I just bought a Subaru Baja 2005 and decided I needed to change the oil. I got the right oil and filter and got my mom and younger brother to help me. We drained the oil and tried to take off the filter but couldn't get it. So we left the old one on and put the plug back in and I put in about 4 quarts of oil. The oil line is quite a bit over the mark and not much oil is draining out from the bottom. What should I do?

  • 2
    Drain some out using the drain plug.
    – Moab
    Apr 30, 2016 at 23:40
  • Probably one of those rare cases where a high-street quick oil change shop can help. Pay for an oil change and filter, and let them sort it out. They'll have the tool to get the filter off, and they'll (hopefully!) put the right amount of oil in. Only pay for the same type of oil you've just put in - no need for synthetic stuff on that car - and avoid all other upsells from the salesman.
    – PeteCon
    May 1, 2016 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


You can drain some oil by just pulling the plug again, then replacing it rather quickly. Take out the amount you think you'll need. It's going to make a bit of a mess, so wear nitrile gloves and eye protection.

As far as the filter goes, there are two things you can do without the tool.

First, get an old leather belt. I'm talking the kind which is well worn and not the type which you wear with your Sunday best (real leather). Wrap the belt around the filter and through the loop, then bring the belt back on itself. Wrap this around the filter another complete turn. While holding the belt tight on the filter, tug on the loose end. This will usually cause the filter to turn. Ensure you are turning it the correct way (lefty loosey).

The second method you can use is to just take a long shanked screwdriver and stick it through the middle of the filter, then pry it in the correct direction. This is a bit more messy than the belt method, but will work. Once you've committed to this method, you have to follow through, though.

When putting the new filter on, make sure you put FRESH oil on the new gasket, then once the gasket touches the filter boss, only turn it one more full turn. This will ensure it will seal and you should be able to take the filter off by hand afterward.

  • It may be one of those subaru's where the filter is located in a hole between the exhaust pipes. img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/broknindarkagain/oilchange/…. It's next to impossible to get anything in there and if a tool was used to tighten the filter like used in some oil change shops you need a tool to remove it.
    – Ben
    May 1, 2016 at 12:03

Actually, drive about for a bit. This flushes all the oil through the system and sometimes this will drop the level back to where it should be.

If 'not much oil comes out the bottom' I'd guess you have an air bubble preventing proper draining. A short drive or a minute or two's idling will clear that out.

Running a Subaru slightly over full is cheap insurance anyway :D (I'm a hater!! Tin can car!!)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .