Dumb oil change Q

I've been doing my own oil changes my whole life. I got a 2010 Corolla with the 1.8L last year. This is my first car with a canister-type oil filter, as opposed to a spin-on. The oil change today was a bitch - the wrench cap got stuck on the canister for one. I don't have ramps for the car, just jack stands, and I use the spare tire jack to get the car on the stands. Definitely got my exercise!

My dumb Q is about torquing the canister back onto the engine. Spin-ons are easy; tighten until the gasket makes contact, then another 3/4 to one full turn, done. What's the story with this canister? I started out by hand tightening it, but at a certain point it kept turning (I was definitely using some force) but I was not seeing the canister seating into the engine block any more; it appeared to be staying at the same spot. I got scared that I was stripping the threads (the block is aluminum, no?). It didn't have the characteristics of a stripped thread (that "bump" you feel as you turn), but I was worried enough to stop. The car seems to be fine, no leaks anywhere.

Please tell me it's not possible to strip these threads by hand-turning!! And how tight should I go, exactly? Do I really need to invest in a torque wrench? Sorry for the stupidity but I'm really hoping someone can set my mind at ease. Thanks!


New Member
My 2014 has an oil canaster that holds the filter . I turn til it won`t turn no further. I have car ramps . They will make it easier and much quicker to do an oil change. I change oil around 5K miles . I use oil that says will go 10K and some say 20K . Maybe , but I try to keep a real clean oil and it may help the car even more.
Yes I am definitely thinking ramps! As to tightening, like I said I kept turning but it didn't seem to get any harder to turn and the canister was not seating further into the engine block – at least, it looked like that to me. FWIW I've been driving the car the last five days and so far no issues.

In my OP I said I did all my own oil changes. Actually I forgot that I did not do the previous oil change on this Corolla – that was at a service station in Maine when my daughter was using my car. They really got that canister back on tight; I needed a long breaker bar on the filter wrench cap to get it loose. It did seem to come off nicely after that, no feeling of stripped threads as I loosened the canister.

That's the problem with being an amateur at this stuff - everything is great as long as it goes exactly how they show you on the u-tube video! Anything beyond that and you're on a forum like this begging for advice! :)

Thanks or the reply!
Just to tie a bow on this thread - my longtime mechanic helped me out and checked out my amateur work. Everything is fine, it was just my paranoia. He tightened the oil filter canister a little and it's all good.

I'll chalk this up to my inexperience with these canister-type oil filters, but I'm learning. I'm hoping the car will be be good until the spring when it's warm enough for me to be outside for the next oil change. This time I'll have ramps, wheel chocks and a creeper!