Advice for those intrepid do-it-yourself oil filter changers out there.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

This is in reference to your column about how to avoid spilling oil onto the frame when changing the oil filter on certain cars. The guy who wrote to you had a 1991 Lincoln, and the filter on that car sits right over a piece of the frame. I have the same problem with my 1988 Mercury Sable, and guess what? Your solution didn't work! I poked a hole in the bottom of the filter. Yes, oil did come out. However, when the filter was loosened, down came the oil still in the top all over my unsuspecting hand, arm, and floor. Do you have a better solution?

RAY: How about Jiffy Lube, Earl? Or try turning the car on its side and shaking it to get the rest of the oil out.

TOM: Actually, Earl, you need to try again. This method isn't perfect, but it works for most cars.

RAY: First, make sure you punch the hole in the lowest possible point on the filter. You could even punch a second hole in the middle somewhere. I generally back off about fifteen paces and blow a bunch of holes in it with a twenty gauge shotgun, although it does quite a number on my paint job.

TOM: Once you have a couple of good holes in it, Earl, give it plenty of time to drain out, and then remove it carefully. What probably dripped on you was the oil trapped at the top of the filter...kind of like the paint that squirts in your eye when you bang the lid of a paint can closed.

RAY: I'm sure that with a little practice, and a wardrobe of shirts, you'll learn how to do this without spilling a drop. Good luck, Earl.

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