What is an oil filter socket?

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  Oil filter sockets are used to fit and remove oil filters from vehicles  

Oil filter sockets are large, shallow sockets designed to fit and remove oil filters from vehicles.


Oil filter sockets will often have a much thinner wall thickness than other sockets of a similar size because they do not need to withstand high torque forces. As oil filters often only have a plastic thread, that will not allow the filter to be over tightened. 

  Oil filter socket attached to a ratchet  

Oil filter sockets work in exactly the same way as standard sockets, by attaching to a turning tool via the square drive socket, which is usually a ⅜” drive. Once attached to a turning tool, the head end of the oil filter socket fits over the oil filter cap in order to turn it.  


For more information, see:  How to use a socket with a ratchet wrench


Please note: You should not try to over tighten oil filter caps, especially if they are made of plastic. Doing this could strip the plastic threads from the cap and prevent it sealing correctly. 

      Wonkee Donkee says: "If your oil filter cap doesn’t seal correctly it can drain the oil from the engine, which can result in an expensive repair bill."  

What oil filter socket sizes are available?

  Oil filter socket being used to remove a vehicles oil filter  

Oil filter sockets have a larger socket head size than many other sockets, often between 30mm – 80mm (1¼” – 3⅛”). However, the head size of these sockets may not be stated and instead the manufacturer will say which vehicles they are designed for use on (e.g. suitable for use with BMW, Ford or Audi).

  A vehicle owners manual should tell you which engine your vehicle has.  

Some vehicle models may have several engine options, and oil filter sockets for these vehicles will state the vehicle engine that it is design for, along with the make and model. If you are not sure what engine your vehicle has, then this can be found in the vehicle handbook.