Changing A Fuel Filter

Changing a fuel filter is definitely a DIY job on most vehicles.  The only real exception is if your fuel filter is down on the frame rails, maybe on a late model truck and has gotten rusty and frozen on.  Even in this case, a little penetrating oil and some line wrenches and you should be able to get this loosed up with very little trouble.

First, we want to clarify that in this video and article the fuel filters we are talking about are the in-line style filters, not the in-tank, pre-filter sock-filters that come with your new fuel pump often called “socks”.  If you’re looking to change this filter in your vehicle, check out our how-to video on replacing fuel pumps.

Changing a fuel filter on your car can be done in a few easy steps:

  1. loosen and remove the lines
  2. loosen and remove the bracket
  3. install your new fuel filter in the bracket
  4. Reattach and tighten the lines
  5. check for leaks

Helpful tips:

  • Gas is flammable!!  We know you know that, but be smart.  If your fuel lines are frozen to your old fuel filter, don’t use a torch to try and heat them up to help loosen things up.  If it comes to it you may have to replace some of your fuel lines, don’t worry they’re relatively inexpensive!  Also, protect your eyes and skin from coming into contact with fuel, it doesn’t feel good and isn’t good for you so get some good protective clothing.  lastly, make sure you collect the fuel you loose when you remove the old lines, don’t put it back in your gas tank, but dispose of it in accordance with the rules in your town.
  • Before you start, remove your fuel cap.  This will allow any pressure that has built up in your fuel tank to be released so the fuel doesn’t spray out.  Similarly, you should release the pressure in the lines from the fuel pump.  You can do this at the pressure check fitting or simply wait a few hours after you drive your car.
  • Use line wrenches to loosen any fittings.  Line wrenches grab more of the fitting and reduce the risk of rounding things off.  Always avoid using adjustable wrenches.  If the fittings are rusty, or the filter has been on there a few years, clean the fittings then spray the fittings with a penetrating oil a day or 2 ahead of time.
  • Since leaking fuel is a huge danger, check things thoroughly after you get the job done.  That means allowing your car to warm up and idle while you check the new filter and the lines for any signs of a fuel leak.  that could include dripping fuel or simply a strong gassy smell in your car.

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Pictures Provided By:

fuel_filter.jpb – By Zagorskid – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link