I found the old filter didn't have the o-ring on it when I was cleaning up the mess. I hand tightened the filter quite hard and don't see oil dripping. Is it a potential disaster if I just carry on and ignore it? What kinds of problem might occur in the future? If I decided to fix it, can I take it off without draining all the new oil? It's a ford modular 4.6L and the filter is placed horizontally.

  • I guess you could put the old oil back after draining it. So, it's only some extra labor. And given your engine is quite big, there's probably plenty of oil in it so I wouldn't throw the little-used oil away.
    – juhist
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 12:17
  • Consider this a $30 lesson and redo it. It's likely to leak and possibly leave you stranded. You can fix it for far less than money than the price of a tow truck.
    – cory
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 13:27
  • User17..., I would change that think out quick. I worked with a guy one time that did that on accident, and he told me he got just a little ways down the road and it blew out. He said oil was EVERYWHERE and his oil pressure went to zero! He told me he got it home, fixed it, and went and traded it off. Just like Paulster and Glen and everyone else says, please fix ASAP. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 18:23
  • wife bought a 1999 kia sephia new (in 00) that was double gasketed on the 1st oil change. Wife drove it home (5 miles) she said the oil light had come on on the way home. I checked oil sure enough empty. I bought 4 quarts loaded it up called the company asked if I should drive it in or would they send a tow. They said drive. it made it 4 miles before the engine siezed. (after putting in 4 quarts) Definitely a disaster waiting fix it. they paid to have a new engine dropped in. manager found employee hid the double gasket problem.
    – xQbert
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 18:41
  • 1
    AS far as can you change it w/o draining: reddit.com/r/cars/comments/170hbu/… yes, you'll lose some (about a qrt) and it will be messy ut you can change it w/o an replacing all the oil.
    – xQbert
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is a potential disaster! With sufficient oil pressure, it can blow the extra ring right out resulting in a massive fast oil leak. Trust me, this only has to happen once for you to make sure it never happens again.

If you are lucky, as I was, it will happen very quickly (while backing out of garage after oil change) and you only have to deal with embarrassment and several quarts of oil on the floor. I hate to think what would have happened if my wife were driving down the highway when it happened - new engine I suppose.

  • Yes, take the filter off, dig out the old ring and refit the filter, then run and re-check the level.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 14:56
  • 2
    This is called a double gasket. Just about everyone has done it at some point or another.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 15:08
  • Agree with your assessment. Get the old one out ASAP. Just a Valdez waiting to run aground. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 16:45
  • I can attest. I did this once while working at jiffy lube like place. The best part is I was under the car in a constrained environment. It gets messy real quick.
    – Sidney
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 18:39
  • did exactly this on my first oil change was a gusher! Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 19:53

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