How to Change a Fuel Filter on Cars

by Contributing Writer

Fuel that you get from the gas station is filtered, but some dirt gets through the filtering process at the oil refinery. Kia car and most automotive manufacturers have realized that this dirt clogs fuel injectors and causes major driveability issues. To combat this problem, they have incorporated fuel filters into the fuel system that require periodic replacement to ensure that the fuel system flows properly and that the engine receives a sufficient amount of fuel. Replacing the fuel filter on your Kia car is quick, easy and only requires basic tools.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change a Fuel Filter on a KIA Sorento

Open the hood and prop it.

Open the cover to the under-hood fuse box and locate the fuel pump relay. You can find the fuel pump relay by reading the diagram under the fuse box cover.

Remove the fuel pump relay by pulling it up with your fingers.

Crank the engine for approximately 5 seconds and repeat three times. The engine won't start, because the fuel pump relay is removed and will just crank. The purpose behind this is to relieve fuel system pressure so that you can safely remove the fuel filter without fuel spraying dangerously.

Locate the fuel filter on the passenger side of the engine compartment. It should be black and cylindrical with two fuel hoses attached to it.

Unscrew both hose clamps with a screwdriver and pull the hoses off.

Unscrew the bracket holding the fuel filter with a screwdriver and remove the fuel filter.

Install a new fuel filter onto the bracket and tighten the bracket with a screwdriver

Connect the two fuel lines to the new fuel filter and tighten the hose clamps with a screwdriver.

Reinstall the fuel pump relay.

Start the Kia Sorento and make sure there aren't any leaks. It may take a few cranks to get the fuel circulated through the system for the car to start.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • New Fuel Filter

 How to Change the Fuel Filter in Chrysler PT Cruisers

Fuel Tank

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.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Gas can

  • Screwdriver

  • Wrench

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Marker

  • Water pump pliers

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a Jeep Liberty

Raise the vehicle's hood and locate the fuse panel. Use the screwdriver to remove the plastic cover. Remove the fuse that controls the fuel pump.

Start the vehicle and allow the motor to idle. The Jeep will stall out after a few seconds. This clears the fuel line of excess fuel.

Locate the fuel filter panel located under the rear of the Jeep. It is located between the fuel tank and the rear driver's side tire.

Use the socket and wrench to remove the four bolts holding the panel in place. This will expose the fuel filter mount. Using the crescent wrench to remove the three fuel lines connected to the fuel filter.

Using your fingers to release the clamps holding the fuel filter in place and replace it with your new filter. Reconnect the clamp that secures the new filter. Reconnect the fuel lines and tighten using the crescent wrench.

Use the socket and wrench to reattach the fuel filter panel. Reinstall the fuse that controls the fuel pump and the plastic cover. Lower the vehicle's hood and start the engine.

Items you will need

  • Fuel filter

  • 7/16-inch socket and wrench

  • Towel

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Crescent wrench

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Nissan Sentra

Remove the fuel pump fuse and start the engine. Allow it to run until it stalls. Try to restart it. If it does not start, the pressure has been released. If it does start, allow it to run until it stalls and repeat this process until it will not start. Turn the ignition off.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Take out the rear seat bottom and inspection cover. Remove the fuel pump assembly from the fuel tank. Gently release the tabs and take the fuel filter from the fuel level sensor unit.

Pull off the retaining clip so you can remove the fuel pressure regulator from the fuel filter. Position the new filter and secure it in the fuel level sensor unit. Place the fuel level sensor unit back into the fuel tank.

Reinstall the fuel pump fuse into the fuse block. Start the engine of your Nissan Sentra and check for leaks. Make any necessary repairs before you reinstall the vehicle inspection cover and rear seat.

Items you will need

  • Wrenches

  • New fuel filter

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Disconnect the negative battery cable and then remove the fuel tank cap to release fuel tank pressure. Remove the fuel pump relay from the PDC. Start the engine and allow it to run until it stops. Select any injector and unplug its connector.

Connect a jumper wire from an injector terminal to the positive battery terminal. Then, connect the other jumper wire to the other battery terminal. Briefly touch the end to the negative battery terminal.

Locate the fuel filter/pressure regulator near the front of the fuel tank, mounted to the body above the rear axle. Disconnect the fuel supply, fuel return and fuel pressure lines. Remove the mounting bolts and then the fuel filter/pressure regulator.

Attach the new fuel filter/pressure regulator to the body and tighten the bolts to 30 in-lbs. Reconnect the fuel supply, fuel return and fuel pressure lines. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Start the engine of your Jeep Grand Cherokee and check for leaks.

 How to Change the Fuel Filter in a 2001 Jeep

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.

Items you will need

  • Relay-puller pliers

  • Socket wrench set

  • 2 wheel blocks

  • Hydraulic jack

  • Jack stand

  • Metal catch pan

  • 1/4-inch drive torque wrench

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on an Isuzu Diesel

Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface and set the parking brake. Open the gas cap to relieve pressure on the fuel lines.

