Oil filter leak — spin on style? (TOP 5 Tips)

An oil filter leak is usually caused by improper installation. Failing to remove the old O-ring gasket before applying the new filter will always cause an oil filter leak on a spin-on oil filter. Under or over-tightening can also cause an oil filter leak.

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  • An oil filter leak is usually caused by improper installation. Failing to remove the old O-ring gasket before applying the new filter will always cause an oil filter leak on a spin-on oil filter. Under or over-tightening can also cause an oil filter leak.

Is it common for oil filters to leak?

Oil from the oil pressure sensor, or just about any other engine gasket or seal, can leak over the oil filter. The most common cause of oil leaks is lack of maintenance. Going too long between oil changes causes oil to break down and become contaminated.

What happens if you overtighten oil filter?

Unfortunately, you can do damage by overtightening, too. If you over- tighten the drain plug, you can strip the threads. And while it’s harder to do, you can damage the rubber gasket atop the oil filter if you really overtighten it.

Why would a oil filter leak?

There are a few reasons why a filter might leak. If the oil filter is installed too loosely, it can vibrate loose and allow oil to leak out. If it’s installed too tightly, the gasket could be damaged, leading to a leak. Leaks can also occur during an oil change if the gasket from the old filter sticks to the housing.

Is a small oil leak OK?

While it might seem easy to ignore a few drops of oil on your driveway, it’s always a bad idea. Left unaddressed, a small oil leak can grow into a larger, much more expensive repair. Plus, if the leak worsens while a vehicle is in operation, it can cause the engine to seize.

Is hand tight enough for oil filter?

Every reputable oil filter is designed to seal for tens of thousands of miles with no more than a good hand-tightening. You don’t need a wrench unless you have one of those deeply recessed filters with no space around it for your hands. Then use the wrench to tighten a half-turn more.

Is it normal for oil to leak after an oil change?

It’s normal to have a few oil drips a few hours after an oil change. However, any more than that, and you’ll need to determine where the leak is coming from. There are several ways to determine if the leak is coming from the drain plug, such as the gasket part being worn or dirty.

Why is my oil filter covered in oil?

Whether your gasket is malformed or your seal is worn, any gaps and spaces can be a source for leaks. Your oil filter itself might be an issue. It may be the wrong size, it may be crooked, or it may be improperly installed. The plug and cap need to be screwed on tight to prevent leaks.

How does a spin filter work?

A spin-down filter is made to capture large particulates like sand or rust chunks from a decomposing well. Water comes in the top of a spin-down filter and spins in a centrifugal motion. The design of the head diverts water into the chamber in a fashion that circulates the water through the filter housing.

What is cartridge style oil filter?

Cartridge oil filters are a unique type of automotive oil filter sometimes referred to as the “eco oil filter”. Unlike the more common conventional spin-on type of filters, which feature a steel outer canister, cartridge oil filters are made entirely of cellulose filter media and plastic.

How tight should oil filter spin be?

Never use a wrench or any tool to tighten an oil filter. Spin it on until it touches the seat, then tighten it by hand ⅓ to ½ of a turn more. The exceptions to this general rule are the canister filters, where only the paper elements are replaced.

Should you pre fill an oil filter?

An age-old question is whether or not you should pre-fill your new oil filter before installing it in your vehicle. The answer? Pre-filling the filter makes the process easier if you have a large, heavy-duty truck, but if you’re just changing the oil in a smaller car, it’s not necessary.

What happens if you don’t tighten your oil filter?

What happens if your oil filter isn’t put on correctly? They leak oil all over the place if they aren’t tightened properly or don’t have the gasket in place or end up double gasketed. The other way to put them on wrong is to overtighten them or put them on without wiping a bit of clean oil on the gasket first.

Why Is My Oil Filter Leaking?

An oil filter leaks for a variety of causes, seven of which are prevalent. Knowing the potential sources of the problem can assist you in determining the activities that need be taken to fix the situation. Motor oil is routed straight from the oil pump through the oil filter before it begins its lubricating cycle in order to eliminate contaminants before it begins. Even a seemingly little oil filter leak might soon become a catastrophic failure when operating at full oil pressure. Unless oil is spilling out of the oil filter, replacing an oil filter is a do-it-yourself project in the majority of circumstances.

