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Help - Spring from oil filter housing

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Well I'm a bloody idiot today. I've changed my oil and filter at least 3 times to date, with no issues, but today I managed to screw up quite grandly.

It started to rain mid way through and so I wasn't exactly 100% in terms of attentiveness. As you do, after draining the oil, you insert the sump plug back in, and replace the filter housing with the new filter and o-rings. Checked. Then, you pour the NEW oil in so that you have a bottle to store the used sump oil.

Now that the sump plug is back in, with the filter housing and new filter installed, along with the new oil, I'm left with the empty bottle. I proceed to transfer the dirty sump oil into said bottle. An lo! A spring materializes before my horrified eyes.

What had happen is that in my haste, when removing the filter housing, I scraped off the filter and that tube thing that skewers the filter. Somewhere in there, there's a sizeable spring that came off in it and was hidden in the oil. When I retrieved my filter and said skewer object (not sure what the terminology is), I instinctively clipped it back on without remembering that there is supposed to be a spring for it too.

Now to my actual question: What is that spring actually for, and what would happen to the operation of the car without it?

I consulted the technicians manual and was surprised that it didn't detail that information. The rest of this very detailed manual usually gets down to the exact nuts and bolts of everything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeh haha there actually is. You know that perforated metal tube that you skewer your filter onto? It's between that and the filter cap itself. Usually, you shouldn't expect to have to deal with it, assuming you're not clumsy like me and end up ripping the filter off the cap when it off.

Eventually, I undid the cap again and reinstalled it. A friend reassured me that although the filter and the sump pan is geographically at the same level, usually there is a pump between the two so it's not like the whole engine's worth of oil is going to come rushing out. I only really lost around 2L worth of oil. Topped it back up, and away I went. 

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