How to Remove Oil Filter Without Tool: Super Simple!

Most maintenance jobs require tools and can be almost impossible to do them manually without sustaining injuries. 

There are, however, some special maintenance tasks that you can do without automotive tools, but it requires a set of skills you need to be equipped with to properly get the job done.

Automotive tools are usually rather expensive, and finding the right one to combat your specific issue can be a challenge. 

This is why it’s best to know how to fix a common problem such as changing an oil filter without the right tools at hand. This article will show you how to remove the oil filter without tools. 

Learn How to Remove Oil Filter Without Tool

Method 1: Using Your Hands 

Your hands may be the only equipment necessary to get the job done if you can properly identify the problem. If you have these common items at your disposal, you might not need a substitute tool to remove your oil filter. 

Items You’ll Need

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Drainage pan 
  • Disposable rags 
  • Jack and jack stand 

Step 1: Prepare Your Workstation 

Put on gloves and safety glasses before you position yourself to avoid sustaining any unnecessary injuries on the job. You’re going to work very closely with the filter, so it’s best to protect yourself.

It’s best to jack up the car to position it properly if your vehicle is leveled without a jack, then this step is not necessary. 

Otherwise, make sure to jack up your car to the optimal level and replace it with a jack stand once you’re done. 

Step 2: Guide the Drainage and Grease 

Position yourself in a way that the lubricant doesn’t drip on you while you’re working. Make proper note of the dripping zone and remove your face and torso from that area.

Set down some disposable rags on the floor and put the drainage pan on top to catch any of the flowing oil. Any grease that misses the pan should be caught on the rags and can be cleaned easily. 

Keep disposable rags nearby to remove any grease, as the grease will make it much more difficult for you to grab on while you’re working. So it’s best to wipe down the grease as often as possible to avoid any injuries. 

Step 3: Remove the Oil Filter 

Grip the end of the oil filter and turn it counterclockwise until it comes off. Apply as much strength as possible when unscrewing for a better result. 

If the filter is hand screwed beforehand, it should come off without requiring a lot of effort. Or even without any designated tools. 

Remember to wipe down the end of the filter as much as possible before starting to turn it. 

Method 2: By Making Your Own Wrench 

If you have a stubborn unit on your hands, most other methods may eventually fail as it would require special tools. 

But making your own oil filter wrench is not only easy but inexpensive, and it’s the go-to process if nothing else really seems to work. 

Items You’ll Need

  • Socket wrench 
  • Socket extension
  • Bandana 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Jack and jack stand 
  • Disposable rags 
  • Drainage pan 

Step 1: Turn Bandana into a Strap 

Roll up your bandana and create a strap, prepare it how you would a headband. Make sure it’s not too tight or else it will unfurl before tying it down. 

Create a square knot with the strap and make it into a circle. Grab both ends of the strap, set the right end over, pass the left end underneath, drag the right end under the loop, and tighten it firmly. 

Keep some empty slack inside the loop to put the socket extension through. 

Step 2: Add Socket Extension 

Pull the socket extension through the loose part of the knot and tighten it to set the extension in place. 

You can loosen the slack a bit to pull the socket through and secure it. 

Step 3: Set up your Workstation 

Put on your gloves and safety glasses before handling your vehicle. 

Jack up your car to the exact level needed and replace it with a jack stand. Set up the drainage pan on top of a rag to catch any oil from the filter. 

Wipe off the excess grease from the filter with a rag, so it’s easier to grip onto while working. Rags can offer extra gripping strength even for a lubricated filter. 

Keep your bandana, socket extension, and wrench nearby before you get down on the job. 

Step 4: Apply the Bandana Strap 

Wrap the bandana around the filter and start twisting the socket extension. The strap will tighten with every twist. Grip the socket extension tight while you’re twisting, keep going until it’s as tight as possible. 

Put the side of the extension on the filter and hold it in position. 

Step 5: Attach Wrench and Remove Filter 

Set the socket wrench to the extension and loosen it by pulling left. Keep turning the strap until the filter has loosened up and can be removed by hand. 

At this point, you can easily remove the oil filter by hand and remember to keep the oil flowing into the drainage pan.


Removing an oil filter is necessary after a while, as the oil needs to change pretty often for your engine to run smoothly. 

But running to the shop every time you need maintenance is not only a chore but also can hurt your wallet. So, it’s best to know how to remove your oil filter with only the tools and items at your disposal. 

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