How to Change the Fuel Filter in Chrysler PT Cruisersby Chris Moore
The fuel filter on the PT Cruiser is one of the types that is built into the fuel pump module, which itself is mounted into the fuel tank. Replacing the filter means replacing the pump module itself; if the filter is in bad condition, there's a good chance the pump also needs replacing anyway. You will need to remove the tank to remove the pump module, and that means you must relieve the fuel system's pressure.
Remove the fuel cap and then open the hood, remove the cover on the air filter housing and remove the fuel pump relay from the fuse box located behind and below the filter housing. Start the engine and let it idle until it stalls. Turn off the ignition and then disconnect the negative battery cable.
Raise the car's rear end and support it on jack stands.
Unscrew and remove the drain cap on the tank and let the fuel drain into a gas can or drain pan capable of holding 16 gallons.
Disconnect the fuel vapor hose and then loosen the hose clamp for the fuel filler neck hose with a screwdriver so you can disconnect the hose from the fuel fill pipe.
Raise a transmission jack under the tank to support it; if all you have is the floor jack, place a piece of plywood on it to prevent it from damaging the tank.
Disconnect the EVAP line and fuel supply hose at the quick-connect fitting. Disconnect the electrical connector for the fuel pump module.
Unbolt the tank support straps with a wrench and lower the jack to lower and remove the tank.
Changing the Pump and Filter
Squeeze the locking tabs for the fuel supply line to disconnect it. Pull out the locking tab for the electrical connector with pliers to disconnect it.
Draw an alignment marker on the fuel tank (a silver marker may work best) where the fuel outlet connector is pointing so you can correctly line up the fuel pump module upon re-installation.
Unscrew the module's locknut with water pump pliers and remove the module from the tank--make sure you don't bend the fuel sending unit float arm.
Install the replacement fuel pump and filter into the fuel tank-- again, be careful not to damage the float arm or the filter. Screw the locknut into place with the water pump pliers, using the mark you made to align the module.
Connect the fuel supply hose and electrical connector using their locking tangs.
Raise the tank in place with the transmission jack and bolt the straps on. Connect the filler, vapor and EVAP lines along with the electrical connector.
Lower the car off the jack stands.
Refill the fuel tank and reconnect the batter cable and fuel pump fuse. Replace the air filter housing.
- You can inspect the fuel filter once you remove the pump module to see if it needs changing or not. You can also wash the filter with solvent to see if that cleans it out.
Items you will need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Gas can
- Needle-nose pliers
- Water pump pliers
- "Chilton Chrysler PT Cruiser Repair Manual"; Robert Maddox; Haynes North America; 2003
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images