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Canister Oil Filters - John Slaughter
Over the weekend, while visiting my mother, I got a call from her neighbour. Her daughter had arrived the day before, having driven 60 odd miles down the M4, and that morning had seen a largish oil stain beneath her K series engined Metro, which had been serviced a couple of days previously. As 'I knew a bit about cars', could I take a look, and see if she needed to call the AA. My immediate thought was that either sump plug or oil filter were loose and I was right - the oil filter was very loose. I tightened it fully hand tight, and checked the oil to find the tip of the diptick just about touched what remained. About 3 litres were needed to fill it. If it hadn't been spotted I reckon she'd have been stranded on the hard shoulder on the way home, possibly facing the bill for an engine rebuild.

Now, it's not the first time I've heard of this happening. I always tighten these filters pretty much as tight as I can by hand, but I must admit it can make them difficult to remove, but at least they don't come loose in service. What do the experts reckon?

Another thought - it was serviced by 'a chap who used to work at the local garage, but now works for himself' - I wonder how he'd have dealt with a claim for an engine rebuild?

As an aside - despite the recent service, the oil coming out was black - a sure sign of the long service intervals.


Re: Canister Oil Filters - Dan J
I'd much rather have a bit of a job getting the filter off than having it pee out the entire contents of the sump on a long journey!

Not had this problem but after having my car serviced by a similar outfit, opened the bonnet the week after whilst engine running only to see all the spark plugs wobbling around. They'd only been tightened by hand! If one of those had stripped the thread/fired itself through the bonnet I would not have been amused.

If you want a job doing properly.....
Re: Canister Oil Filters - Charles
I have one come across this symptom. A work colleague of mine had a Golf MkII Gti 8V which used to unscrew its oil filter on its own. When it was investigated it was found to be due to a faulty oil pump pressure relief valve which was allowing sky high oil pressure. The K series engine is a completely different design but maybe this could be the problem.

Hope this helps

Re: Canister Oil Filters - David W

I too screw on filters very hard by hand.

As a matter of interest I have a Third Party Liability policy that covers me against such potential claims, as you suspect many don't.

Re: Canister Oil Filters - David W

A similar extra grip is achieved with the disposable latex gloves I wear for car work.

Re: Canister Oil Filters - John Davis
It is much preferable to have a tight oil filter than a slack, hand tightened, one and, as the professionals, and many of the enthusiasts know, there are chain type devices to remove and, with care, to tighten them in the first place. I use an old timing belt. With the belt wrapped around the filter (or a short piece cut from the belt) and the teeth facing inwards, with the hands, or a Mole type wrench, the filter can be securely fitted and removed. So, if you have a new t/belt fitted, ask for the old one back.
Re: Canister Oil Filters - Paul
I always finally tighten my oil filter with an old piece of wet and dry wrapped around it. The extra grip lets you give it that extra tweek.
Re: Canister Oil Filters - Dave N
I wonder if he had service insurance also. I know I have, as you do, but no-one has ever asked me about it, and most people probably don't even think about it.
Re: Canister Oil Filters - David W

Yes my insurance covers me for claims made against faulty workmanship, errors or accidental damage to the vehicle while in the workshop, as opposed to under road test/collection cover which is a separate policy.

Cheapo Bodge Jobs!! - David Lacey
Ridiculous! The filter was not tightened correctly. As DanJ said "If you want a job doing properly....." then take it to your nearest Main Dealer Workshop.

Yes, these filters do indeed require a firm tightening to stop any oil leaks. I don't consider it a design failure of the engine or filter - it could (and does, happen to other vehicles)


Re: Cheapo Bodge Jobs!! - Andrew Hamilton
I tightened the filter correctly on my mothers metro. It dripped oil. Careful checking with a mirror showed an original manufacturing defect where a burr was big enough to prevent sealing at one point. It could not be seen directly. After removal by scraping - no problems.
Re: Cheapo Bodge Jobs!! - Julian Lindley

My normal filter tightening practice contradicts most of the previous contributions I am afraid! I firmly, but not agressively, tighten my Cavalier and Astras filter cartridge hand tight after lightly lubricating the O ring seal beforehand to assist eventual removal. I do however monitor it for drips over a a day or so.

I guess this practice has evolved over time, and my thinking has been revised after having a number of bolts shear very expensively.

1 Manifold stud on my Astra SRI sheared whilst driving the car. Cylinder head had to come off at a garage. I was a 100 miles from home.

2 The retaining 6 mm allen screw at the bottom of the Cavaliers water pump sheared flush in the block, during the routine maintainance of cam belt and pump replacement, prior to passing the car to my daughter. Cost me £70 to get a specialist to come to my home and insert a new thread after drilling out the sheared set screw. The screw probably sheared as a result of a minute leak around the water pump seal, water migrating to the set screw at the bottom of the pump. I was loosing about 200 ml of water over 1000 miles. Unfortunately I put it down to normal evaporation at the time!

Your'e never too old to learn.



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