How to Change the Fuel Filter on Buick Cars

by Contributing Writer

The fuel system in your Buick car starts at the fuel pumps. Pumping gasoline into your car can stir up sediments and debris sitting at the bottom of the large fuel tanks at your gas station. The fuel and debris is then pumped into your car's fuel tank and when the fuel pump draws the fuel out of the tank it will draw out some of the debris. There is a strainer attached to the fuel pump, but it will not pick up all the debris. The in-line fuel filter will pick out the smaller pieces before it can make its way to your engine.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 2005 Rendezvous

Turn the ignition key to the "Off" position. Turn off all electrical accessories. Set the parking brake.

Don safety glasses. Open the hood and disconnect the battery's negative cable with a wrench.

Unscrew the cap on the fuel-pressure port by hand. The cap is located on the fuel rail. Screw the fuel-pressure gauge fitting onto the fuel-pressure port. Wrap a shop rag around the fitting and connect the fuel-pressure gauge to the fitting.

Insert the gauge's bleed hose into the fuel container. Open the valve on the gauge slowly. Fuel released with the pressure drains into the fuel container.

Close the valve once the pressure is relieved and fuel stops draining into the container. Remove the gauge, the fitting and the shop rag. Screw the cap onto the fuel port.

Jack up the front of the car with the jack and support it with jack stands.

Position the drain pan under the fuel filter which is mounted on the frame forward of the gas tank. The fuel filter is a small, cylindrical, metal canister with a hose connected to each end. Blow dirt and debris from the filter and fittings with compressed air.

Squeeze the tabs on the hose fittings on either end of the filter. Pull the connector off the filter in-pipe fitting. Repeat on the other fitting. Catch any remaining fuel in the drain pan.

Remove the nut on the fuel-filter bracket with a wrench. Remove the fuel filter.

Install the new fuel filter into the stud. Install and tighten the bracket nut to 89 pound-inches with a torque wrench.

Apply a few drops of engine oil onto the ends of the filter's in-pipe fitting. Connect the hoses to the filter. Press the connectors on the hoses onto the fittings until they snap into place, then pull them as if to pull them off. The connectors should remain securely snapped and not come off.

Remove the drain pan. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground. Connect the battery's negative cable.

Turn the ignition key to the "On" position for two seconds, then turn it to the "Off" position for 10 seconds. Turn the ignition key to the "On" position and check for fuel leaks.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses

  • Wrench set

  • Fuel-pressure gauge (Buick special tool J 34730-1A or equivalent)

  • Fuel-pressure gauge fitting (Buick special tool J 34730-262 or equivalent)

  • Shop rag

  • Fuel container

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Compressed air

  • Pound-inch torque wrench

  • Engine oil

 How to Change a Fuel Filter on a 2002 Buick Century

Removing the Fuel Filter

Open the hood to access the fuse panel. Pull the fuel-pump fuse with your fingers. The fuse box is labeled so you will know which fuse to pull; you can also check the owner's manual.

Start the car and allow it to stall. This will empty fuel from the lines.

Locate the fuel filter in front of the driver-side rear tire. It will be mounted on the frame rail.

Unbolt the inlet and outlet fuel lines from the filter with a crescent wrench. Pull the lines away from the filter.

Unbolt the filter from the frame rail with a socket wrench. Pull the filter away from the frame rail.

Installing the Fuel Filter

Bolt the new filter to the frame rail. Ensure the arrow points toward the front of the car, as this designates fuel flow. Tighten it with the socket wrench.

Push the inlet and outlet lines onto the filter. Tighten the lines with a crescent wrench.

Insert the fuse back in the fuse panel to supply power to the fuel pump. Close the hood.

Turn the ignition key to the "Start" position. Leave it in position for five seconds. Turn the key to the "Off" position and turn the key to "Start" again. This will prime the fuel pump.

Start the car and allow it to idle for five minutes. This allows the fuel to circulate through the fuel lines.

Items you will need

  • Crescent wrench

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Small drain pan

  • New fuel filter

 How to Change a Fuel Filter in the 2003 Buick Century

2003 Buick Century: Fuel Filter Removal

Lift the rear of the Century in the air using a 2-ton jack or one with greater capacity. Place jack stands beneath the rear suspension beam just on the inside of both rear tires. Using vehicle ramps to back the Century onto will eliminate the need for the jack and jack stands.

