How can I avoid a messy disaster when I change those difficult Toyota oil filters?
In my Toyota Camry, the oil filter is mounted "upside
down," meaning that the open end of the filter is face-down
to the ground. This creates a tremendous problem when I go
to change the filter. No matter what I do, when I loosen
the filter for removal, some of the old engine oil runs out
and down, all over the engine block and pan -- even after
I've emptied the pan and let all of the old oil drain out.
I've even tried punching holes in the old filter with a
screwdriver to help drain the oil, but to no avail.
WHY on earth does Toyota mount the oil filters like that in
the first place, and can you or your readers suggest any
method I can use to remove the old filter without
experiencing the mess? -- Lynn
TOM: Sure, I can suggest something: "Quicky Lube."
RAY: The reason it's in there that way is because space is
tight (I assume you have the V6 engine) and that's where
the filter fit. They weren't about to design the whole
engine around the placement and angle of the oil filter. It
serves its purpose there, it's reachable and removable, and
most people don't think it's that big a deal.
TOM: When I change these filters, I wrap an oil rag around
the top as I unscrew it and let the filter drip into the
rag. Then I throw the rag and the filter away, and that
pretty much eliminates the mess.
RAY: Of course, "mess" is a relative term. And if you saw
the back seat of my brother's car -- with the cans of
transmission fluid and empty pizza boxes -- you'd know to
take his comment with a grain of salt. However, his
suggestion about the rag is a good one, and if our readers
offer any others, we'll pass them along to you, Lynn.