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How to change a fuel filter – The Easy Way!

Although many new cars seem to be more technologically complex than most computers, the difficult financial times have encouraged many people to attempt car maintenance procedures that they would previously have left to the professionals.

One such procedure is changing an old or faulty fuel filter, something that should be fairly straight forward to achieve if you’ve got the right tools and a bit of know how.

So if you want to learn how to fix your car yourself instead of paying someone else, follow the steps below.

What is a fuel filter?

A fuel filter sits between the fuel tank and the fuel pump. As the pump pulls fuel towards the engine, the filter catches any impurities that might clog up your engine before they have a chance to do any damage.

fuel filter

The fuel filter sites between the fuel tank and the fuel pump

How do you know if it needs changing?

Although some manufacturers claim a fuel filter will last the life of a car, some mechanics recommend that it needs to be changed as often as every 12000 miles.

As a clogged filter will start to affect the fuel delivery to your engine, you’ll start to notice problems with acceleration and increased stalling if your filter needs changing.

And although this could be caused by other issues, changing the filter yourself is relatively inexpensive so it’s worth giving it a try to see if you can resolve the problem.

What tools do you need?

The specific tools that you’ll need to change your filter will depend on the model of car that you own. In general you’ll need relatively basic tools like wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers. It’s also a good idea to keep a rag handy as the job can get messy.

Locate the fuel filter

The first thing to do when changing a fuel filter is to locate it. Normally you’ll find it either in the engine compartment or under the car near the fuel tank.

Reduce the pressure in the fuel tanks if recommended

Some vehicles require you to reduce the pressure in the fuel lines before removing the old filter, so check your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.

If you do have to relieve the pressure in the lines, the procedure should be outlined in the manual so read it carefully and follow the instructions closely.

Compare the new filter with the old filter

Once you’ve located your fuel filter, take a few moments to compare your new filter with the old one.

Notice how it’s fitted in to place and which direction the fuel moves through it. Taking a few moments to memorise how everything fits together could save you a lot of time later on in the process, so make sure you understand how it all works before moving to the next stage.

Remove all fastenings on the old filter

The next step is to remove all of the fastenings holding the old filter in place. Make sure that you do this carefully in order not to lose any of the small screws or clamps.

Remove the filter

Once everything holding the filter in place has been carefully removed, it’s time to take the old filter out.

Do this carefully as it can be a messy job, but it should come out relatively easily as long as you’ve removed all of the fastenings properly.

getting gas

The fuel that you put in your car often contains impurities that are trapped by the filter

Replace with the new filter and fix in place

Take your new filter and carefully fit it into place, replace all the screws and clamps and your new filter should be ready to go.

Turn the engine on for a few moments to check for leaks. If everything is fine, you’ve successfully replaced your old fuel filter.

Changing a fuel filter is fairly straightforward, however as every car is different always check your owner’s manual before you begin and if you’re unsure always ask a professional for help.

Danny Jameson

Danny Jameson

This article was written by Danny Jameson on behalf of Auto Fuel Fix - the mis-fuel specialists.
1 Comment
  1. Great post