Two weeks ago I changed my oil and oil filter. Yesterday I did a brief check under the car and I noticed there was some oil leaking from the filter, probably around 10 drops in 2 weeks.

I checked the owners manual and I noticed it said to tighten the oil filter by hand only 1 turn. When I changed it, I know for certain I tightened it by hand but maybe around 2-3 turns.

My question is could this be what is causing the leak? And if so, could it get worse? Should I change the oil and filter again or just leave it as is?


First of all take the filter off, inspect it, the seal and the sealing surfaces. Make sure you've not accidentally put the new filter on, on top of the old seal, which may have been stuck to the block when you removed the old filter (meaning you effectively have two seals fitted,) this is often the reason for leaks. If this is the case remove the seal that was stuck on, making sure that your just fitting the one that was on the new filter, and tighten accordingly. Check again for leaks.

If however you really have overtightened the filter and there is only one seal fitted, you may have crushed or split the seal, or caused it to bind or unseat itself in some way and leak. If the seal is perfectly fine and will reseat and seal properly all well and good. BUT if there is ANY doubt as to the seals condition or shape, I would replace the filter again with a fresh seal. Just to be on the safe side. No need to drop the oil again, just check the level when the filter is back on, and top up if necessary.

Before refitting a filter, check there is only one seal going back on, & lubricate that seals surface with a drop of engine oil, this will allow it to to slide on smoothly against the engine block without binding.

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  • Orb is totally correct here, but the new filter may be damaged or warped, so I would suggest replacing the filter with a new one - luckily filters are relatively cheap - and checking that seal... – Solar Mike Apr 29 '18 at 6:00
  • What model number filter did you use? What Year and Model? USDM? – NitrusInc Apr 29 '18 at 10:38

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