How to Use a Jaw Grip Filter Wrench

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The Jaw Grip filter wrench is solely used for changing an automobile's oil filter. This should only be done while changing all of a vehicle's oil, as part of routine maintenance. After all, motor oil not only collects in a vehicle's oil pan, but around the oil filter. For this reason, changing the oil and not replacing the filter is generally not a good idea. Keeping an old, damaged filter in place means that some of the degraded, tainted oil will remain in the system.

Things You'll Need

  • Portable ramps or jack and jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Ratchet wrench and socket set
  • Oil drain pan
  • Jaw grip oil filter
  • Motor oil
  • Replacement oil filter
  • Waste oil container
  • Shop rag
  • Socket wrench
  • Elevate the vehicle. This can be either done by using portable service ramps, or by jacking up the vehicle and placing it securely onto stands. Ramps are fairly quick and easy. Drive the vehicle up the ramps, and and block the tires using wheel chocks. To jack up a vehicle, consult your vehicle's manual as to the proper lifting points and follow accordingly. Place jack stands under the frame for support.

  • Slide under the vehicle and locate the oil drain plug. Place a waste oil pan or container under the drain plug and remove the plug using a socket wrench.

  • Allow the oil to drain completely. Generally, motor oil flows out a little more quickly if the engine has been warmed up. However, never attempt to drain out oil while a vehicle is running.

  • Wipe the drain opening clean with a shop towel. Replace the drain plug and tighten with a socket wrench. Be careful to not exert too much pressure while tightening, as that could strip the plug and get it stuck in the engine case.

  • Move the waste oil container to the oil filter. Grasp the filter with the Jaw Grip filter wrench and loosen the filter, but do not remove it all the way. This allows the oil above the filter to leak out and flow into the waste oil container.

  • Remove the filter the rest of the way by hand and slowly lower it from its mounting base. It will be filled with motor oil. Dump this motor oil into the waste oil container.

  • Wipe the oil filter mounting base using a shop rag. Place the new filter into the oil filter mounting base. Tighten with the Jaw Grip filter wrench, but exercise care and do not over tighten which might strip the oil filter mounting base.

  • Slide out from under the vehicle. Set the waste oil and the spent filter aside for later recycling.

  • Open the hood and locate the oil filler cap. Remove the cap and pour fresh motor oil into the engine in the amount specified in the owner's manual.

  • Lower the vehicle by either driving it off the portable service ramp, or removing the stands and lowering with a jack, one wheel at a time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check your vehicle's owner's manual and service handbook before changing the oil and replacing an oil filter. The location of the oil pan and filter will be different in different vehicles. Plus, the grade and viscosity of replacement motor oil will also be different by brand and model.
  • Make sure you buy the correct filter before you try to install it. Manufacturers like Fram have online part-finders, but an associate at the automotive parts store will be able to assist in locating the correct filter for your vehicle.

References

  • "Popular Mechanics Complete Car Care Manual" The Editors of Popular Mechanics; Hearst Publishing; 2008
  • Fram: Oil Filters
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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