How to Change a Fuel Filter

When people talk about routine maintenance greatly lengthening the life of a car, they are usually referring to simple services like replacing the fuel filter and changing the oil at regular intervals. Fuel is necessary to make the engine run, so in order to keep the fuel injectors, fuel pump, and fuel lines clean, a fresh fuel filter is required.

Most modern gas stations have very clean fuel, and there is a slight amount of filtering done by the filter around the fuel pump. Despite this, very small contaminants can get through. Since fuel injectors have such tiny openings, the fuel filter is used to remove even the smallest contaminants. A fuel filter will last about 2 years or 30,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.

Materials Needed

  • Flare nut wrench of the appropriate size
  • Fuel line disconnect tool
  • Pliers
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench of the appropriate size

Part 1 of 2: Remove the fuel filter

How to Change a Fuel Filter 2

Step 1: Locate the fuel filter. Generally, the fuel filter will be located under the vehicle on the frame rail or in the engine compartment near the firewall.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 3

Step 2: Remove the gas cap. Remove the gas cap to relieve fuel system pressure.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 4

Step 3: Disconnect the fuel lines. Use two wrenches to remove the fuel lines from the filter. Place an open-end wrench on the fuel filter fitting and a flare nut wrench on the fuel line fitting. Turn the fuel line fitting counterclockwise while holding the filter with the other wrench.

  • Note: The method for disconnecting the fuel lines varies between vehicles. Some vehicles have quick connect fittings that must be removed with a special disconnect tool. Some have banjo fittings that are removed with a ratchet or wrench, and some have hose clamps that are removed with pliers or a screwdriver.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 5

Step 4: Remove the fuel filter bracket mounting fasteners. Loosen and remove the fuel filter bracket mounting fasteners using a ratchet and appropriate sized socket.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 6

Step 5: Remove the fuel filter. Once the fasteners have been removed and the mounting bracket is loose, slide the fuel filter out of the bracket. Discard the old filter.

Part 2 of 2: Install the new fuel filter

How to Change a Fuel Filter 7

Step 1: Install the new fuel filter. Slide the new filter into the mounting bracket.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 8

Step 2: Install the fuel filter bracket mounting fasteners. Loosely install the bracket mounting fasteners by hand. Tighten them until they are snug using a ratchet and appropriate sized socket.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 9

Step 3: Reinstall the fuel lines. Thread the fuel lines in by hand. Place an open-end wrench on the fuel filter fitting and a flare nut wrench on the fuel line fitting. Turn the fuel line fitting clockwise until it’s snug while holding the filter with the other wrench.

How to Change a Fuel Filter 10

Step 4: Reinstall the gas cap. Replace it now so you don’t forget to do it before driving the car.

Step 5: Test the vehicle. Start the vehicle and check for leaks. If you find any, recheck the fuel filter, fuel lines and all fittings to make sure everything is secure.

That’s what it takes to replace your fuel filter. If this seems like a job you’d prefer to leave to a professional, the team at YourMechanic offers expert fuel filter replacement at the location of your choice.


Next Step

Schedule Fuel Filter Replacement

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Recent Fuel Filter Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(562)

Rating Summary
524
26
3
1
8
524
26
3
1
8

Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Ram 2500 L6-6.7L Turbo Diesel - Fuel Filter - Orange, California
Chris arrived on time and was very professional, courteous and very knowledgeable. I had a large list of services because I just bought a used 16 Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4 with 30K miles and was petrified to see what he was going to pull up on his tablet. Chris went over the entire truck and took that list and cut it in half, saving me hundreds of dollars, literally! We ended up performing half of what was scheduled and I was extremely happy with his suggestions and professionalism. This was a great experience and I will definitely be using Chris in the future for all of our vehicles.
Toyota 4Runner - Fuel Filter - San Clemente, California
Showed up at approx 1230p fora 7p appt which worked out well for me. Had a different part that fixed the issue of the fuel filter. He was definitely a take care of business get it done and move on which I had no problem with especially since he fixed the current problem. Thank you. I liked the YM experience

Levi

9 years of experience
54 reviews
Levi
9 years of experience
Mercury Grand Marquis V8-4.6L - Fuel Filter - Edmond, Oklahoma
Levi arrived on time, worked during cold conditions and did an excellent job. Levi has helped us before. We like his attitude and his work. He is an outstanding mechanic.
Mercury Sable - Fuel Filter - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
He let me know that he was going to be there earlier than expected, which was awesome, and he took care of the problem and didn’t try and up sell any work that some garage mechanics do. Will definitely be using him again for all our car needs.

Anton

15 years of experience
11 reviews
Anton
15 years of experience
Ford Excursion V10-6.8L - Fuel Filter - Staten Island, New York
Fantastic mechanic and person! Very knowledgeable. Works fast and efficiently. I highly recommend hiring him for any job you may have!

Elias

14 years of experience
113 reviews
Elias
14 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz S430 V8-4.3L - Fuel Filter Replacement - Bayonne, New Jersey
My first mechanic was a bust, but this guy turned the situation around because he actually knew what he was doing. 5 stars all around, great guy - knows his stuff.

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