Open the fuel door on the Century. Remove the gas filler cap in order to relieve excess pressure from the fuel system. Open the hood of the vehicle and disconnect the negative battery lead from the battery, using an open end wrench to loosen the battery lead.

Lay beneath the rear bumper of the Buick and slide your body so that you are positioned directly underneath the fuel filter. The fuel filter on the 2003 Buick Century is located just in front of the fuel tank, bolted to the frame of the car.

Slide a drain pan beneath the fuel filter location. Insert a GM fuel filter removal tool into the fuel line, on the clipped end of the fuel filter. One end of the filter is clipped directly into the fuel line, while the second end is threaded together. Push the fuel filter tool into the fuel line to release the clip located inside the line. Pull the fuel filter out of the fuel line with your other hand. Allow the fuel filter to drain fuel into the drain pan, while the residual fuel pressure from the system is being let out.

Place one open end wrench on the hex head end of the fuel filter. Place second open end wrench on the hex head end of the fuel line. Push the fuel line wrench toward the front of the vehicle, while pulling the wrench on the fuel filter toward the rear of the Century. Pushing the ends of the wrenches in this direction will loosen the torque between the two joined ends. Continue this "scissor" like motion with the wrenches until the threaded end of the fuel filter comes free of the fuel line.

Remove the fuel filter mounting bolt from the bracket that is wrapped around the fuel filter. Use a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket to turn the bolt counterclockwise with one hand. Grip the fuel filter in your other hand so that it does not fall in the drain pan and splash gasoline onto you. Remove the fuel filter completely from the Century. Place the fuel filter in a drain pan for no less than 12 hours prior to disposing of the filter in your trash can.

2003 Buick Century: Fuel Filter Installation

Hold the new fuel filter against the frame of the car. Insert the fuel filter mounting bolt through the attached fuel filter bracket, and into the mounting hole in the frame. Tighten the fuel filter mounting bolt with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket, between 25 and 30 foot-pounds of torque. You do not need to over tighten this bolt.

Align the threaded end of the fuel line with the new fuel filter. Start the line onto the filter by hand, by turning the fuel line connector clockwise. Place an open end wrench on the fuel line connector, and place a second wrench on the fuel filter end. Turn the fuel line connector clockwise while holding the filter still with your other hand. Tighten the fuel line to the filter using approximately 40 foot-pounds of maximum torque. Do not over tighten the fuel line, or you risk damaging the internal threads in the line, rendering the fuel line useless.

Align the second fuel line with the fuel filter. Push the clipped end of the fuel line directly onto the fuel filter until it snaps into place. Test the connection by applying about 10-pounds of pulling force on the line to try to remove it. Remove the drain pan from underneath the car when you are done testing your connection.

Reinstall the gas filler cap and shut the fuel door on the Century. Reattach the negative battery lead to the battery, and tighten the lead using an open end wrench.

Set the vehicle on the ground in the opposite manner in which you raised it. If you used jack stands, lift the vehicle with the jack and remove the stands. If you used vehicle ramps, simply drive forward off of the ramps.

Items you will need

  • Open end wrench set

  • New fuel filter

  • GM fuel filter removal tool

  • Drain pan

  • 2-ton jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 vehicle ramps (replaces jack and stands if available)

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter in a 2005 Buick LeSabre

Removing the Old Fuel Filter

Park your LeSabre on level ground, lift the hood open and disconnect the ground (black) battery cable with a wrench.

Locate the fuel pressure test port on the fuel rail that feeds fuel to the injectors around the top of the engine. The test port is a small valve similar to the air valve on your LeSabre tires.

Wrap a shop rag around the test port and push the small valve stem with a small flat-head screwdriver. Use the shop rag to absorb the squirt of fuel as you depress the valve and remove the rag.

Loosen the fuel filler cap to relieve the fuel pressure inside the tank as well.

