Have you ever had trouble removing the oil filler cap? Using too much force to open the oil filler cap can cause damage. Instead of using excessive force to open the oil filler cap, we should first determine why it is stuck and address that issue. 

Overtightening the oil cap and clogged or broken oil caps are the most common reasons oil filler caps get stuck. This article will examine some causes of the oil filler caps getting stuck and how to remove them easily.

Which way to turn the oil cap?

An oil cap prevents oil from spilling from the oil hole. You may be opening the oil cap incorrectly. Remove the oil cap by rotating it counterclockwise. Use two hands if the oil cap is stuck, but ensure not to apply too much force as this can damage the cap.

Reasons for the Oil cap stuck

1. Oil cap overtightening

The oil filler cap is removed to change the engine oil. However, you likely overtightened the oil cap after the oil change. Tightening the oil cap properly is important to keep dirt and debris out of the engine oil, but over-tightening the oil cap can strip the threads.

If you continue to tighten the cap after the threads have ended, chances are it will get stuck. This can make it difficult for you to remove the oil cap next time.

2. Rust in the oil cap

Rust can cause the oil cap to get stuck. Oil caps are easily exposed to air and moisture. Due to this, the Oil cap made of metal and iron can easily catch rust and get damaged. If the oil cap is shut off during rust formation, it will become stuck.

Some oil caps have teeth built into them. Friction and Rust can also cause the teeth of the oil cap to get wear and tear, and this can make the oil cap stuck.

3. Gunk Formation

It is suggested that the engine oil be changed every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. When engine oil is not changed for an extended period, the oil will become dirty and clogged, and a burnt oil layer forms at the bottom of the oil cap. This will make it harder to remove the oil cap.

Old engine oil can also cause dirt and debris to accumulate in the grooves of the oil cap, making rotation difficult. This is due to the burnt oil layer and extra pressure, making it difficult to move the oil cap. This dirt from old oil can also cause sludge inside the cap.

How to remove a stuck oil cap?

Numerous tools are available on the market to assist you in removing the oil filler cap. You can use the Vice grip, Strap wrench, or Channellock pliers. This tool can be used by properly tightening it to the oil cap and applying torque force. 

If misused, this can cause damage to the oil filler cap. In that case, replacing the oil filler cap will be the only option left. That is why it is best to use an oil cap remover made specifically for your engine. Your car manual will have more information on the oil cap remover.

  1. Start the engine for a few minutes so it gets warm.
  2. Cover the oil cap with a cloth. The cloth will aid the cap remover in gaining a grip on the oil cap.
  3. Place the oil cap remover on top of it and twist it. The oil cap will become loose as a result of this.

Tips to avoid stuck oil caps

  1. Using any lubricant in the oil cap will reduce the likelihood of it becoming stuck.
  2. The oil should be changed at regular intervals.
  3. Do not over-tighten the oil cap.
  4. Inspect and clean the oil cap from the inside.
  5. If the oil cap is worn out, it should be replaced.

FAQs on Stuck Oil Cap

Cloth can be used to cover the oil cap. This will give you a firm grip on the oil cap. You can now remove the oil cap using your bare hands. A wrench is also readily available and can be used to free the stuck oil cap.


In summary, the oil cap becoming stuck could be due to overtightening, rust formation, or a burnt oil layer. Various tools can be used if the oil cap cannot be removed with bare hands. Use proper tool techniques or hire a mechanic. Failing to do so can damage the oil cap permanently.

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