Double Gasket

The most frequently made error is the feared “double gasket” on the oil filter. When an oil filter is changed, this occurs as well. The old oil filter gasket is still attached to the engine, and the new oil filter and gasket are fitted on top of the old ones to complete the installation. Immediately after removing the old filter, inspect it to ensure that the gasket is still attached to the filter. You should avoid driving down the road if you mistakenly double-gasket an oil filter, because it will most likely blow out (causing a sloppy mess) as soon as the engine starts (and not while you’re driving).

Oil Filter Gasket

Ensure that the rubber mounting gasket is not cut, nicked, twisted, or otherwise damaged in any way, and that it is correctly installed and snug in the filter baseplate by pressing on it with your fingers. If the gasket on the filter is damaged, it is always best to replace it. Remember to fully remove any old gasket material that may have stuck to the mounting surface and clean the region where the gasket makes contact with the engine of dirt and grime before installing the gasket. Before installing a new filter, wipe the gasket-contact area with a degreaser and put a thin coat of fresh oil on the gasket with your finger before inserting the old one.

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Over- or Under-tightening

In addition to making it difficult to remove while replacing the oil filter, over-tightening the filter gasket can cause it to crush, resulting in a leak. Any vehicle item meant to seal against a leak will become loose due to normal engine or driving vibrations if it is not correctly tightened. This will result in leaks. Oil filters should be “hand tight” and then given a quarter turn to ensure that they are properly fastened without being overly tight. Never use an oil filter wrench to tighten an oil filter; instead, use it to remove the filter entirely.

Oil Filter Mounting Adapter (Filter Housing)

Some manufacturers, rather of directly connecting an oil filter to the engine, employ a filter adapter or housing that bolts to the engine in order to mount the oil filter. Overtightening the filter can cause damage to not just the oil filter gasket, but also the gasket between the adapter and the engine if the filter is not replaced immediately. It is important to make sure that the nipple, onto which the filter threads, is securely fastened within the adapter.

Nipples can be threaded on both sides and can become loose while removing the old oil filter from the nut and bolt. If the threads are loose and leaking, the filter gasket may not be able to properly seat. This is something your mechanic should handle.

Damaged Threads

The baseplate threads of an oil filter are softer than the threads on the mounting nipple, and if the oil filter is screwed on incorrectly when it is fitted, the threads can become cross-threaded. It will be necessary to replace the filter if the threads get broken. Regardless of whether you successfully install the replacement filter and there are no visible oil leaks, it’s still a good idea to have your technician inspect the filter mounting nipple threads for damage.

Wrong Filter

Consult your owner’s handbook to get the exact filter number for your individual engine model. A filter may appear to be too tight when it is first placed, but this is because the threads are not identical to those of the mounting nipple. Over time, this will cause the filter to become loose and begin to leak. Additionally, the improper filter may be equipped with the incorrect by-pass valve. When the by-pass setting is enabled, the engine is protected against oil starvation in the event that the filter gets blocked.

Damaged Oil Filter Housing

Consult your owner’s handbook to get the exact filter number for your unique vehicle. Despite the fact that a filter’s threads may not be exactly the same as its mounting nipple, it may feel snug when it is placed. It is likely that the filter will become loose and leak as a result of this process. It’s also possible that the erroneous filter is equipped with the improper by-pass valve, as previously stated. If the filter becomes blocked, the by-pass setting is activated to prevent the engine from becoming oil starved.

Is it the Filter?

Over the oil filter can leak oil from the oil pressure sensor, or from just about any other engine gasket or seal for that matter. Regardless of whether the oil filter itself is leaking, it is critical that your mechanic determine which seal or gasket is to blame. The most prevalent reason for oil leaks is a failure to perform routine maintenance. Oil breaks down and becomes polluted when it is left unchanged for an extended period of time. Oil contaminated with contaminants assaults and degrades gaskets and seals, resulting in oil leakage.

Replacing the oil filter with a new one every time the oil is changed is one of the most cost-efficient and effective ways to extend the life of an engine.

If you’re not sure what’s causing the leak, you should have your mechanic look into it.

Spin on oil filter leak.

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Spin on oil filter leak.
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12-08-2016, 11:18 AM 1
Meir1999 baseJoin Date: Dec 2011Location: Coral Springs FLPosts: 1,604Garage Spin on oil filter leak.


