Wrench Tip: The Ultimate Oil Filter Wrench That You Need to Buy Right Now!

Wrench Tip: The Ultimate Oil Filter Wrench that You Need to Buy Right Now!

by David Zipf


Aside from checking tire pressures, an oil change is the most basic automotive service one can do. There are dozens of guides out there for how to do an oil change. So we aren’t going to rehash how to do the job, instead we’re going to let you in on one little tip that will turn you into an oil changing pro.

It’s really simple.  Throw out whatever type of oil filter wrench you’re using and buy this one:


It’s a simple Craftsman wrench and it is a miracle tool.  In college, I spent two summers working at a local tire shop.  Occasionally, I would also be tasked with an oil change (to keep the actual mechanic free for real work). Credit to that mechanic, Dimitry, because he showed me this tool and it is one of the most useful I’ve ever bought. If you’re looking for one of these I’ll let you in on a hint: you rarely find these in the tool section of Sears. Weird right?  They’re actually in the automotive section. Or, save yourself the trouble and find them here.  I'm sure other tool companies have their own version, but I was pointed to this particular one. It's performed hundreds of oil changes in its time.
Unlike any other oil filter wrench, this one simply plugs into a socket wrench. This allows you to use extensions, u-joints, and all sorts of other tools that can give you the best leverage. While some car makers are really nice and put the oil filter in an easy to reach place (GM used to be the best at this), some OEMs hide them in the most inconvenient locations (like Audi, or Honda).  A filter wrench like this fits into those tight places with ease.  
Considering how hard some jobs are on our Project VehiCross, the oil filter is in a really nice location, and many times you can unscrew it by hand. However it is also an ideal shooting location for this Wrench Tip. Simply grip the filter with the three prongs and turn. Any oil filter will come right off in a couple quick twists.
Let’s play spot the oil filter!  If you have an SR20 powered 240SX, this will be a familiar sight. Sandwiched between the intake manifold, starter, alternator, and an engine mount, there is simply no room for a traditional oil filter wrench to pop the filter loose. But, the claw type Craftsman wrench makes this job quick and simple.  

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