I'm interested in using an oil filter relocation kit on my truck to make oil filter changes a little easier. The stock oil filter position is down at a 45 degree angle and requires removing the skid plate to drain (it also will drip on the front sway bar making an awful mess). I plan on relocating it so that it is upside-down (hole side down) in the engine bay (possibly near the ABS unit). This way I can puncture it with a screw driver to let oil drain out of the filter, and then remove it straight from the engine bay.

Would the new filter location and new orientation cause an issue with the motor dry starting?

For reference, my truck is a VG33E Nissan Xterra.

  • 1
    One possible disadvantage of putting hole side down is reducing the capacity with trapped air... I fitted a re-locating kit on a Rover V8 engine - hole side up and when taking it off wrapped a rag around it - very clean...
    – Solar Mike
    May 9, 2018 at 15:53

3 Answers 3


Putting the filter into a different position shouldn't cause you any issues. Having it upside down (hole side down), may create the situation you are trying to avoid, though. I take it your overall goal is to ensure the oil filter remains full of oil even when the engine is off, so upon startup the engine doesn't have to "refill" the filter. One of the problems with what you are planning is the filter will drain back down the oil lines when the engine is at rest. It will have to refill every time you start the engine. If the oil filter is the type which has an anti-drainback valve, the oil will remain, but it will create a huge mess when you take the filter off. This will be no better than what you deal with now and may be a lot worse. The anti-drainback valve will most likely keep the filter from draining back into the sump even if you do puncture a hole in the filter.

My suggestion to you is to relocate the filter, yet place in in the down position and not tempt fate. You'll be able to pull the filter off with minimal fuss/mess and then drain it as usual in the drain pan. Easier access to the filter itself is a good goal, especially since you won't have to take the skid plate off to change it.

One of the great things about a filter relocation unit which you may or may not realize is, with them, you don't have to stick with the OEM filter for the vehicle. Many times a larger filter is fit for the relocation unit, which provides added engine protection with the ability to clean the oil better in the long run. These replacement filters are usually quite a bit more common than OEM, which makes them cheaper as well. Win/win, in my book.


From my experience, no, it should not cause an issue.

The oil filter is just that; a filter. It does not accumulate oil pressure to give to the engine on start.


Just wanted to mention that Subaru puts their filter top-side on some/all F-Series engines. They have some particular specs they like for their filters, they've used ABV's for a while, as well as a relatively high Bypass-valve. These are two areas about your filter you might want to look into if you're considering going Top-Side.

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