How to Change the Oil Filter on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The oil filter on the Volkswagen car is the most important component of the oil cleaning process. The oil enters the oil filter from the oil pan. The sediments are trapped inside of the oil filter before the oil reaches the engine. Over a period of time, the oil filter will become clogged with sediments and will need to be replaced.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Oil Filter on a 2008 Kia Sorento

Open the Kia's hood, and unscrew the oil filler cap from the top of the engine. Remove the bolt on the front passenger's side of the engine cover, using a ratchet and socket. Pull the cover up firmly to disengage its retaining clips. Set the cover in a secure location.

Find the oil filter housing cap on the driver's side of the engine. Loosen the oil filter housing cap, using a ratchet and Kia special tool No. 09263-3C100 -- this allows the oil to drain from the housing into the oil pan.

Raise the front of the Kia, using a floor jack, and slide jack stands under the Sorento's subframe. Lower the SUV onto the jack stands.

Crawl beneath the front of the vehicle and find the oil pan -- the large, metal pan -- on the bottom of the engine. Position a drain pan under the oil pan drain plug, and loosen the drain plug with a combination wrench. Remove the drain plug by hand, and allow all of the oil to drain into the drain pan.

Wipe the drain plug's threads with a clean, lint-free cloth, and hand-tighten the drain plug into the oil pan. Tighten the drain plug to 25 to 32 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and six-point socket. Raise the Sorento off the jack stands, using a floor jack, and pull the jack stands from under the SUV. Lower the Kia to the ground.

Pull the oil filter housing cap upward and off the oil filter housing -- notice the cap has a long tube attached to it. Pull the old oil filter out of the oil filter housing, and insert a new filter in the same position the old one was in.

Find the two rubber O-rings on the oil filter -- one on the top of the cap, just above the threads, and the other on the bottom of the cap's tube. Insert the blade of a flat-head screwdriver under each O-ring, pry each O-ring upward to unseat it from its groove and pull each O-ring off the oil filter housing cap. Roll new O-rings -- included with a new oil filter -- on the top of the cap and the tube until the O-rings seat in their respective grooves.

Place a small amount of new engine oil onto your fingers, and rub fresh oil on the two O-rings on the oil filter housing cap. Set the oil filter housing cap back onto the oil filter housing, guiding the tube attached to the cap through the hole in the center of the oil filter. Hand-tighten the oil filter housing cap, then tighten it to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and Kia special tool No. 09263-3C100.

Insert a funnel into the oil filler hole, and pour 5.6 qts. of new 5W-20 engine oil into the engine. Wait about 2 minutes. Pull the engine oil dipstick from the engine compartment, and wipe the oil off it with a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the oil dipstick and remove it again. Verify the engine oil level is near or slightly above the "Max" mark on the dipstick -- add more oil as needed. Reinsert the oil dipstick.

Start the Kia's engine, and allow it to idle for about 3 minutes. Check for oil leaks as the engine idles. Turn the engine off, and allow the oil to settle for roughly 2 minutes. Pull the dipstick from the engine and wipe the oil off it with a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the dipstick and remove it again. Verify the engine oil level is between the "Min" and "Max" lines on the dipstick. Add more oil as needed.

Remove the funnel from the oil filler hole. Line up the retaining clips on the underside of the engine cover with the slots in the cover's bracket. Lightly strike the cover with the palm of your hand to seat it into place. Tighten the engine cover-retaining bolts with a ratchet and socket. Screw the oil filler cap into the oil filler hole.

Take the old oil and filter to a used automotive oil-recycling center for disposal. Some auto parts stores take used oil free of charge.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Six-point socket set

  • Kia special tool No. 09263-3C100

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Combination wrench set

  • Clean, lint-free cloths

  • Torque wrench

  • New oil filter

  • 6 qts. 5W-20 new engine oil

 How to Change the Oil Filter on a 2004 Saturn ION

Lift the hood of the ION and place the hood prop rod in the designated hole in the underside of the hood. Visually inspect and locate the oil filter housing in the top-front of the engine. The filter is located toward the driver's side of the engine and may be covered by an engine dust shield. If your "Ecotec" has the removable dust shield, pull the shield directly vertical by hand to remove it for this project.

Install a minimum of a 9-inch extension onto a 3/8-inch drive ratchet. Install a GM "Ecotec" oil filter removal socket on the end. These sockets are specially designed for depth and exact fit onto the oil filter housing cap.

Attach the ratcheting assembly onto the oil filter housing cap. The housing cap has a hexagon protrusion straight upward that matches the internal measurements of the GM removal socket. Turn the ratchet counterclockwise by pushing the handle with your right hand. Place your left hand on the head of the ratchet and push straight down on the assembly. Applying the downward pressure on the ratchet head will ensure that you do not slip off the filter housing cap and damage the expensive cap. Rotate the cap counterclockwise until it comes free of the oil filter housing.

Pull the oil filter cap straight upward to remove it from the engine. Immediately place the oil filter cap over a drain pan. You will notice that the cap has the filter attached to its underside. There is a cylindrical center mast inside the housing cap, that hold the internal oil filter onto the cap for easier installation and removal. Pull the oil filter free of the cap and place it directly into the drain pan.

Install the new oil filter onto the center mast of the oil filter housing cap. Push the filter until it pops into place. Insert the filter and cap assembly back into the oil filter housing and start threading the cap back on by hand. Turn the cap clockwise by hand, until you cannot turn it any farther.

