Forgetting to Tighten the Oil Filter

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Forgetting to Tighten the Oil Filter

You should be able to install your oil filter by hand; however, once the filter is hand-tight you'll need the wrench to crank it down the final half-turn.

(Carlos Gawronski/Getty Images)

It comes right on the heels of similar advice, but still, we can't emphasize this enough: If your engine isn't circulating the proper amount of oil, it won't be long before you're calling for a tow truck.

Mike Allen, of Popular Mechanics, says it's important to have the right size wrench to remove and replace your oil filter -- if the wrench wraps around the canister too loosely, it might feel like you're cranking hard without actually making any progress. If you switch filter types, your old wrench might not work anymore. Make sure you check the fit before you leave the parts counter.

You should be able to install your oil filter by hand; however, once the filter is hand-tight you'll need the wrench to crank it down the final half-turn. It's really important to make sure you do that last part. A loose filter will soon send your engine's oil spewing everywhere. In that case, yes, your engine could seize; but it's more likely that a fire under the hood will put an end to your drive before that happens.

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