How to Replace an Oil Filter Housing Gasket on Most Cars

The internal combustion engine relies on oil to function. Pressurized engine oil is used to create a layer between moving parts. This layer of protection keeps moving parts from coming into contact with each other. Without this layer between the moving parts, excess friction and heat is created.

Simply put, oil provides protection as both a lubricant and to aid in cooling. To provide this pressurized oil, the engine has an oil pump that picks up the oil stored in the oil pan, builds up pressure, and delivers the now pressurized oil to several locations inside the engine by oil galleries built into the engine components.

The ability of the oil to perform these functions diminishes for several reasons. An engine heats up while running and cools down when shut off. This heat cycle causes the oil to lose its ability to lubricate and cool the engine over time.

As the oil begins to break down, it creates small particles that can clog the oil galleries. This is why the oil filter is tasked with pulling those particles out of the oil, and why there are intervals determining when the oil and filter need to be changed. If your oil filter housing gasket is failing, your engine light may be on, there may be oil dripping from the filter, and lower than normal oil pressure.

This article covers how to replace the gasket on the oil filter housing. Even though there are several different layouts for an oil filter housing, this article is written in such a way that it should be able to be adapted to most applications.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing an oil filter housing gasket

Materials Needed

hydraulic jack and jack stand holding up a vehicle

Step 1: Jack up the vehicle and set jack stands. Jack up the vehicle and set jack stands using the factory recommended jacking and stand points.

  • Warning: Always be sure jacks and jack stands are set on solid ground. Setting either on soft ground can lead to injury.

  • Warning: Never leave the weight of the vehicle on the jack. Always let the jack down and place the weight of the vehicle on the jack stands. Jack stands are designed to handle the weight of a vehicle for an extended period of time, whereas a jack is only meant to support this type of weight for a short period.

wheels chocks on front and back of wheel

Step 2: Place wheel chocks on both sides of wheels still on the ground. Place wheel chocks on both sides of each of wheels that are still on the ground.

This will lessen the likelihood of the vehicle rolling forward or back, and falling off of the jack stands.

  • Note: It is recommended you perform an oil change during this procedure. Any time components are disturbed in the oil system, debris can be dislodged and find its way into the oil. With the removal of the oil filter in this repair, this would be a great time to go ahead and change the oil.

removing oil pan drain plug with a wrench

Step 3: Drain the engine oil. Place a drain pan under the oil pan and, with the appropriate wrench, remove the drain plug.

Drain all of the oil from the engine.

Step 4: Reinstall the drain plug. With the oil pan empty, reinstall the drain plug back into the oil pan and tighten.

This is recommended so that it doesn’t get lost during the rest of the repair.

oil filter with wrench attached

Step 5: Remove the oil filter. Place a drain pan under the oil filter and remove it.

If the oil filter cannot be removed by hand, it may be necessary to use an oil filter wrench.

Step 6: Remove the oil filter housing retaining hardware. Remove the retaining hardware holding the oil filter housing to the engine block.

This can be any number and combination of bolts, nuts, or clamps.

  • Warning: Be sure all of the old gasket is removed. The gasket may stick to either the oil filter housing or the engine block. Not removing all of the gasket can lead to leaks and/or oil starvation to the critical components.

Step 7: Compare replacement oil filter gasket to the one being removed. Compare the replacement oil filter housing gasket to the one that was removed.

Be sure that the replacement gasket has all of the correct cutouts and that it will fit correctly before installing it.

Step 8: Install the replacement gasket and reinstall the oil filter housing. Install the replacement gasket and reinstall the oil filter housing.

Reinstall the hardware that secures the oil filter housing to the engine block.

  • Note: When installing a new oil filter, it’s recommended you partially fill the oil filter before installing it onto the engine. This will avoid premature wear due to oil starvation.

person putting oil on oil filter o ring

Step 9: Install a new oil filter. Lightly lubricate the o-ring seal on the new oil filter with a bit of new oil.

This will help the oil filter to seal correctly. Spin the new filter into place.

Step 10: Add oil. Add the recommended amount of oil to the engine found in your repair manual.

Step 11: Start the engine. Start the engine and allow it to run for a couple of minutes.

This will allow the oil to circulate and disperse the oil to all of the vital areas.

oil leaking down sides of oil

Step 12: Check for leaks. Shut the engine off and check the area around the oil filter for signs of any leaks.

If there is a small amount of oil seeping from the top of the oil filter, check to be sure the oil filter is tight.

Step 13: Remove the jack stands. Using the hydraulic jack, raise the car back up and remove the jack stands.

Let the car back down.

man holding dipstick at acceptable levl

Step 14: Recheck the engine oil level. Recheck the engine oil level with the car sitting flat on the ground.

It is possible that more oil may need to be added at this point.

The oil filter housing gasket may have a leak allowing the oil out of the system at a very high rate, which could end up being damaging to your engine. If at any point you feel that you could use a hand with replacing the oil filter gasket on your vehicle, have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians come to your home or business to perform the repair for you.


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Recent Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(179)

Rating Summary
174
3
1
0
1
174
3
1
0
1

Arturo

27 years of experience
303 reviews
Arturo
27 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-1.6L Turbo - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - San Diego, California
Great overall experience. Fast reliable and great ethics. Would recommend this company to anyone.
Nissan Xterra - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - San Diego, California
Where do i begin. Arturo was an awesome guy. He showed up on time and super cool to talk with and explained things to me what was going on with my Xterra. Great personality and did the job in record time and also changed my air filter too and showed me i was missing a few caps which was good to know before I blew up my engine! I will now have him and only him work on my car and roommates car as well. Just a really really cool guy and honest. Half the price of what Goodyear was going to charge me so that helps a lot being in on disability and not much money these days. You guys better keep this guy around. total asset to your company. Thansk

James

30 years of experience
873 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - Winter Garden, Florida
James is the best! He was able to correct what was done improperly at a shop. Very professional and knowledgeable!
Honda Odyssey - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - Casselberry, Florida
James did an excellent job and I really really like this man is a good mechanic and he shows you things and tells you things that are true

Matthew

33 years of experience
1210 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-1.6L Turbo - Oil Filter Housing Gasket Replacement - Hampton, Virginia
Highly professional n very personable. His mechanics knowledge n experience, backed by his ASE certification, was quite evident. Showed on time n quickly went to work. He was both diligent n quiet...and cleaned area upon job completion. With his honesty n persona, a friendship could easily develop. I would highly recommend Matthew for any future repair considerations.
BMW 640i Gran Coupe - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - Hampton, Virginia
Matthew not only fixed my vehicle but provided outstanding customer service. He came prepared to do the job and completed the job in a timely manner. I will be requesting him again if I need a mechanic. Thanks!

Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
BMW X3 L6-3.0L Turbo - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - Belleville, New Jersey
He is a such professional mechanic in all respects, skillful, responsible and careness. Even after job done, he still called me to make sure I was getting home safely because I came from Philadelphia and the day was snowing while he was doing the job. I only trust him to help me on my 2012 BMW X3. He is definitely a top mechanic in Eastern coast.
BMW X3 - Oil Filter Housing Gasket - Summit, New Jersey
We got some unexpected problem when replacing the oil filter housing gasket, Attila was successfully get it sorted out.

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