Oil/Fuel Filter Opener





Introduction: Oil/Fuel Filter Opener

About: Just an ordinary person who loves #thinking and #tinkering

If you have several cars, or let's say you are trucks owner who run transportation business, then you have several types of car or truck. Do you plan to buy various size of oil/fuel filter wrench? It will costs you a lot. Why don't we make one for variable size of oil/fuel filter?

Step 1: Materials Needed

  • A chain. It is better a bicycle chain for it is smaller and has more nodes for the same length. But here I only have a broken motorcycle chain.
  • An iron pipe of about 15 to 20 centimeters as the handle.

If you find it is hard to make a hole on iron pipe, then consider using a truck wheel wrench which already has holes on it, but you need to cut it into half or one third in length, otherwise it will be too long for working in narrow space.

I have this old water valve that already has holes wide enough for the chain to go through. A lot of things can be used, as long as you have a good grip on it.

Step 2: The Making

We need only about 30 to 40 centimeters of the chain, so we need to unchain it. It is okay if you bend it in the unchain process. They are made of hard steel but bendable. You can measure it directly with the largest oil filter can that your vehicle uses, remember to leave it a little bit longer so that you get better grip between the chain itself.

Let the chain goes through the valve/pipe that we are going to use as handle.

Now re-chain it to make a closed path.

Step 3: Give It a Try

I think using this old valve is also good for narrow working space. It is not too big, yet gives us several hand grip positions to pull or push (loosen or fasten the filter can). Filter can has a polygonal side where there are many vertices (plural of vertex - the outer point of a polygon) that make grips to the chain. You need to use the other hand to align the chain to the can's polygon neatly so that they bite. Sometimes you need several tries to get a firm grip.

You might see this as a wearable necklace, but I tell you what : "Wear it at your own risk!" :D

Step 4: Field Test and Simulation

Here I add on field testing pictures. As you can see we are working in a limited space most of the time. Use both hands to align the chain circling the can. Arrange the position of the handle so that it is possible for you to pull.

Then I make a simulation where the table and cardboard represent the parts under the hood. We can put the valve horizontally in normal use. If you get some parts are blocking above or below, you can set the valve 45 degrees up or down. That is why I use "go-through-hole" on the handle instead of welding the chain on the handle.

Okay, now what if you get even narrower space? I put a silver box on the other side. Then this is the advantage of using water valve. Set it firm on one side, then we pull the valve wheel. The wheel gives us better grip than a straight pipe handle in this case. Otherwise you can make a "T" shape pipe to get this kind of grip :)



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    I like this. Lighter and easier than my too-costly chain wrench I've used only a few times in the last ten years. You can use a bicycle or saw chain for smaller problems.

    1 reply

    Yes, don't spend too much for seldom use tool. We have heavy trucks and light trucks here and we use it more often but in my case those truck drivers just can't be gentle to my tool. Why should I spend much money on that tool for them to break while I can make my own free tool? ;)

    Bicycle chain is perfect if you are going to make one. That large chain from motorcycle was what I had in hand at that time. Now we have three DIY chain-wrenches with different sizes laying on the shelves.

    Brilliant. It's a DIY chain wrench. I've got a couple strap wrenches, but rubber never grabs on smooth oily filters and the lever tends to be too long to get into tight places. This is a great DIY tool.

    1 reply

    Thank you. Give it a try, with smaller chain you have more nodes and more grips. and yes, the lever should not be too long.


    (thank you. glad to hear you like it)

    "You might see this as a wearable necklace, but I tell you what : "Wear it at your own risk!" :D"

    My first thought when I saw the photo for this was that is was going to be a piece of "industrial" jewelry. :)

    This is a great idea though. I use a rubber strap wrench to change the filter on my car, but there is barely enough room to get it in place to use. This would be more compact and probably work better.

    It would probably also work good for holding larger diameter pipes in place.

    2 replies

    I have added the benefit of water valve as the handle. I also make a simulation on special case we may encounter on the field. Check out the addition Step Four ^_^

    Yeah, it works great with pipe handle about 15 to 20 centimeters in length, not too large in diameter as long as the chain can go through it. As you see I have pipe, but I don't have that large drill bit handy. I also have perfect wheel wrench with holes on it, but it takes time to saw it shorter. I was hot in making of this instructable, so I took any instant stuff around but it still works well :) I just find out some benefit of using this water valve. I will try to take pictures of it and upload it here :)

    I will definitely be making one of these up. Headed to my junk parts pile now:)

    2 replies

    Can't wait to see yours ;) I suggest using bike's chain for it is smaller and has more gripping nodes for the same length.

    I'll mod this handle(never worked right was in junk tool drawer). I'll fix that up saturday at my Dad's little shop I helped him set up. I'll send a pic of final build. Again ty for the inspiration.


    That's pretty good!

    In a pinch one time, I used my leather belt - wrapped around the filter and through the buckle. The long piece went through a length of pipe for leverage, and it worked! Of course, I had to clean the belt before I wore it again.

    1 reply

    Using belt is one way, but we have been using this tool on trucks for many years. We just lost it, then I thought of sharing it here while making one out of scraps :)