2003 Cavalier Oil Filter Issues!

2003 Cavalier Oil Filter Issues!

Posted in the Chevrolet Cavalier Forum

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Joe Cal

AOL

#1 Feb 24, 2008
Hello,
My wife drives an '03 Cavalier. I just decided to start doing oil changes to save money and when I went to remove the oil filter cap, it was put on so tight, that the top part stripped and I cannot remove it. I even bought a 3/4 inch deep well socket and breaker bar and it wouldnt move. Any suggestions?
Thanks!
MAR

Saint Albans, VT

#2 Feb 24, 2008
What are you putting the 3/4 socket onto? Are you saying that under the broken filter shell there is a 3/4 nut that you are using to turn the filter base? If that the state of the situation and you can't turn it with a breaker bar... wow! Are you sure that you are turing it in the correct direction? I mean some times when you are all twisted up under the car direction can get a little confused.
Joe Cal

AOL

#3 Feb 24, 2008
Milton,
No, the 2003 Cav doesn't have a standard oil filter. You need to remove a cap to get to a paper filter. The cap has a plastic 3/4 hex shape and I was told to use a 3/4 deep well socket.

The filter cap is on top of the engine and it shows an arrow pointing clockwise, but when I called Chevy, they said to remove it counterclockwise. Now you have me thinking. I wonder if it unscrews in the opposite direction
Tim

Decatur, IL

#4 Feb 27, 2008
iv there is no way you can get it off your just gonna have to break it off or try prying up on it with a flat tip will turning it off that might help. People need to realize unless your doing head work or stuff like that crap only needs to be snug
Brian FL

Polk City, FL

#5 Apr 6, 2008
Joe Cal wrote:
Milton,
No, the 2003 Cav doesn't have a standard oil filter. You need to remove a cap to get to a paper filter. The cap has a plastic 3/4 hex shape and I was told to use a 3/4 deep well socket.
The filter cap is on top of the engine and it shows an arrow pointing clockwise, but when I called Chevy, they said to remove it counterclockwise. Now you have me thinking. I wonder if it unscrews in the opposite direction
Joe - did it end up turning counter-clockwise? I have the exact same setup as your's. Thanks.
Brian FL

Polk City, FL

#6 Apr 6, 2008
Joe - did it end up turning counter clockwise?
Scott

Scottsdale, AZ

#7 Apr 6, 2008
I have the same setup.

The cap is standard right hand threads (you loosen the cap by turning it counterclockwise).

You can buy the replacement cap online for under ten bucks.
Brian FL

Polk City, FL

#8 Apr 6, 2008
Scott / All:

My results: Yup - standard right hand threads, turns counterclockwise to take off. I ended up buying 1-1/4" x 1/2" drive hex socket at Sears for $8. With the 3" socket extension in order to clear something it just barely fit in the space to loosen it then took off by hand. This is the Ecotec 2.2L engine in 2002 Chevy Cavalier.
Glenn

Canada

#9 May 13, 2008
NAPA has a little tool that is for removing these, I just add an extension then a little wobbly extender and finally put a snipe onto the wratchet to get leverage and then it comes off with out a problem.
Tony

Winnipeg, Canada

#10 Aug 2, 2008
The 2003 Cavalier is the easiest oil change I have ever performed. The oil filter is accessed from the top of the engine. Use a 1-1/4" socket with an extension to remove the oil filter cap.
Remove old filter, install new filter and re-install oil filter cap. No fuss, no mess and a very easy job. As far as oil changes go, it doesn't get much easier than the 2003 Cavalier.
Mark

United States

#11 Aug 3, 2008
I agree with Tony. I am a mechanic and change oil in these daily. Its so easy a caveman can do it.
Steve

Lower Sackville, Canada

#12 Jan 19, 2009
I also agree .I have been doing my own oil changes for many years & was surprised how easy it is to do the oil change on my wifes 2003 cavalier. I just use a 1 & 1/4 inch socket with short extension & it is a right-hand thread.Much better than lieing under the car with oil running up my arm on her 98 cavalier.
James

Denton, MD

#13 Mar 18, 2009
Ok, easy? Bit less than the old standard metal canisters since you can easily damage the cap. You have to buy a 1 1/4" socket, extensions if you don't have them, and it drools oil all over while you remove it from the engine since you cannot pull it straight up and out.

Furthermore, any nicks or cuts on the sides of the big plastic 'Nut' can result in the cap 'Bleeding' oil constantly(about 1-2 quarts a week).

And trust me, the older metal canister filters aren't any harder to take off and I'm not a mechanic. They are meant to come off. If you seriously think this is so much easier you should probably consider your mechanic career.

And with Mark's comment, any Oil change is pretty easy and straight-forward.
Matt

Columbus, OH

#14 Mar 21, 2009
My only problem with it was I was duped into buying a 25 mm socket because the cap said "25 MM" on it. Not sure what that was referring to.
Brian

United States

#15 Aug 21, 2009
Matt, cap reads 25"NM" not "MM", stands for neuton meters which is how much to torque the cap
cleansweep

United States

#16 Mar 22, 2010
Just completed changing the oil in a 2004 Cavalier. Thanks to the posts above, I had no issues with replacing the filter. Ran the engine and no leaks, but when I emptied the old oil from the oil change pan found a plastic washer. I don't know for sure where it came from. Is there a plastic washer between the drain plug and pan?
nelly

Houston, TX

#17 Mar 22, 2010
cleansweep wrote:
Just completed changing the oil in a 2004 Cavalier. Thanks to the posts above, I had no issues with replacing the filter. Ran the engine and no leaks, but when I emptied the old oil from the oil change pan found a plastic washer. I don't know for sure where it came from. Is there a plastic washer between the drain plug and pan?
that's the gasket for drain plug
cleansweep

United States

#18 Mar 23, 2010
nelly wrote:
<quoted text>that's the gasket for drain plug
Thanks Nelly, since there is no oil leaking around the plug, I will wait until next oil change to replace. I thought that might be the case but when I went to the internet to look at oil drain plugs for a 2004 Cavalier, they did not show a gasket!
Frank

Low And Burbanks Grant, NH

#19 Apr 25, 2010
Your information saved me! I was crawling under the car (2003 Cavalier) looking for a canister. All the owner's manual said "unique filter check with your dealer." Thank you!
Dustin

London, Canada

#20 Apr 29, 2010
i just changed the oil in my wife's cavalier and that plastic nut that hold the filter on broke right off does anyone know how much they are?

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