Why change your fuel filter?
Dirt is the #1 enemy of your engine’s fuel system. Even the smallest piece of dirt can damage a fuel injector, resulting in erratic performance, poor gas mileage and, in some cases, complete engine shutdown. A clean fuel filter is one of the best ways to ensure dependable, trouble-free performance. That’s why most car-care experts recommend replacing the fuel filter in your vehicle approximately every 16,000 kilometres or once a year for peak performance (Always refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for recommended procedures and maintenance schedules).
- Difficulty: Medium to hard
- Duration: Depends on design
- How often: See your owner's manual
Most fuel-injected vehicles use a stainless steel in-line fuel filter located either ahead of the rear wheels on the underside of the vehicle or in the engine compartment.
Regular replacement of the fuel filter will prevent harmful contaminants from reaching the fuel injector(s) and possibly entering the engine.
Note:Since the majority of newer cars use electronic fuel-injection systems, this guide covers the steps for replacing the fuel filter in a fuel-injection system.
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
TO CHANGE YOUR FUEL FILTER YOU WILL NEED:
- Drive-on car ramps or jack stands (with sufficient capacity for vehicle weight). Depending on the location of your fuel filter, these may not be required.
- Open-end wrenches designed for use with filter connections, and pliers.
- The correct replacement fuel filter for your specified vehicle and engine.
- A supply of clean rags.
- Safety glasses (required).
- An approved container to catch spilled fuel.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
- Locate the fuel filter. In most cases it’s bolted to a rail on the bottom of the vehicle, ahead of the rear wheels. Refer to your vehicle’s service manual or contact your NAPA Auto Parts store for more information about the exact location on your vehicle.
- The filter has two hose connections: the fuel inlet, which runs in from the fuel tank, and the fuel outlet, which runs out to the engine.
- Make sure to note the orientation of the filter for proper installation of the new filter. Make sure the engine and exhaust system are cold. Let them sit for at least three hours.
- If necessary, raise the vehicle using drive-on car ramps or jack stands. If using drive-on ramps, allow the engine and exhaust system to cool.
READ these instructions completely before you begin:
- Place an approved container under the filter.
- Remove any bolts attaching the fuel filter bracket to the vehicle.
- Place a clean rag near the end of the fuel inlet hose to catch spilled fuel.
- Wearing safety glasses, carefully remove the inlet hose from the filter. Caution: The fuel system is charged with 15-60 pounds of pressure, and the fuel will flow out of the hose forcefully! Wear safety glasses and be prepared to catch the fuel as it spurts out.
- Carefully remove the outlet hose from the filter.
- Remove the filter.
- Install the new filter, and reattach the inlet and outlet hoses.
- Reattach the filter and fuel filter bracket to the vehicle.
- Start the engine and check for leaks immediately.
- Properly dispose of the old filter, spilled fuel and rags.