How Do I Change My Fuel Filter?

Almost every vehicle on today’s roads is powered via fuel injection, so keeping the system clean is vital to performance and shelf-life. Injectors can become clogged with nothing more than a small grain of dirt, and this tiny impediment can lead to decreased gas mileage and shoddy functioning. If you change the fuel filter every 10-15 thousand miles, however, you can shield the fuel system against buildup, protecting your investment for years to come.

Supplies You’ll Need

Before changing a fuel filter on your own, you’ll need a few necessities:
Supplies You’ll Need
Before changing a fuel filter on your own, you’ll need a few necessities:

  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Open-end wrenches
  • Replacement filter
  • Empty container to catch fuel
  • Safety Goggles
  • Pliers
  • Jack stands (if filter sits underneath vehicle)

First Things First

Fuel filter location varies depending on the model, so make sure you check the owner’s manual for guidance. In general, though, it sits in the engine compartment (near the firewall) or under the vehicle. Note: Some models use more than one filter. In addition, any work performed on the car should be done so when it is cold (hasn’t been used in several hours). When you’re ready to start, put on protective gloves and eyewear.

Disconnect Battery and Loosen Fuel Filter

To begin, disconnect the negative battery cables. Next, loosen the brackets that attach the filter to the vehicle and note how it’s positioned (you’ll want to put the new one in the same way). You’ll need to go back to the owner’s manual now and see how it advises depressurizing the system. When you’ve finished, disconnect the fuel inlet line from the filter (you might need the wrench for this and a rag do dab any fuel that leaks out).

Drain Fuel

Next, remove the outlet line from the filter (catching any fuel leaks with the container or rag) and drain excess fuel left in the filter (you’ll need the container at this point).

Replace Filter

Safely dispose of the fuel and attach the new filter, ensuring it sits in the compartment correctly. Make sure to reattach the outlet and inlet lines, tightening all brackets completely. When you’ve finished, run the engine and check for any leaks. To be safe, recheck for leaks after about a week.

Maintaining your vehicle’s injection system at home is a simple task but requires attention to detail. If you have any concerns, you can always check the owner’s manual for guidance or take your car in to a professional to make sure the job was completed successfully.

Remember, for all your vehicle’s needs, call 610AutoHaus in Pottstown at 610-628-4271!

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