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So I recently bought a 05 outback Xt and am currently doing an oil change on her. Drained the oil no issue, but the **** filter won't come off at all. I tried pretty much every trick in the book (that I know). It is currently -15 Celsius here in Canada, but I think that there's other reasons why this **** thing won't come off. Has anyone got any ideas/suggestions regarding this? Also, does anyone drive their outback without that plastic skid plate?
 

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2001 VDC Wagon - White pearl - 302,000 km
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466 Posts
the last resorts would be to try to get pair of large channel locks on the filter, right at the base where it seals. The other option is to punch a screwdriver through the filter to get some leverage. I would try the pliers first though. It's definitely due to the last owner not applying a bit of clean oil to the gasket prior to install, in combination with putting it on too tight.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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I use the 3-point plier style OF wrenches.

Dropping the tupperware off the front will get you better access, and yes you can drive without it. It may be louder and there's a risk of splashes making a bigger mess under the hood but that's about it for downsides. Cooling airflow may not be as good but that won't be a worry this week.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback PZEV,2010 Impreza 2.5i
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'08 3.0R Limited Sedan; '09 Outback 3.0R
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152 Posts
I use a oil filter belt wrench from advanced auto or autozone. The one I have works well on the larger h6 filter, but is too large on the 4 cylinder filter. However, I wrap an old leather belt (the kind that holds up pants) around the smaller filter so the filter wrench can squeeze it all.

For stuck on filters, an oil filter strap wrench is the best way to go. They rubber or metal strap grips the filter a lot better than a 3 point filter wrench.
 

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2013 BRZ 2005 OBXT
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I have always used channel locks with good luck. When putting the new one on make sure you only put it on hand tight and that should alleviate any issues in the future.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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One other potential reason for being stuck is that the previous owner went too long between changes - but since XT turbos have proven rather sensitive to that, and the car is still running, that's less likely.

I would try the ratchet-mounted squeeze tool that @priyadar suggested first, and punch a hole through it with a screwdriver as a last resort. Reason for this is that the latter makes a mess, and leaves the car undriveable should that tactic fail and you need a mechanic's help to get it off.
 

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So I recently bought a 05 outback Xt and am currently doing an oil change on her. Drained the oil no issue, but the **** filter won't come off at all. I tried pretty much every trick in the book (that I know). It is currently -15 Celsius here in Canada, but I think that there's other reasons why this **** thing won't come off. Has anyone got any ideas/suggestions regarding this? Also, does anyone drive their outback without that plastic skid plate?
Sometimes tightening a tiny bit makes a bolt start moving, so maybe the same for the oil filter? I had the same problem, and before I put a hole through the thing I could finally get it off with a standard filter tool. I think I had to sand the paint and degrease the filter for extra grip as my tool was slipping. Perhaps some tapping of the tool's handle, simulating the movement of an impact driver? I don't know what tool you're using.

I have been driving my 2008 3.0 without the plastic thingy for half a year. Yeah, the engine bay gets dirtier, and when I drive over big puddles sometimes I get a bit of steam as the water hits the engine. Lots of cars don't have those, including some Subarus, so I suspect it's like others say. Clean engine bay and better air flow. I'll put mine back on eventually, just in case there's some minor mpg improvement.

2008 Outback 3.0R Premier (Vancouver, BC)
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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punch a hole through it with a screwdriver as a last resort. Reason for this is that the latter makes a mess, and leaves the car undriveable should that tactic fail and you need a mechanic's help to get it off.
This has always been my go-to. It works better on the smaller diameter filters like the Subaru. You want to punch through both sides, and low enough you don't hit the threading. But once you have the "rod" though, you can twist it off.

I have twisted larger filters completely in half tho...really stubborn. At that point, I had a spanner with pins and twisted the filter off locking into the plate flow holes.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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You want to punch through both sides, and low enough you don't hit the threading. But once you have the "rod" though, you can twist it off.
How is one supposed to get at the side of a Gen 3 H4 filter? I was envisioning going into the bottom, and was concerned about this approach not having enough lever action to break it loose. Never had to do it, though - my filters never have gotten stuck.

I have twisted larger filters completely in half tho...really stubborn. At that point, I had a spanner with pins and twisted the filter off locking into the plate flow holes.
Sounds like that one was nightmare - but at least the mounting plate has some mass to it and it won't buckle on you. The pin wrench into the flow holes is a good idea!
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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How is one supposed to get at the side of a Gen 3 H4 filter?
I have only had to do this on a turbo, with the exhaust manifold there is only one working angle to drive through. I also should say, it's driving on an upward angle. Not perfectly horizontal.

There is not enough room for that.
 

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2006 Outback 3.0L
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If the top end of your filter is shaped to take the type of filter wrench that fits over the top like a cap, I have had success hot melt gluing the "cap" to the filter (must degrease the filter and wrench first and use a metal wrench, not plastic) - it then can take a lot of torque without slipping on the filter. After it's off I sometimes can knock the filter lose from the wrench, or heat the wrench gently with a torch. You also could use a high output heat lamp or gun. If hot melt isn't strong enough step up to epoxy. Epoxy also can be heat softened to remove it - may require ~ 100 Celsius or more and could smell bad, keep upwind! It also softens in acetone but may require several days of soaking.

Consider punching a hole as a last resort - it may not work as if the filter housing is thin (some Purolator, and others) the housing might just tear, and now you can't drive it.
 

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2006 Subaru OUtback XT
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I have had a few "Too Tight" filters in my days. Some have been so tight it crushed the can and twisted it off leaving the base and center parts. I then used a old flat tip screw driver and hammer to beat the base backwards.

If its a flat gasket type filter then hand tight has worked for most filters without leaking. Round "O-ring" gaskets require about 1/4 turn. Do not do the 1/4 turn that is printed on a flat gasket filter or you will have problems later.

Did the OP get the filter off?
 
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