Do you know what an oil filter does? In order to keep your car’s engine running smoothly and oil clean, your car’s oil filter removes all the waste and captures harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments from your motor/engine oil. 

If harmful particles and debris get into your motor oil, it can damage the engine if your car does not have an oil filter. Filtering out the junk will ensure that your motor oil stays cleaner and longer, and if the oil gets clogged, it is time to change it.

It is normally suggested to get an oil and filter change after every 3,000 to 5000miles. Now a question might have struck your mind about if you can change the oil filter without changing oil.

As you read ahead, you will find the answers to all your questions that might be running into your mind regarding oil filters and oil change.

Where is the Oil Filter Located?

Before replacing and changing any part, you must know if you are dealing with the right thing or not, and for that, you must know where it is located. The oil filter location is almost always the same in most vehicles. 

In most cases, it is generally located on the front end part of the engine and sometimes also in the bottom part. It resides beside the oil pan or under the hood of your vehicle near the engine.

Oil Filter Location

Do Your Oil filter and Oil need to be Regularly Replaced?

Your engine requires a tremendous volume of clean oil to operate properly. If the oil filter is not changed periodically, the filter can become severely clogged, clogged as it traps billions of contaminant particles and carbon dust.

A clogged oil filter reduces the amount of clean oil passing through the filter and into your engine, necessitating its replacement. Without this oil, your engine can suffer severe damage.

Can You Change The Oil Filter Without Changing the Oil?

The answer is yes. You can definitely change your oil filter without changing the oil. If you look at the placement of the oil, it is actually untouched by a filter change. The only oil that comes out is trapped beyond the anti-drain-back gasket inside the filter. 

When changing the oil filter without draining the oil, you may end up losing around half a litre to a whole quart. The amount will, of course, depend on your car too, but there is no problem or harm with changing the oil filter without oil.

Can You Change your filter at Home Without Changing the oil?

If you want to change your filter, you can change it yourself and save some money. You don’t need to be a first-class mechanic to change the oil filter all by yourself at your home.

Generally, before changing the oil filter, people prefer to drain the oil and water out of the engine through a drain plug below the car, but changing the filter without draining the oil out can become really messy. 

Though you may also lose some oil during the procedure, that won’t cause any harm, and it isn’t a big problem as you can always top up the amount of oil you lost during the filter change.

How to Change the Oil Filter Without Changing the Oil?

As I said earlier, you don’t need special skills for a filter change. You just need to know where your oil resides. It is actually the pan where most of your vehicle’s oil resides, and it can only get drained by removing the oil plug.

From 100% of your car’s oil, around 70% to 80% oil sits in the oil pan, whereas the remaining 20% to 30% is in your car’s oil filter and oil galleys. 

You are only going to lose a small amount of oil that is present in the oil filter during the changing process. If you are concerned about the spilt oil, you can always use a dipstick to make sure and maintain the proper oil level in your car.

The amount of oil, when spilt out, normally won’t cause any consequences or harm, and you can always refill the lost amount of oil. After finishing the change, you can start your car to ensure that there are no leaks.


As you have read above, it is not that hard to change the oil filter without changing oil, and it can be a little messy as you might get the oil of the filter on you, but it is certainly possible. I hope this article provided all the answers to all your questions regarding oil filters and oil change and answered your question if you can change the oil filter without changing oil.

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