Can I change just the oil filter without losing too much oil?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by UoD, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Yes, oddly enough, I suppose there are always enough people who like to be told how to be a good customer.
     
  2. kbeck

    kbeck Active Member

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    Happened to me. Last people to touch the car was the dealership. Took it to a local oil change place, they couldn't get the damn thing off. Took it home, gave it a whack and punctured the filter housing. Much fun until I found a local guy who had that tool. And it was a pain having to run out and buy a replacement filter housing.

    That marked the last time going to that dealership. I don't care if fool in the service bays back there tugs it on a bit tighter than usual: That cover was likely tightened with an impact wrench, which is Just Wrong.

    That makes two dealerships down here in NJ I won't take the car to. One for this business: The other because the techie in back ripped the oil door half off during the oil change and then didn't tell anybody. Sheesh.

    KBeck
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The techie didn't necessarily rip it off. That flap is a poor design, repeated use and it fails, no matter how careful you are. I just take the whole panel of, DIY.
     
  4. Wandering Elf

    Wandering Elf Junior Member

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    Thanks @UoD, I had to use exactly your method of using one foot. Nothing else worked until then. Good suggestion.
     
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  5. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    The original question was answered, but if you missed it, no, the oil in the engine won't come out. Only the oil in the filter canister will be lost. And it is about 0.3 litres.
    There is no reason you can't change the filter first or last. There is no reason you can't change the oil first or last. As long as the engine isn't run there is no interchange between the two. I usually do the filter first, then the oil. Just to get the "hard" job done first. ;)
    Oh, and changing the oil, then driving the car, then changing the filter won't really cause any problems. Yes, there was about 0.3 litres more of the old oil mixed into the new. Not a big deal. There is probably at least that much still in the engine even if you let it drip all night!
    The idea is to get enough new oil and additives in there to "make a difference". The old oil left over won't harm anything.
    Just remember to run the engine, then check the dipstick, then add oil as necessary to get it to the "full" mark after you install the new filter.

    Further, there is NO NEED to torque the oil filter canister tight. It doesn't help the sealing, it's an "O" ring on the -sides- of the canister. Torque has no effect on it. You just want enough tightness to make sure the cup doesn't work loose and fall off. I use light by hand tightening (with the wrench) with no problems of finding the cup loose the next time. Ditto for the oil drain plug. Just tight enough to ensure it doesn't leak and won't work loose. The gasket doesn't "compress" to seal. In fact, you can reuse the old one many times with no problems. Heresy, I know, but I have no problems doing this. No leaks, no "seeps", no failing gaskets. Even after 5 years. The only time I've changed it was when it fell into the old oil in the drain pan. Too messy to fish it out. ;)
     
  6. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    That's not usually the concern in my case. I'm more apt to skip changing the filter when I change my oil. Since the Prius engine runs much less than in a regular car, and it uses synthetic, I feel fine about stretching the oil-change interval a bit longer sometimes.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    @David Beale: The spec'd torque values are not high; just playing by the rules won't leave you with a problem next time. You're likely correct regarding the oil filter housing, but there's no harm in torquing it to the proper value.

    With the drain bolt, I'd caution against going less than the spec'd torque value, particularly using the the laminated washer. Regarding the drain bolt washer: it's cheap, I'd advocate to replace it each time, as the bible (err Repair Manual) says.

    Torque values:

    oil filter cannister: 18 lb/ft
    oil pan drain bolt: 27 lb/ft
     
  8. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    It's all good until some idiot works on your car, who believes in practising over-kill. I once broke my wheel wrench because some grease-monkey saw fit to over-torque my wheel-nuts to the max. I ended up using leak-sealant instead of changing the tire.

    The word "overkill" means "too-much," which is an error.
     
  9. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    If you can't get the oil filter off, even with the right tool, then punch a hole in the side with a BIG screwdriver, all the way thru, and then apply torque. People at Jiffylube should know this. Can be messy but will do the trick.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    You can't do the punch-a-hole with 3rd gen oil filter though: the oil filter housing is permanent plastic, you just replace the paper element.
     
  11. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    This is why in industry you never jam a valve either open or closed. The next person may not be able to tell in which position the valve is in and grossly over torque and break it.
    TY Have not had to do my own oil change yet, interesting.
     
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