Hello guys.during one of the oil changes, i noticed a bit of wetness around the oil filter.cleaned it up, and noticed that the filter itself is not tight. (i could unscrew it by hand).usually when i change filter, i first fill it up with oil, put some oil on the top seal, and screw it in place. i tighten by hand, and give it another quarter of a turn.worked perfect like that for years with no issue.last oil change, i repeated the process, but this time i have tighten it a bit more.last night (500 miles after last oil change) i noticed the same thing. the oil filter is loose anyone has a clue whats going on?few additional details:spin on LN adaptor was not new. so i ordered new O-Rings for it, that im going to install next oil change.oil filter i’m using is Wix 51042.

12-08-2016, 11:28 AM 2
steved0xRegistered UserJoin Date: Dec 2012Location: FLPosts: 4,113 I too got a used previous model spin on adapter (that has a tool with a socket for tightening instead of an integral socket) and used Wix 51042 for the last few years, so maybe 5-6 oil changes, I have never had that but I think I go more like a half turn or more after the gasket makes contact (firmly tight by hand but not as tight as I could possibly get it, although probably close) I got 2 new o-rings for the adapter when I installed it and it has never leaked or loosened for me. I can remove the oil filter by hand but it is pretty hard to get it started.So none of this is probably useful to youbut it is my experiences.
12-08-2016, 12:34 PM 3
JFP in PARegistered UserJoin Date: Feb 2005Location: It’s a kind of magic.Posts: 5,774 Quote:Originally Posted byMeirHello guys.during one of the oil changes, i noticed a bit of wetness around the oil filter.cleaned it up, and noticed that the filter itself is not tight. (i could unscrew it by hand).usually when i change filter, i first fill it up with oil, put some oil on the top seal, and screw it in place. i tighten by hand, and give it another quarter of a turn.worked perfect like that for years with no issue.last oil change, i repeated the process, but this time i have tighten it a bit more.last night (500 miles after last oil change) i noticed the same thing. the oil filter is loose anyone has a clue whats going on?few additional details:spin on LN adaptor was not new. so i ordered new O-Rings for it, that im going to install next oil change.oil filter i’m using is Wix 51042.After filling the filter with oil, lightly oil the filter’s gasket, then screw on hand tight, plus 1/2 turn with a cup style filter wrench.It won’t come loose, and it will not leak._� Anything really new is invented only in one�s youth.Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous � and more stupid.�- Albert Einstein
12-08-2016, 12:36 PM 4
GelbsterRegistered UserJoin Date: May 2014Location: S.CaliforniaPosts: 2,022 Make sure it really is the filter gasket leaking.Could it be that the gasket between the adapter/base and the cranckcase is leaking – above the filter?There are some very specific Instructions from LN to avoid this.
12-08-2016, 02:04 PM 5
Steve TinkerRegistered UserJoin Date: Dec 2008Location: Queensland, AustraliaPosts: 1,522 Reading Meir’s first post he says that the filter was loose, not the adapter. I have noticed the same looseness on my filter on my last oil change, but using the Bosch spin on filter I got from Pelican.Because I’m old and weak, I usually tighten the filter housing by hand as tight as I can, but after finding the loose filter, I now use my torque wrench. The last thing I need in life is a self ejecting filter!_2001 Boxster S (triple black). Sleeping easier with LN Engineering/Flat 6 IMS upgrade, low temp thermostatunderspeed pulley.2001 MV Agusta F4.


Last edited by Steve Tinker; 12-08-2016 at02:07 PM.

