A fuel filter is used in the fuel feed pipe ahead of the fuel injection system. The fuel filter housing is steel with a quick-connect fitting at the inlet of the fuel filter and a threaded fitting at the outlet of the filter. The threaded fitting is sealed with an O-ring, which is replaceable. The filter element is paper and is designed to trap particles suspended in the fuel that may damage the injection system. The fuel filter on these vehicles is attached to the underbody, in front of the fuel tank. Note that there are no service intervals for in-line fuel filter replacement. Only replace the filter if performance problems or troubleshooting indicates the filter is restricted.
Care is required when working around the fuel feed and return pipes. Many vehicles now use nylon fuel pipes, designed to perform the same job as steel or rubber fuel lines. Nylon pipes are constructed to withstand the maximum fuel system pressure, exposure to fuel additives and changes in temperature. Two sizes are used: 5 / 16 in. I.D. for the fuel return and 3 / 8 in. I.D. for the fuel feed. Nylon fuel pipes are somewhat flexible and can be formed around gradual turns. However, if forced into sharp bends, nylon pipes will kink and restrict fuel flow. In addition, once exposed to fuel, nylon pipes may become stiffer and are more likely to kink if bent too far. Special care should be taken when working on a vehicle with nylon pipes.
Quick-connect type fittings provide a simplified means of installing and connecting fuel system components. Depending on the vehicle model, there are two types of quick-connect fittings, each used at different locations in the fuel system. Each type of quick-connect fitting consists of a unique female connector and a compatible male fuel pipe end. O-rings, located inside the female connector, provide the fuel seal. Integral locking tabs, or fingers, hold the quick-connect fitting together. For addition information on quick-connect fittings and nylon fuel pipes, please see of this guide.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
The fuel filter is located in the fuel feed line attached to the underbody, directly in front of the fuel tank.
- Relieve the fuel system pressure using the procedure outlined in . Also remove the fuel tank cap to relieve any residual fuel pressure in the tank which could force out fuel when the fuel lines are disconnected.
- Raise the vehicle and safely support with jackstands.
- Locate the fuel filter. Clean the area around the fittings, especially on the plastic quick-disconnect fittings. Use a bristle brush and/or compressed air, if available. A small amount of penetrating oil can be used on the steel threaded fitting only. This may be helpful, especially on high-mileage vehicles or where the filter has not been previously serviced.
- Disconnect the fuel lines from the filter. The quick-connect end may have a dust cover over the end of the fitting. If used, slide the dust cover back over the fuel line to expose the fitting. For more information on servicing the quick-connect fitting, please refer to . To reduce fuel spillage, place a shop towel over the fuel lines before disconnecting.
- Remove the filter from its bracket
- The replacement fuel filter should come with a new plastic connector retainer. Install the new plastic connector retainer on the filter inlet.
- Slide the filter into the mounting bracket.
- Apply a few drops of clean engine oil to the male pipe ends. This will ensure proper reconnection and help prevent possible fuel leaks. During normal operation, the O-rings located in the female connector will swell and may prevent proper reconnection if not lubricated. New O-rings are recommended and should come with the filter kit.
- Using new O-rings, install the fuel lines to the filter. Pull on the quick-connect fitting end to verify that the locking tabs are properly engaged. If used, reposition the dust cover onto the fitting.
- Tighten the steel fitting end of the filter. Use a backup wrench to keep the filter from turning. Torque the fittings to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle. Retighten the fuel filler cap.
- Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine and check for leaks.