Can you change the oil filter without changing the oil?

I’ve been topping up my oil regularly but it’s time to swap out the oil filter according to my owner’s manual. I don’t want to lose all the oil I just added. Can you change the oil filter without changing the oil?

Bonnie Stinson · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Yes, you can change your oil filter without changing the oil.
The first thing you need to know is that you will lose a bit of oil during a filter change.
The oil filter’s location will depend on your specific make and model, which determines how much oil you will lose when swapping out the filter. In some vehicles, you’ll lose only half a quart of oil during a filter change (i.e., the amount that is trapped inside the anti-drainback gasket). In other vehicles, you’ll lose up to a whole quart.
Luckily, there’s no harm to your vehicle in losing a bit of oil during a filter change (though your garage floor might get damaged if you don’t have a drain pan!). Just remember to top up the oil once you complete the replacement!
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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