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How To Cut Open An Oil Filter


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Ok, so I heard y'all mention wanting photos and stuff on cutting open filters and checking for materials/debris inside. So, I thought I would put together a little how to for everyone.



So, here is my filter cutter and an old knife that I use to cut out the pleats of the filter.



I know it's not a diesel filter, but it will suffice for this how to, I place the filter in a vise to keep it stable while I am using the cutter.



I remove the o-ring from the oil filter. I do this because it interferes with the cutting tool and has a tendency to roll up and get in the way.



I place the cutter on top of the filter and tighten it until it touches the filter, then all you do is rotate the tool a couple of times and then tighten down the cutter a little more and rotate a couple more times....continue doing this until the filter is cut open.



Here is the filter after a few rotations.



Here is the filter with the base cut off.



Now you can just pull the filter element from the filter housing.



Now set the filter element down on it's side and use your knife to start cutting the first pleat, cut vertically. Then I count over 6-8 pleats and cut that section vertically.



After making the (2) vertical cuts, I grab the bundle of pleats.



Next I cut horizontally, to separate the selected section from the filter.



Next, just pull the cut out portion of the filter media from the filter.



This is the post filtered inner portion of the filter media. (Filtered Oil)



This is the pre-filtered outer section of the filter media. (Unfiltered Oil) This is where all the metal/debris will be located.



Inside of filter housing. Check for debris/metal in the bottom of the housing.



Ok, now I am using a pig mat, but paper towels will work too. Place the pleats in a vise as shown.



Next, crank down the vise and it will squeeze out the excessive oil from the filter pleats and allow you to see what is trapped inside.



Now isn't that better!!! This is the unfiltered oil side of the filter media. (Outer Section) You can see some debris in this filter but no metal.



This is the filtered oil side of the filter media. (Inner Section) This section should be clean....should be.



That's it...see how easy that was!!


I will post some more photos later of metal in some filters that I have cut open. If you do not do an oil analysis, this would be a good thing to do periodically or at every oil change...which ever you prefer.


Some particulates are acceptable, some are not.....I will post examples when I can. I hope you all enjoy this and hopefully it will help someone understand how to inspect their filters.



Edited by Frog
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