/2 turn. If your Camry’s drain plug uses a washer (don’t remember if yours does or not, never owned one!) replace it when you change the oil. Don’t reuse it. With the filter, dip your finger in fresh motor oil, run it all over the gasket on the new filter, then screw it in. Again, once you hit some resistance, go another 1/4 to 1/2 turn (in my Focus I usually go about 1/3 turn on the filter). Always make sure you check for leaks after you fill the crankcase before you restart it, and then again after you start it!

Oil filters are tightened by hand.

I’ve never used a torque wrench on an oil drain plug. I’ve always gone by feel.

But if you want to play it safe, tighten the drain plug with a 1/4" drive ratchet and socket.

You can always go back and tighten it a little if it leaks. But you can’t go back and undo over-tightening.


Oil filters have the correct tightening procedure printed somewhere on the can. If you follow the printed instructions, you can’t go wrong. Common instruction say something like tighten to contact, then 3/4 turn. You can feel when the gasket first contacts the base. It spins freely and then suddenly it gets harder. There are usually markings on some brands you can use as a guide, otherwise look at the logos or the part number printed along the bottom for a guide.

Various formulas of rubber used to make the gasket have an ideal compression factor, generally between 30-50%. The designer sets the gasket thickness, then based on thread pitch (threads per inch or spacing between threads in mm) the designer can set the number of turns or fraction of turn that achieves the ideal compression. You don’t have to hit the ideal on the nose as you can achieve close to ideal over a fairly wide range of compression factors.

As for the drain bolt, if you use a new gasket, about 18-20 ft lbs is a good number if you don’t have the factory specs. If you are reusing the gasket, then go a few pounds tighter but don’t exceed 25 ft/lbs.

There have been a few filters which were in recessed positions where it was impossible to get my hands wrapped around them which I occasionally used a cup wrench to tighten but I used my hands to turn the cup. On any bolt or nut that I was concerned might work loose I painted the first few male threads with gasket shellac and on oil plugs new seal rings were installed, preferably copper or aluminum.