Fuel filters and elements are serviced by replacement only. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend fuel filter replacement at 30,000 miles (48,000 km). Always replace the fuel filter at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended mileage.
The fuel filter replacement procedure varies depending on the make and year of the vehicle and the type of fuel system. Always follow the filter replacement procedure in the appropriate service manual. The photo sequence below shows a typical procedure for relieving fuel pressure and removing a fuel filter.
Removing a Fuel Filter on an EFI Vehicle
Disconnect the negative cable at the battery.
Loosen the fuel tank filler cap to relieve any fuel tank vapor pressure.
Wrap a shop towel around the Schrader valve on the fuel rail and remove the dust cap from the valve.
Connect the fuel pressure gauge to the Schrader valve.
Install the free end of the gauge bleed hose into an approved gasoline container, and open the gauge bleed valve to relieve the fuel pressure.
Place the vehicle on the hoist and position the lift arms according to manufacturer's recommendations. Then raise the vehicle.
Flush the fuel filter line connectors with water, and use compressed air to blow debris off and away from the connectors.
Follow the recommended procedures for disconnecting the fuel inlet connector.
Art courtesy of Delmar - Thomson Learning.
Follow the recommended procedures for disconnecting the fuel outlet connector, then remove the fuel filter.
Installing Fuel Filters
In-line fuel filters are installed in the fuel line. In carbureted engines, the in-line gasoline filter is usually installed between the fuel pump and the carburetor. In vehicles with a fuel injection system, the location of the fuel filter is determined by the manufacturer. An arrow on the filter shows the direction of fuel flow.
- To install a new filter, begin by wiping the male tube ends of the new filter with a clean shop towel.
- Apply a few drops of clean engine oil to the male tube ends on the filter.
- Check the quick connectors to be sure the large collar on each connector has rotated back to the original position. The springs must be visible on the inside diameter of each quick connector.
- Then install the filter in the proper direction and leave the mounting bolt slightly loose.
- Install the outlet connector onto the filter outlet tube and press the connector firmly in place until the spring snaps into position.
- Grasp the fuel line and try to pull this line from the filter to be sure the quick connector is locked in place.
- Then, do the same with the inlet connector.
- Now tighten the filter retaining bolt to the specified torque.
- Once everything is connected, lower the vehicle, start the engine, and check for fuel leaks at the filter.