Lift the rear of your LeSabre with a floor jack, support it on two jack stands and block the front wheels with two chocks. Locate the fuel filter by following the fuel lines coming out of the fuel tank. You will see the filter mounted on the rail on the passenger's side.

Wrap a shop rag around the fitting of the fuel line connected to the side of the filter pointing to the front of your vehicle and disconnect the inlet fuel line. Press the two small tabs on the line fitting and pull the line off the filter nipple. Use the shop rag to absorb the residual fuel in the line.

Disconnect the outlet fuel line from the side of the filter pointing to the rear of the vehicle. Hold the nut molded at the end of the filter with a backup wrench and unfasten the line retaining nut with a flare wrench. Absorb any residual fuel in the line with the shop rag.

Loosen the bolt on the filter mounting bracket with a ratchet and socket and remove the filter from the vehicle.

Install the New Fuel Filter

Position the new filter in the bracket with the arrow on the filter pointing toward the front of the vehicle and tighten the bracket bolt with the ratchet and socket.

Coat a new O-ring with clean engine oil and install it on the fitting of the outlet fuel line. Connect the outlet fuel line to the filter fitting finger tight and tighten the nut by holding the nut molded at the end of the filter with a backup wrench. Tighten the line retaining nut with the flare wrench.

Connect the inlet fuel line to the filter by pushing the line fitting against the filter nipple. You should hear a clicking sound as the fitting engages the locking tabs on the filter.

Lower your LeSabre with the floor jack and remove the two chocks from the front wheels.

Tighten the fuel filler cap.

Connect the ground (black) battery cable with the wrench.

Switch the ignition key to the "On" position and check for fuel leaks at the fuel filter connections and turn off the ignition switch.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Shop rag

  • Small flat-head screwdriver

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 chocks

  • Flare wrench

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Engine oil

  • New O-ring

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a 2003 Buick LeSabre

Park the LeSabre in a safe location that is also well ventilated. Engage the parking brake and shut the engine off.

Unscrew the cap from the gas tank. This will depressurize the fuel system and prevent fuel from spraying when the fuel lines are removed from the fuel filter.

Jack up the rear end of the LeSabre and place the jack stands under the designated jacking points on both sides of the car. Then, release the jack slowly so that the car comes to a safe and secure rest on top of the jack stands. Leave the jack in place as a extra safety measure.

Crawl under the rear of the car and locate the fuel filter. The fuel filter is mounted to the frame in front of the gas tank. The fuel filter has a hex-head nut fuel line on one end and a quick-connect fuel line on the other end.

Slide the drip pan under the car so that it is directly under the fuel filter. Start with the quick-connect fuel line. Slide the end of the tool into the end of the fuel line. Then, press the tool inward until the fuel line unlocks from the fuel filter port. Then, pull out on the fuel line at the same time that the tool is pressed into the end of the fuel line.

Unscrew the hex-head fuel line nut on the other side of the fuel filter with a metric open-end wrench. Turn the hex nut counterclockwise to loosen. Once the nut is loose, unscrew it with your fingers and pull the fuel line out of the fuel filter.

Loosen the bracket from around the fuel filter by loosening the bracket bolt with a metric open-end wrench. Pull the fuel filter out of the bracket and place it in the drip pan.

Position the new fuel filter into the bracket. Then, tighten the clamp back over the fuel filter. Screw the hex-head fuel line nut onto the end of the fuel filter. Then, tighten the fuel line nut with the wrench.

Push the quick-connect fuel line straight onto the fuel filter pipe until the fuel line snaps onto the pipe. Then, slowly pull outward on the fuel line to ensure that it is secured to the fuel filter pipe.

Pull the drip pan out from under the LeSabre. Then, turn the ignition to the "Accessory" position for five seconds. Turn the key back to the "Off" position. Repeat this process three different times before cranking the engine. This allows the fuel pump to prime the new fuel filter up with gas.

Crank the LeSabre and inspect the fuel filter and the fuel lines for any signs of a gas leak. Then, turn the engine off.

Jack the LeSabre back up and pull the jack stands out. Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • Metric open-end wrench set

  • Fuel line quick-disconnect tool

  • New fuel filter

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Buick

Disconnect the fuel pump relay from the relay center on the instrument panel's right-hand side (on older models, the fuse is in the engine's fuse block). Start the engine and let it run until it stalls, then turn the key for another three seconds. This will relieve the pressure in the fuel system.

