Brian Nystrom, on a thread about a gasket (o-ring) on a spin-on oil filter,
that got left behind on an engine, and caused problems when a 2nd oil filter
and gasket was installed, asked: "Did you remember to oil the seal before
you installed the filter?"......
You hit on it Brian. Over the course of years, I have had several of those
rubber o-rings that have fallen off the brand new oil filter as I was taking
them out of the boxes. I really do not know how well they are initially
placed onto the filter (or how well they are supposed to be). I have just
'laid' them back in there and it seems to be fine.
But in each case, I have put a film of oil on the o-ring before I put (spin)
the filter into place. Every time, that has done the trick, and the o-ring
and filter come off just fine and together. In fact, now that it has been
mentioned here, I realize that this little trick must work extremely well,
because although they have fallen off for me coming out of the box, I have
never even had to think about the o-ring still being on the engine filter
mount after they have been removed.
Clearly some of the filter companies are thinking about making sure they
come off though. Some of the better filters have the o-rings coated with
PTFE (think Slick 50). But it could be that this is for the percentage of
people who don't put a film of oil on their filter o-rings (there must be at
least some who don't). In my world, I don't see it as needed.
I do agree that doing the job right helps make sure that can't happen. When
my filters are off, I am inspecting and cleaning the engine filter mounting
base, wiping off oil, checking its condition, etc. If the o-ring stayed
behind, I just can't believe that between seeing that it is not on the
filter I just took off and seeing that it is on the base I am cleaning that
I could ever miss that - it is just too obvious.
So, in my world, this is not a manufacturing defect. It is simply a sloppy
(and downright inexcusable) job by the person who changed the oil. In that
sense, what the dealership did (the extended warranty) was probably
I will say that, when I was a teenager, I had my oil changed once by a
garage. This was one of those old-style cartridge types. Along with the
filter came an o-ring. But replacing it was a separate and much more
tedious process, and I think most people just threw those away.
But the owner of this garage surmised that the filter maker must want you to
replace it or they wouldn't have included it in the package. So he always
did. At the particualar time my oil was changed, one of his workers, a
young man who went to my church, did the oil change.
Sadly, he also added the new gasket without taking the old one out. I
spotted the stream of oil in my driveway and even followed it a quarter mile
down the road, and realized something was very wrong. I called the garage,
filled the car with oil, got it back there and fixed, and all was well. The
worker was fired.
I wonder if the worker who did this to this man's car suffered the same
fate, since this was much easier to do and see than what happened to my