Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How do I avoid spilling oil?

I have a 1998 Toyota Camry (4 cylinder). I do all my own maintenance (oil changes, tune ups, brakes, etc...) and have a question about changing my oil.

If you have the hood open and are looking at the engine bay, the closed, back end of the oil filter is facing upwards towards you at a 45 degree angle. After I let the oil drain from the oil pan for several minutes, I remove the oil filter. Given the angle of the filter, the oil inside ALWAYS spills out.

My question is this: how do I take the oil filter off of the engine without spilling the oil held by the filter? Or, is there a way to drain the oil from the filter before taking it off?How do I avoid spilling oil?
Oil spilling from the filter while removing it is common. It happens with many, if not most vehicles. I just wipe the oil off the engine, and especially the exhaust, with a shop rag as best I can.