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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old October 30th, 2006, 07:50   #1
rollingrock33
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Default how to remove stuck oil filter cap

Hi, another newbie here. I got an 03 Jetta w/ 89K miles and went to change the oil, but the oil filter cap is stuck. I tried a strap wrench and a 14-flute am-pro filter wrench but neither will budge the cap. Is this common? Any ideas for the newbie?

thanks in advance!
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Old October 30th, 2006, 07:58   #2
tditom
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I've never heard of someone not being able to remove this with the aid of a tool. Not to be a wise-guy, but "lefty loosey, righty tighty", right?

Make sure you have access to another (either on-hand or at a dealership) before you go any further. Good luck!
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:32   #3
TDIfor
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Ohh... it can happen... search for a thread: "Five hour oil change".

I went thru every contraption I could find or buy to get mine off. Finally, I found an old metal strap filter wrench that would continue to snug down on the cap. I could push that wrench away from me with enough force to finally loosen the cap.

The cloth strap would slip, and the cap filter tool snapped at the weld that held the square cut for the wrench opening.

Find a stout metal strap wrench. It will take a lot of force, but the cap will come off, and surprisingly, without breaking anything.

Don
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:48   #4
rollingrock33
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Thanks TDIfor,

I will have to pick up a metal strap wrench. I have used the ole-lefty loosy approach and both nylon and rubber type strap wrenches, but they do slip. The 14-flute tool will jump the cap when I really try to move it.

thanks again
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:51   #5
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While we are all thinking about removing the stubborn cap, is there a specified method of tightening the new one. Is there a torque setting for reinstallation?
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:54   #6
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No torque setting, or if there is it aint much. The cap screws down like a jar lid. Once it seats, that's it.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:58   #7
tditom
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there's a torque setting molded into the cap on my A4. 25 Nm, IIRC.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 09:28   #8
rollingrock33
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my cap, the stuck one, has 35nm molded to it.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 10:27   #9
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I recently had this problem, and found an oil filter cap wrench at Autozone. It was marked as size "B", part number 25401. It worked perfectly.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 10:44   #10
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My point is that there is a plastic lip that makes physical contact with the aluminum rim when the oil cap is screwed down. The large O-ring provides the seal. Screwing down the cap any more after the cap touches the rim will not make it go any further, torque spec or not.

Unless of course you wish to break it. In which case, keep turning.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 10:48   #11
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weedeater- Although my cap does have the torque setting on it, I do as you have suggested: tightening the cap until the lip meets the aluminum housing. I do not use a wrench on this cap.

I have never had a cap stuck, and no leaks in 165K + miles on my A4.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 11:40   #12
Waldek Walrus
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Default 25 nm is not real tight

I had a similar encounter with my first oil change on the NB. I had the right size metal strap wrench and it worked fine to get the cap off, I had to push real hard, but nothing broke. For going back on the trick is to lubricate the O ring really well. The 25 nm specification puts the cap just beyond hand tight after the plastic rim on the cap touches the aluminum housing. This is not really cranking on it, and is about the same as someone who has changed oil filters for thirty years would do just by "feel." Here's hoping that lubricating the O ring realy well will make the cap come off easier the next oil change.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 06:30   #13
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As the Walrus says...lube o ring. I never do more than hand tight as such it comes off by hand. Although the way I put on miles its usually no more than a couple months between changes so it doesn't have time to bind. When I did my first oil change it was really torqued on there and I had to improvise a wrench with one of my woodworking clamps.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 06:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_Grizzly
As the Walrus says...lube o ring. I never do more than hand tight as such it comes off by hand. Although the way I put on miles its usually no more than a couple months between changes so it doesn't have time to bind. When I did my first oil change it was really torqued on there and I had to improvise a wrench with one of my woodworking clamps.
+1. Fortunately, I'm the only one who has ever changed the oil in my car, so I think the only time I needed strap wrench was for the first change (cap installed at factory, I guess). Since then, only my hand has been required.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 08:29   #15
tditom
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good point about lubing the O-ring. I would add that the gland the o-ring sits in on the cap should be coated with oil as well. This will allow the cap to slip by the o-ring while it is being compressed between the two flanges.

This application is a little tough on an o-ring because you are compressing it from one direction and also rotating one of the flanges while it is being tightened. If you ensure the o-ring has a layer of oil all the way around you will allow it to compress while not being mangled by the rotational force of the cap being twisted.

Last edited by tditom; October 31st, 2006 at 09:54. Reason: spelling
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