Guide to Fuel Filter Replacement


The fuel filter is one component in your car that costs under twenty dollars to replace, but can prevent thousands of dollars of damage to your engine. Dirty or clogged fuel filters can result in poor gas mileage, rough idling engine and even engine stalls. To prevent these problems the fuel filter should be changed at least once a year. Thankfully, it’s a procedure that is very simple and only takes a few minutes to accomplish.

What You Will Need for this Job:

Eye Protection
New Fuel Filter
Fuel Filter Washers
Open-end Wrenches
Flat Head Screwdriver

Step One: Safety First

Before you start make sure that your engine is cool and that you are wearing eye protection. Once you have done that, you must now relieve the pressure in your fuel system. To do this locate the fuse or relay for the fuel pump, If you don’t know which one it is, then consult your owner’s manual. Once you have found it, turn your engine on and pull the fuse. This will cause your car to stutter and stop and in the process depressurize the fuel system. This is an important step because working on a fuel filter without depressurizing the fuel line can have explosive consequences.

You should also disconnect the negative terminal of your car battery. This prevents errant voltages from traveling through the frame of the car and potentially igniting the car’s fuel.

Step Two: Opening the Lines

Place one of your open-ended wrenches on the fuel filter and one on the fitting that holds the fuel filter to the line. Once you have them in place, take your rag and place it over them to prevent fuel from spraying all over you. You can then turn the fitting in a counter-clockwise motion with the wrench until the banjo fitting comes out. Repeat this on the other side of the filter. Set the fuel line washers aside, you’ll need them later.

Step Three: Remove the Fuel Filter

Using your flat head screwdriver, remove the special fitting that holds the fuel filter to the car. Set this aside and remove the old filter.

Step Four: Install Fuel Line Washers

Seated on your old fuel line bolts are special pressure washers that are made out of aluminum or copper. Remove these old washers with the new washers that came with the fuel filter. Place one washer on the bolt before you slide the fuel line on and then repeat for the other side.

Step Five: Attach Fuel Filter

With the fuel filter attached to the fuel line it is now time to attach the fuel filter back into its protective case using the attached cable. Tighten with the flat head screwdriver.

Step Six: Time to Test

Make sure that any fuel around the car is cleaned up and reinsert the fuse pump relay or fuse into the car. Also make sure that you reattach the negative battery cable to the battery of your car. Once you have done this it is time to give the car a start. With the car running, visually inspect for any gasoline leaks. If there are any leaks, then go back and make sure that everything is tight and properly positioned. If there aren’t any leaks, then you have successfully changed your fuel filter.

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