How to Change the Fuel Filter in a 2001 Jeepby Marion Cobretti
The fuel filter removes dirt and debris from the fuel before it reaches the engine for combustion. Over time, the fuel filter reaches capacity and clogs or only allows a very limited amount of fuel to pass through it. This directly affects the engine because without fuel the engine won’t start. Even a reduced amount of fuel will cause problems with the engine like stalling and backfiring. With a few tools, you can change the fuel filter on the 2001 Jeep right at home. The repair should take no more than 90 minutes to do.
Open the fuel door and remove the gas cap. Do this slowly if you’ve just driven the Jeep because there will be pressure built up within the gas tank.
Lift and support the hood on your Jeep. Locate the power distribution center mounted at the top of the truck’s battery. Read the writing on top of the plastic cover to identify which of the relays underneath it is the fuel pump relay. Take off the plastic cover and remove the fuel pump relay with a pair of relay-puller pliers. Do not twist or turn the relay, simply pull it straight out.
Set the fuel pump relay and the cover to the side and start the engine. Allow the engine to idle until its stalls out. Attempt to start the engine four more times. Wait a full eight seconds between each attempt to avoid overheating the starter. Once the truck fails to start, turn the ignition off and remove the key.
Remove the negative cable from its post on the battery with a socket wrench. The negative cable should be all black. Right next to it on the battery, you should also see a small minus symbol. Lay the cable down and away from its post and any other metal within the engine compartment.
Place a wheel block firmly into position in front of both front driver and passenger tires. Lift the rear end of the truck with a hydraulic jack and position a jack stand under the frame rail near the driver’s side rear tire.
Slide under the truck near the front of the gas tank and locate the fuel filter. It looks like a metal capsule and will have three fuel lines connected to it.
Place a metal catch pan directly beneath the fuel filter. Remove the bottom fuel line first. Squeeze the tabs together on the quick-connect fitting and pull the line off the fuel filter’s nipple. Allow the small amount of fuel in the line to drain into the catch pan. Remove the two top fuel lines on the filter the same way.
Remove the two bolts from the retaining clamp holding the fuel filter in place on the frame with a socket wrench. Lower the fuel filter horizontally because it still has fuel in it and set it in the catch pan. Your new filter should come with the retaining clamp already attached to it so you don’t have to reuse the old one.
Remount the new filter just as you removed the old filter. Start both of the clamp’s bolts by hand to insure they thread properly. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 30 inch-lbs. and secure both bolts in place.
Attach the lower fuel line back to the filter followed by both top fuel lines. All three of the fuel lines simply push back onto the filter. The quick-connect fittings will click into place. Gently pull on each of the fuel lines to make sure that they’re securely connected.
Set the metal catch pan to the side of your work area, away from sunlight and any thing that could spark. Remove the jack stand and lower the Jeep back down to the ground.
Put the gas cap back on securely and remove both of the wheel blocks from the front tires. Reinstall the fuel pump relay by hand and put the cover back over the power distribution center. Reconnect and secure the negative cable back to its post on the battery then shut the hood.
Start the Jeep’s engine and check the fuel filter’s mounting area for leaks.
- "Jeep Grand Cherokee 1993 thru 2004: All Models Haynes Repair Manual"; John Haynes; 2004
- "Chilton Chrysler Service Manual 2004"; Chilton Book Company; 2004
- It may take a few attempts to get the engine running after the repair. This does not indicate a problem. The fuel system just has to build the pressure back up, then the engine will start.
Things You'll Need
- Relay-puller pliers
- Socket wrench set
- 2 wheel blocks
- Hydraulic jack
- Jack stand
- Metal catch pan
- 1/4-inch drive torque wrench
- Never smoke during any gasoline related auto repair.
Marion Cobretti began working as a freelance writer in 2006. His work appears on Newsvine and other websites. Cobretti completed a three-year course in automotive technology and is currently seeking an Associate of Applied Science at Macomb Community College.