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Fuel Filter Swap: Going with the Flow
By Mike Bumbeck/autoMedia.com
Printable version
Degree of DifficultyModerate
Moderate
Estimated Time30 minutes
30 minutes
Locate, Replace, Test
The first step in replacing the fuel filter is finding it. Location and placement of fuel filters run from obvious to insidious. In addition to the main filter, there are often secondary inline filters and even a sock filter that wraps itself around the foot of the fuel pickup inside the fuel tank. It's a good bet to check and replace all fuel system filters at the same time. Before replacing the fuel filter, the fuel system pressure must be relieved of residual pressure. Consult the vehicle service manual for the proper procedure.

When replacing the high-pressure fuel filter, always use new copper gaskets on all fittings to prevent leaks. The copper gaskets are designed to seal only once. Make certain the fuel filter is installed in the correct direction of flow if applicable. When changing out the fuel filter, also inspect the surrounding high-pressure lines for wear and replace if required. Getting the correct torque on the fittings that fasten the fuel lines to the filter is key. Since fuel filters are often in tight spots, a good selection of wrenches can help put a positive spin on a job well done. Compared to the cost of new fuel injectors, a few wrenches and a fuel filter are a small price to pay.
Step 1 - Locate the fuel filter. Relieve fuel system pressure. Remove fuel line fittings.
Locate the Fuel Filter
Step 2 - Some fuel filters are directional. In this case the previous filter was installed backwards. Make certain that IN and OUT are in the right place.
Check Direction of the Filter
Step 3 - Always use new copper replacement gaskets on all fuel fittings.
Use New Copper Replacement Gaskets
Step 4 - Make any final adjustments. Double-check all fittings and fuel lines.
Check All Fittings and Fuel Lines
Step 5 - Obstruction wrenches can help put the final twist on fuel fitting fasteners. Test for leaks before driving vehicle.
Tighten Fuel Fitting Fasteners and Check for Leaks
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