Loosen the fuel line hose clamps with a flat-head screwdriver. Place a bucket underneath the fuel filter. Remove the fuel lines from the fuel filter and allow the excess fuel in the lines to drip into the bucket. Wipe the ends of the fuel lines with a rag.

Remove the bolts from the fuel filter mounting bracket with a socket wrench. Snap open the mounting bracket by pushing it with two hands. Remove the fuel filter and place it in the bucket to catch any remaining fuel.

Place the new fuel filter on the frame rail and push the mounting closed. Insert the mounting bracket retaining bolts and tighten them with a socket wrench.

Clear the ends of the fuel lines of debris. Push the fuel lines into place on the fuel filter and tighten the hose clamps with a flat-tip screwdriver.

Close the gas cap. Pump the accelerator pedal a few times to push fuel into the fuel lines.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Bucket

  • Rag

  • Socket wrench

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a Ford Freestar

Drive the front wheels of the Freestar onto the ramps. Shift it into park, shut the engine off and apply the parking brake. Place a wheel chock behind the left rear wheel.

Climb under the driver side of the Freestar, between the front and rear wheels, with the catch pan, fuel line tool and new filter.

Locate the fuel filter, which is in the fuel lines strapped to the inboard side of the frame, just below the passenger compartment. The easiest way to find the filter is to simply follow the fuel lines forward from the gas tank until you encounter the filter.

Remove the front fuel line from the fuel filter by pulling the retaining clip in the fuel line free with the fuel line tool. Repeat this on the rear line. You can use a pocket screwdriver instead of the proper tool, but beware as the clip breaks easily if the proper tool is not used.

Pull both lines off the filter by hand. Pull the old filter out of the retaining strap and slide the new filter in. Make sure the filter flow directs towards the front of the engine. You can ascertain flow direction by looking for the flow arrow on the side of the filter body. Put the old filter in the catch pan.

Connect the front and rear fuel lines to the filter and then push the retaining clips back into place.

Climb out, move the catch pan and tool aside and then move the wheel chock out from behind the rear wheel.

Turn the ignition to the run position and wait 10 seconds before cranking the engine. Drive the Freestar off the ramps.

Items you will need

  • Ramps

  • Wheel chock

  • Catch pan

  • Fuel line tool

  • New filter

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Plymouth Voyager

Make sure the engine is completely cool. Relieve the pressure in the fuel system. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Elevate the vehicle and support the fuel tank with a jack.

Disconnect the fuel line from the front of the tank. Remove the ground strap, the inboard side fuel tank straps and the front T-strap fastener, then lower the tank approximately six inches.

Take the fuel lines from the fuel pump module. Plug the fuel lines with golf tees to prevent the spillage of gasoline. Remove the fuel filter.

Install the new fuel filter. Set the bolts in place and torque them to 40 inch/pounds. Tighten the main tank straps to 40 foot/pounds and the T-strap to 250 inch lbs.

Reconnect the fuel lines in the reverse order of their removal. Lower the vehicle. Connect the negative battery cable.

Start the engine and let it run for several minutes. Inspect the fuel lines for any leaks.

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter for a Lincoln Town Car

Drive the Lincoln Town Car's front wheels onto the ramps. Shift the Lincoln into park and set the parking brake. Shove the wheel chocks against the front and back of the Town Car's right-rear wheel.

Crawl under the Town Car with your drain pan, fuel line disconnect tool and the new fuel filter. Trace the fuel lines forward from the gas tank to spot the fuel filter. Slide the drain pan directly below the filter.

Unhook the fuel lines from the fuel filter with the fuel line disconnect tool. Pull the Town Car's used filter out of the retainer and set it in the drain pan.

Slide the Town Car's new filter into the retainer with the flow arrow aimed toward the engine. Slip the fuel lines onto the new filter by hand until they click into place.

Climb out from under the Town Car with the drain pan, used filter and fuel line tool.

Turn the Town Car's key to the run position. Count to 10 and shut it off. Turn it to the run position once more, count to 10 and start the Town Car engine.

Move the wheel chocks away from the Town Car's right-rear wheel. Drive the Town car off the ramps.

Items you will need

  • Ramps, 2

  • Wheel chocks, 2

  • Drain pan

  • Fuel line disconnect tool

 How to Change Fuel Filter on 2004 Saturn Ion

Place the car jack in front of the passenger side rear wheel well on the chassis. Crank up the jack enough to slide the jack stand below the Saturn Ion under the chassis. Lower the Ion onto the jack stand. Place wheel blocks around the opposite wheel.

Close off the two hoses attached to the nozzles of the fuel filter with your hose pliers. This action prevents fuel spurting in your face or on your clothes. Set out some paper towels below the filter to catch any fuel that drips out of the hoses when you remove them.

Loosen the screw on each hose collar. Wiggle the collars down the hoses. Pull the hoses off of the fuel filter's nozzles.

Loosen the strap around the fuel filter with your screwdriver. Pull out the fuel filter.