12-08-2016, 02:32 PM 6
JFP in PARegistered UserJoin Date: Feb 2005Location: It’s a kind of magic.Posts: 5,774 Quote:Originally Posted bySteve TinkerReading Meir’s first post he says that the filter was loose, not the adapter. I have noticed the same looseness on my filter on my last oil change, but using the Bosch spin on filter I got from Pelican.Because I’m old and weak, I usually tighten the filter housing by hand as tight as I can, but after finding the loose filter, I now use my torque wrench. The last thing I need in life is a self ejecting filter!You don’t need to torque a spin on filter; hand tight, then 1/2 turn more, that’s all that is necessary.we probably do 50-75 cars this way every week in season, and am yet to have a filter leak, come loose, or fall off._� Anything really new is invented only in one�s youth.Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous � and more stupid.�- Albert Einstein
12-08-2016, 02:52 PM 7
Meir1999 baseJoin Date: Dec 2011Location: Coral Springs FLPosts: 1,604Garage guys thank you all for the replies.i was a bit puzzled because i was doing the same procedure for the past 6 years with no issue. so i guess i’m becoming weak and old just like steve.i will take JFP advice and will give it another half a turn with the cup and a wrench.thanks again.
12-08-2016, 07:12 PM 8
jcslocumProject AddictedJoin Date: Aug 2015Location: Eastern Shore, MDPosts: 623 Make 100% certain that an old rubber gasket isn’t stuck up there on the adaptor. This happens and will cause the leak._Jon1966 912, 1976 9111986 944, 2000 Boxster
12-08-2016, 08:05 PM 9
steved0xRegistered UserJoin Date: Dec 2012Location: FLPosts: 4,113 Quote:Originally Posted byMeir. so i guess i’m becoming weak and old just like steve.Old guy problemsat least we are on the right side up
12-09-2016, 03:36 AM 10
thom4782Registered UserJoin Date: Sep 2010Location: Foster City CAPosts: 1,098 Hi Meir:I know you said the filter was loose, but are you 100% sure its the filter that’s leaking and not the adapter itself. A deteriorating or pinched o-ring can lead to a adapter leak.
12-09-2016, 08:41 PM 11
Meir1999 baseJoin Date: Dec 2011Location: Coral Springs FLPosts: 1,604Garage Quote:Originally Posted byjcslocumMake 100% certain that an old rubber gasket isn’t stuck up there on the adaptor. This happens and will cause the leak.Good point. I will look at that.Quote:Originally Posted bythom4782Hi Meir:I know you said the filter was loose, but are you 100% sure its the filter that’s leaking and not the adapter itself. A deteriorating or pinched o-ring can lead to a adapter leak.That was my first assumption, so I ordered new seals from LN. Also a chance to tanks the guys at LN for shipping the o-rings at no cost at all. So new seals going on regardless, but I always needed the cup to remove the filter. Never by hand.

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Solved the dreaded oil filter leak – The 1947

I didn’t mean to take on the role of moderator (I’m not one and never will be), but I think it’s important to point out that we should all take the time to read the entire thread before responding. since he wasn’t spreading false information, and I should have left it as it was In the future, I will continue to make comments when someone provides incorrect information, offers hair-brained backwoods remedies, or makes ideas that they consider to be a joke, but which may not be considered a joke by one of our rookie truckers with limited knowledge and competence.

I also do not want to see someone be wounded because they used a potentially harmful technique of accomplishing something.

And yes, sir, I have been in a somewhat irritable mood recently, and I will make every effort to rectify this and avoid falling into the Old School teaching mindset.

A 77 C 30 dualie with a 454, 4 speed transmission with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist is available.

Spin-on oil filter adapter with filter

It is easy to understand why this device is a godsend if you have ever replaced a cartridge filter on a British car while lying on your back and had oil flow down your arm and into your armpit. Cartridge filters are a hassle to use. While reassembling the filter housing, you must first clean out the bowl, which might be difficult if you do not have access to a parts washer, and then make certain that the O ring is exactly aligned when reassembling the filter housing. Nothing about that operation is enjoyable, and if you do it incorrectly, you risk blowing out all of your oil on the very first start-up.

Once this kit has been fitted, all that is required is a simple spin-off and replacement of the cartridge.

However, changing one of these will result in significantly less mess than lowering the cartridge bowl and attempting to move it out of your engine bay while spewing hot oil all over the place!

Our package contains a filter as well as everything else you’ll need to do the job correctly the first time.

INSTALLERS REMINDER: Make certain that the aluminum disc and the block are a flat and snug fit before moving forward.

We also sell extra filters and zddp additive, which should be applied after each oil change unless you already have zddp in your engine oil in which case it should not be added.

Note: This part fits the 948, 1098, 1275, and other models. All Sprites and Midgets are welcome. The oil cooler lines have a 1/4 NPT thread size, which should be noted before installation. If you need to change the filter that came with this kit, you can get one here.

283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue

283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue1110720Mon Jun 29 201506:59 AM
Today after I primed the oil pump on my 283 (using a long screwdriver) I noticed a large oil spot on the garage floor under the oil filter. I had the guy who (half-azzed) rebuilt the engine put a spin on filter adapter. Any ideas why the filter overflowed? The oil filter has the gasket on it and was tight. Thanks for any help.


