I've griped about this many times to friends, but I finally got around to documenting it this evening. I own a 2001 Honda CR-V. It's a great car. In fact, other than this to-be-described issue with the oil filter, there's not much to complain about.

When car engines are going through the design phase, most engineers, knowing that an oil filter needs to get replaced frequently, will try very hard to put it in an easily-accessible place. The Honda engineers must have been having an off-day when they placed the '01 CR-V oil filter, cause it's a *pain*. Here are the things they did wrong:

  1. The filter is tucked away halfway up the rear-facing side of the engine.
  2. The filter is horizontally-oriented.
  3. The filter is placed directly above the exhaust manifold.

If #1 would have been the only mis-step with this filter placement, it wouldn't be all the big of a deal. However, when combined with the other two issues, it gets quite annoying. Because the filter is crammed into this tiny space, the only good way to get the filter off is to reach your hand up in there. That can be somewhat, umm, interesting if the engine has been running recently due to the fact that you have to reach past the (now very warm) exhaust system. Once your arm is up there, you have to start loosening the filter. This is where the #2 point becomes a problem. As soon as you start loosening the filter, the residual oil pours out and proceeds to drip down not only your whole hand and forearm (thank goodness for Gojo), but also it drips directly onto the exhaust system. Try as I may to wipe the spilled oil off the exhaust, rest assured, I'll be leaving a smokescreen behind me for a mile or two on my drive to work the next day.

That's the end of my rant for today. I'll leave you with a few pictures (click for higher-resolution versions) to better illustrate my frustrations.

Here, you're looking at the filter as if you'd slid headfirst under the front end of the car. The thing you see on the right is the exhaust. For the non-gearheads, the filter is the black, cylindrical, domed device in the top-center of the photo.

Here, you're looking front-to-back under the car. This is after I removed the old filter, and you can see the oil dripping all over the exhaust.

[]: http://andersonfam.smugmug.com/gallery/6448085_iefWp#408632809_xuLdh-A-LB []: http://andersonfam.smugmug.com/gallery/6448085_iefWp#408633638_LzNLj-A-LB