Insert the replacement fuel filter into the strap. Connect the two hoses you removed earlier. Connect the nozzle with the "in" arrow to the inlet hose, the one that comes from the fuel tank. Connect the nozzle with the "out" arrow to the hose heading to the engine. Tighten the collars over the fuel hoses. Tighten the fuel filter strap.

Turn the Ion's ignition to the "On" position. Check for any leaks near the fuel filter. Refit the overlapping joints if you notice any leaks. Remove the jack stand, the car jack and the wheel blocks.

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wheel blocks

  • Hose pliers

  • Screwdriver

  • Crescent wrench

  • Paper towels

  • Replacement fuel filter W0133-1639896

 How to Change a Fuel Filter in a 2003 Lancer

Park the Lancer on a level surface and set the emergency brake. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable. Open the gas cap to relieve pressure in the gas tank.

Loosen the tightening nuts holding the fuel lines to the fuel filter. The fuel filter is on the passenger side firewall near the rear of the engine compartment. Unplug the lines from the filter. Catch any fuel that leaks from the lines with the rag.

Remove the bolts holding the filter to the mounting bracket. Remove the old fuel filter.

Place the new filter on the mounting bracket and bolt it in place.

Plug the fuel lines into the filter and tighten the bolts by hand. Finish tightening them with a socket wrench until they are snug and the wrench becomes difficult to turn.

Connect the battery cable and start the vehicle. Let it run for a couple of minutes and check the new filter for fuel leaks, especially where the lines connect to the filter.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Rag

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Nissan Pathfinder

Relieve the pressure from the fuel system by first removing the fuel pump fuse in the panel. Start the engine and allow it to run until it stalls. Let out any remaining fuel pressure by cranking the engine for a few seconds.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the fuel filter shield if there is one. Disconnect the fuel lines and then take the fuel filter out of the bracket.

Place the new fuel filter in the bracket. Reconnect the fuel lines and return the fuel shield to its appropriate position, if applicable.

Replace the fuel pump fuse and connect the negative battery cable when your repairs are complete. Start the engine of your Nissan Pathfinder and check for leaks. Repair any leaks you find.

Items you will need

  • Wrenches

  • New fuel filter

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 2002 Harley Davidson

Drain the Gas Tank

Turn the fuel supply valve to the "off" position.

Remove the hose that goes to the carburetor from the outlet nipple on the left side of the fuel supply valve assembly.

Attach a piece of fuel line to the outlet nipple and run to a gasoline container.

Remove the vacuum hose from the vertical nipple on the back of the fuel supply valve assembly.

Turn the fuel supply valve to "reserve".

Connect the hand pump to the vacuum nipple using the correct adapter.

Apply just enough vacuum to get the fuel running through the valve. Do not apply a vacuum greater than 25 inches of Mercury (Hg).

Remove the pump from the vacuum nipple and the hose from the outlet nipple after the tank is drained.

Remove the Fuel Valve Assembly

Locate the fuel supply valve nut above the fuel supply valve handle. It attaches the assembly to the gas tank.

Turn the fuel supply valve nut counter-clockwise to loosen.

Remove the assembly from the gas tank.

Clean or Replace Fuel Filter

Check the fuel filter, which is the long cylindrical screen that comes out of the gas tank.

Use some of the gasoline to clean the filter, if you are cleaning rather than replacing the filter.

Replace the filter if necessary.

Reassemble

Coat the threads of the fuel supply valve with the pipe sealant.

Replace the gasket that fits under the fuel supply valve nut.

Insert assembly into gas tank and tighten fuel supply valve nut.

Reattach hoses and refill fuel tank.

Items you will need

  • Fuel supply valve gasket

  • Fuel tank filter

  • Mity-Vac hand pump

  • Hose clamp pliers

  • Pipe sealant with Teflon

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Geo Metro

Remove the Fuel Filter

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the terminal. Relieve the pressure in the fuel system while taking necessary precautions. Plug the fuel lines with golf tees to prevent spillage of gasoline.

Raise the vehicle. Check to make sure that the supports are safe and secure. Remove the bolt that holds the parking brake cable bracket in place on the underbody.

Take the fuel feed hose from the fuel filter. Loosen and remove the two bracket bolts that hold the fuel filter in place. Remove the fuel filter from the frame.

Disconnect the outlet hose that runs to the fuel filter. Remove the mounting bolt and lift the fuel filter out of its bracket.

Install the Fuel Filter

Position the fuel filter on the bracket. Be sure to align the matchmarks on the fuel filter and the mounting bracket. Set the mounting bolt in place and torque it to 11 foot/pounds.

Connect the fuel feed outlet hose to the fuel filter and secure it with a new clamp. Place the fuel filter on the frame and install the two bolts on the bracket. Torque the bracket bolts to 11 foot/pounds.

Reconnect the inlet hose to the fuel filter. Use a new clamp to secure it. Install the brake cable bracket and set the bolt in place. Tighten the bolt to 11 foot/pounds.

Lower the vehicle and then reconnect the negative battery cable. Turn the ignition to the ON position and the turn it back to LOCK to pressurize the fuel system.

Start the engine. Check for fuel leaks and make the necessary adjustments.