1959 3100 Apache Fleetside

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Feb 2001Posts: 1,381’Bolter
there may be an old gasket from the canister filter still attached to the block, remove the filter unscrew the two bolts holding the filter adapter to the block. Then check the surface where the two match up for old rubber ring, if it is there remove it and reassemble the adapter and filter.


Tommy 59 apache 1/2t261 short stepside

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Jan 2015Posts: 1,038Shop Shark
I had a 1967 Impala convertible with a 283, powerglide. It left the factory with the replaceable cartridge oil filter. I remember counter people at the parts store asking if he wanted an adapter to switch over to a spin on filter and he always would tell them no. I do not remember actually changing that type of filter for it was so long ago and was the only car I ever had that did not have a spin on filter.Nor did I ever put an adapter on to convert filter types.Though I have seen old spin on filter gaskets stick to the engine and not be noticed. Thus the new filter will not seat properly and the oil leaks out pretty fast.So as said check for a double gasket and then check if the adapter was put on correctly.Last edited by 32vld;Mon Jun 29 201501:35 PM.
Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Feb 2004Posts: 23,532Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
A man in California got frustrated and GAVE me a really well-prepared 327 racing engine once because he could not stop an oil leak.I found that it had come from the factory with a canister-type oil filter and someone had overtightened the center bolt and put a hairline crack in the castingabove the threaded hole for the bolt.It was leaking oil into the bellhousing area.A quick rethreading to 1/4″ pipe and an Allen plug stopped the leak. Jerry


“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” Kris KristoffersonCringe and wail in fear, Eloi- – – – -we Morlocks are on the hunt!WAG MORE- – – – – -BARK LESS!

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Aug 2005Posts: 9,423Ex Hall Monitor
I think Tommy may be on to something. I converted to a spin on filter on my ’62the directions with it said specifically to make sure the old gasket for the canister is removed. If the fellow didn’t do that it can be an issue.


Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet. The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion. Let’s go Jared! Name your dog Naked so you can walk Naked in the park.

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Apr 2015Posts: 361Shop Shark
Thanks guys.I was tired from working several hours on a few engines as well as getting this engine ready to put in. After the oil puddle deal, I put my tools away and turned out the lights in my garage. I should have waited until when I could get back to it and taken a look at the obvious possibilities before posting. Tomorrow I’ll get a look at it and go from there. I guess I should have left the original oil canister on, but the thought of non-availability of the filter not being there persuaded me to go with the adapter. Heck, I may go that way anyway. I appreciate your responses.


1959 3100 Apache Fleetside

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Apr 2005Posts: 1,920’Bolter
The problem I have encountered with the spin on adaptors is that they come with a one of a kind mounting gasket. After a few years the gasket dries out and you have a leak. I have not been able to find a replacement. I have one of the adaptors I will donate to someone that can find a gasket for it.I have however been able to purchase the original canister type filters from Napa, Truck Shop, swap meets and others. Fred


1956 3100 Pickup/Red/350/3sp OD/PS/Disc Brakes 1957 Bel Air Sport Coupe/Red/355/TH350/PS/Disc Brakes 2017 Silverado LT Single Cab SB/Black/5.3/6 Speed Trans 1947 Willys CJ2A w/F-Head engine

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Feb 2001Posts: 1,381’Bolter
All that I have ever done, was just take one off of a late 60’s early 70’s small block. Don’t recall the factory ones having a gasket.n


Tommy 59 apache 1/2t261 short stepside

Re: 283 Oil Leak At Filter Issue
Joined:Apr 2015Posts: 361Shop Shark
Today I removed the spin on adapter and found the gasket that came with the adapter had been rolled. I also found that the factory bypass valve assembly wasn’t on and the felt gasket that comes with the adapter wasn’t there either. I picked up a new adapter yesterday, opened the box, read the instructions and noticed a felt gasket. I remembered seeing a similar felt gasket in the box the engine gasket set came in that I have kept. I unrolled the gasket and after checking for any damage, put it back in, reinstalled the bypass valve assy and adapter WITH the felt gasket between the bypass valve and adapter. Now, if I can just get enough rpm to push oil I can leak check the engine again. If it leaks again, it’s coming off and the canister is going back on.Last edited by Cablesmill;Thu Jul 02 201508:34 AM.


1959 3100 Apache Fleetside

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