Use the 3/8-ratchet assembly with the extension and GM tool, to tighten the oil housing cap. Tighten the cap so that it is snug, then turn the ratchet a quarter-turn farther. Do not over-tighten the cap or you can crack the expensive cap.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch drive socket, with 9-inch minimal length extension

  • GM "Ecotec" oil filter tool kit

  • Oil drain pan or drip pan

 How to Change the Oil Filter on a Lexus ES 300

Lift the car onto the jack stands with the jack and put chocks behind the tires. Take off the oil cap. Slide a large pan under the oil pan and remove the drain plug with the socket wrench. When the oil is completely drained, put the pan to the side.

Examine the drain plug and the rubber grommet and replace them if they look damaged or worn. Reinstall the drain plug and grommet and tighten to firmly tight then another quarter turn.

Place a drip pan under the oil filter. Use the filter wrench to loosen and remove the oil filter.

Coat the threads and the rubber seal of the new filter with engine oil. Install it and screw it on until you feel the gasket make contact with the engine, then another 3/4 turn. Do not use the filter wrench to tighten -- hand-tighten only.

Pour five quarts of 5W-30 oil into the oil filler opening. Use a funnel to prevent spills. Replace the cap. Start the car and let it idle for two minutes. Examine the filter and drain plug for leaks. Check the oil level with the dipstick.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 5 quarts of new 5W-30 oil

  • Oil filter

  • Filter wrench

  • Socket wrench

  • Pan big enough to hold 4.7 liters of used oil

  • Small drip pan

  • Funnel

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change the Oil Filter on a Eurovan

Park the van on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake to prevent the van from rolling back. Chock the back wheel for extra safety.

Place a jack under the front crossmember and raise the van high enough to place jack stands under the "pinch points" under the front doors. These points are designed to hold the weight of the vehicle without causing damage to a jack or jack stands.

Unbolt the soundshield under the van by removing the four bolts holding the shield in place with a socket wrench. These bolts are located at the four corners of the shield. Unbolt the two nuts by the front crossmember as well. Pull the shield down and out of the way to gain access to the oil filter and oil pan.

Slide the drain pan under the engine and unbolt the drain plug with a socket wrench. Allow the oil to drain out while replacing the oil filter.

Locate the filter at the front of the engine. Unscrew it with an oil filter wrench. Place the old filter in the drain pan with the waste oil.

Fill the new filter up with engine oil. Dab some oil around the gasket at the top of the filter by applying some on a finger and wiping it on the gasket. This will help to ensure the filter seals correctly and removes easily at the next oil change interval.

Screw the new filter up to the housing by hand. Do not wrench-tighten, as this will strip the threads of the filter.

Tighten the drain plug with a socket wrench. Do not over-tighten, as this could strip the threads in the oil pan.

Bolt the shield back up under the van. Ensure the four bolts and two nuts are tightened with a socket wrench.

Raise the van with a jack. Remove the jack stands and lower the van to the ground.

Open the hood to get access to the oil cap. The cap is located in the front of the engine. Remove the cap and pour 5 qts. of oil down the tube.

Pull the engine oil dipstick located next to the oil fill tube. Wipe the dipstick clean and re-insert back into the dipstick tube. Pull it back out and verify the oil level. Pour oil in 1/2 qt. intervals until the dipstick reads full.

Start the van and allow it to idle for five minutes. Shut the van down and allow it to sit for five additional minutes. Check the oil level once more to ensure the dipstick reads full.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Chock

  • Jack stands

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Drain pan

  • New oil filter

  • Rag

  • 6 qts. engine oil

 How to Change an Oil Filter in a Saturn Vue

Lift and support the hood to locate the fuel filter. The oil filter is located to the left of the battery, recessed under the hood.

Use a 15/16-inch socket (extended) to remove the socket cap. There is ample space for the extension.

The cover and the filter will be attached. Discard the used filter and replace with the new filter.

Replace the socket cap and tighten.

Items you will need

  • 15/16-inch socket Ratchet extension

 How to Change the Oil Filter in a 2008 Jetta

Park the 2008 Volkswagen Jetta on a level surface and shut off the engine. Open the hood and unscrew the oil cap from the engine. The oil cap is located on the top driver side of the engine.

Jack up the Jetta and place the jack stands behind each front tire on the frame rail of the car. Lower the car onto the jack stands. Make sure that the car is securely on the jack stands.

Crawl under the front of the car and remove the plastic shield that is covering the bottom of the engine. There are four standard plastic Torx bolts that are connecting the plastic shield to the frame. Remove the Torx bolts with a 3/8 ratchet and a standard Torx bit.

Locate the oil filter underneath the car. It is inside of the oil filter housing that is located on the driver side of the engine block above the oil pan. Slide the oil catch pan underneath the oil pan.

Push the small knob on the bottom of the oil filter housing to drain the oil from the filter. Let the oil drain into the oil catch pan until the filter is empty.

Slide the 76 mm oil filter cup tool onto the 3/8 inch drive socket. Then slide the oil filter cup tool onto the bottom of the oil filter housing. Turn the oil filter housing counterclockwise to loosen the oil filter. Once the oil filter is loose, finish removing it with your hands.

Pour any excess oil from the oil filter housing into the oil catch pan. Remove the O-ring from around the oil filter threads and replace it with the new O-ring that comes with the new oil filter.

Slide the old oil filter cartridge out of the oil filter housing and replace it with the new one.

Screw the oil filter housing back onto the oil filter housing base on the engine block. Tighten the oil filter housing with the 3/8-inch drive ratchet and the 76 mm oil filter cup tool. Turn the oil filter housing clockwise to tighten.

Slide the oil catch pan out from under the car. Jack up the car and remove the jack stands.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8 inch drive ratchet

  • Standard Torx bit

  • Oil catch pan

  • 76 mm oil filter cup tool

  • New oil filter

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.