I have a 2016 Nissan Frontier, and I completed its first oil change last week. Naturally, the oil filter is angled upwards, so that even if I completely drain the oil pan, the filter is still nearly full of unabsorbed oil. And even better, it's extremely difficult to unscrew the filter, turn it upright, and extricate it from the mess of metal surrounding it. Nitrile gloves do basically nothing to keep me clean, and all the nooks and crannies below the filter get washed in oil, so oil will drip for days even after a significant cleaning effort.

Thus I'm looking for a way to get the oil out of the filter before I unscrew it. I found the oil extractor idea here, but it's not clear to me if such a device could not just remove the oil in the pan, but also from the oil filter itself. Does the relative height of the oil filter, oil pan, and end of the extractor tube matter? And does it matter if the oil pan itself is already empty (if I do that first to save time)?

This question is related, but it doesn't address draining the actual the oil filter.

1 Answer 1


No, the oil extractors do not remove the oil from the filter, they only take it from the sump or oil pan and even there they leave some.

The amount left in the oil pan is usually not an issue but the amount in the filter is more significant.

Have you considered making a hole in the filter body and catching the oil with a suitably angled pipe?

  • I was afraid of that, but thanks for the other idea. I bet I could manage to drill into, or at least puncture, the filter to get it to drain. Thanks! Jul 14, 2017 at 16:02
  • A flat screwdriver works well!! Especially the long ones so you don't get hit with the oil.... Been there !
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:03
  • 1
    They used to make funnels with a piecing bit to drain the oil out of filters. They probably still do, though I haven't seen one in a while.
    – Ben
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:32
  • @Ben but will it fit in the space available, still it sounds like a useful piece of kit...
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:33
  • Looking at a picture of the V6 4.0, you remove the lower engine cover and it's a remote mount on the front of the engine. The 4 cylinders are on the side of the block parallel to the axle shaft. IIRC you have a bit of room to work with.
    – Ben
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:39

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