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The Importance of Replacing Your VW Oil Filter and How to do it Safely

The oil filter is a part that needs to be replaced pretty often. How often, though?

Most, if not all, mechanics recommend replacing the oil filter along with the oil in your engine every time you have your car serviced. Not too long ago, people would say that you could change the filter every other oil change. That is no longer the case. OEM's used to recommend changing the oil every 3,000 miles. The oil was degraded at that point and needed to be changed. But the filter could last for two changes, or 6,000 miles. 

Today's oils are better quality and last longer, so many manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. But, it is unrealistic to think that an oil filter will last 15,000 to 20,000 miles.

Why You Should Replace the Oil Filter With Every Oil Change

Image Credit: 2CarPros

Oil filters are set up to allow dirty oil to pass through to the engine when the filter is too clogged to trap any more contaminants. Even though sending dirty oil to the engine isn’t ideal, it’s still better than not sending any oil to the engine.

However, if you neglect to replace the oil filter at regular intervals, dirty oil will cycle through your engine. This will cause it to wear out quickly and lead to expensive repairs down the road. Replacing the oil filter is an easy and inexpensive job. If you’re trying to find out how to replace the oil filter in your VW, you came to the right place.

How to Replace the Oil Filter on Your VW Vehicle

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If you are replacing your oil filter at home, the set of steps that follows will benefit you. Even though it’s based on VW sedans (Jettas, Golf Mk5s, Passats, etc.), it’s still straightforward enough to be applied to another VW model. Many VW's use a replaceable filter that is installed into a permanent oil filter cap. (The oil filter cap is also called the oil filter housing.) These steps apply to this style of filter.

  1. Order an OEM replacement oil filter
  2. Get all the tools you’ll need:
    • Ratchet
    • Ratchet extension
    • 32mm socket (could be another size if you have another VW model). If you don't have this socket, you can also use a large channel lock pliers.
    • Flat blade screwdriver
    • Latex gloves
    • Oil catch pan
  3. Make sure the engine is cool to the touch.
  4. Locate the oil filter cap. It’s usually at the bottom front of the engine, on the right side.
  5. Using the ratchet, extension, and 32mm socket, remove the oil filter cap. Alternatively, use a channel lock pliers. Oil will spill out of the engine when you remove the cap. Be sure to wear gloves for this step, and have a catch pan under the filter.
  6. Pull out the oil filter. You’ll get oil all over your hands, so be sure to wear gloves.
  7. With the flat blade screwdriver, remove the old o-ring from the oil filter cap.
  8. Wet the new o-ring with some oil and then fit it onto the oil filter cap.
  9. Fit the new oil filter onto the cap.
  10. Install cap and filter. Do not use tools for this step. First, tighten the filter cap until the oil seal makes contact with the engine. Then, turn the filter cap an additional 1/2 turn. Be careful not to over tighten the filter cap. Over tightening can damage the o-ring, and cause it to leak.
  11. After putting new oil into the engine, start it. Visually inspect the oil filter cap for leaks. Tighten the filter cap an additional quarter turn if needed.

That’s all. Please contact us if you need assistance finding the right oil filter for your VW model.