Raise up the rear end of the vehicle, at least on the side with the fuel tank. For more security, raise the entire rear end and support it on jack stands.

Twist the connectors on your Buick's fuel filter a quarter-turn in each direction to loosen any dirt and debris around the connections. Blow away the debris from each connector; compressed air will work.

Disconnect the connectors by squeezing the plastic tabs and pulling the connectors apart. Remove the filter's mounting bolt with a wrench, and unhook the tab on the frame's receptacle to remove the filter.

Make sure the male ends of both of the new filter's connectors are clean, and lubricate them with engine oil.

Position the replacement fuel filter so that the arrow printed on it points toward the engine. Connect the fuel lines to the filter, making sure the connections snap in place. Move the filter in place so you can secure it with the bolt.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Then reconnect the fuel pump relay and reconnect the cable. Turn the ignition switch to "On" with the air conditioning off, and wait two seconds for the fuel pump to work. This will pressurize the fuel system. You might need to repeat turning the ignition switch a couple of times, waiting five seconds in between.

Start the car's engine. As it runs, check for any leaks around the filter's connections.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Compressed air

  • Wrench

  • Fuel filter

  • Engine oil

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter on a 2003 Buick Regal

Removing the Fuel Filter

Park your Buick on level ground, release the parking brake and set the transmission to Neutral.

Detach the ground battery cable using a wrench. This is the black cable that connects to the post with the minus (-) sign next to it.

Loosen the fuel filler cap.

Open the hood and remove the engine cover using a ratchet and socket.

Locate the Schrader valve on the fuel rail that feeds the fuel injectors. The valve is similar to the air valve on your Regal's tires. Wrap a shop rag around the valve and depress the small stem inside with a small flat-head screwdriver. Use the rag to catch the spray of fuel that will come out of the valve. This will depressurize the fuel system.

Lift the rear of your car using a floor jack, position a jack stand on each side under the frame, lower your car over the stands for support and chock the front wheels.

Locate the fuel filter towards the center of the crossmember in front of the fuel tank. Wipe clean the inlet and outlet fuel lines in each end of the fuel filter, using a shop rag.

Wrap the shop rag around the fitting of the inlet fuel line, which connects the filter to the fuel tank. Press in the fitting tabs and pull the line off the filter nipple. Use the rag to absorb the residual fuel in the line.

Hold the hex nut molded into the outlet side of the fuel filter with an open-end wrench and disconnect the outlet fuel line retaining nut with a flare wrench. Use a shop rag to absorb the residual fuel in the line.

Loosen the filter mounting bracket with a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Remove the fuel filter from the vehicle.

Installing the New Filter

Install the new filter with the flow arrow on the filter’s body pointing towards the engine.

Secure the filter to its mounting bracket using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Apply a drop of new engine oil to the threads of the outlet fuel line retaining nut and fasten the retaining nut into the hex nut molded into the fuel filter. Hold the filter hex nut with the open-end wrench and tighten the fuel line retaining nut with the flare wrench.

Apply a drop of new engine oil to the fuel filter nipple and push the inlet fuel line fitting against the filter nipple until the fitting tabs snap in place. Slightly pull on the line fitting and make sure it has locked.

Lower your Regal and remove the floor jack and jack stands.

Apply the parking brakes and remove the chocks.

Tighten the fuel filler cap.

Attach the ground battery cable using the wrench.

Get behind the steering wheel and turn the ignition on for two seconds. Turn the ignition off for 10 seconds and then back on.

Check for fuel leaks at the fuel filter and then turn off the ignition.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Shop rags

  • Small flat-head screwdriver

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 chocks

  • Open-end wrench

  • Flare wrench

  • Ratchet extension

  • New engine oil

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a 1995 Buick Riviera

Relieve the Fuel System Pressure

Disconnect the ground battery cable using a wrench. This is the one hooked to the battery post with the negative (-) sign next to it.

Loosen the fuel filler cap.

Wrap a clean shop rag around the fuel pressure test port and connect a fuel pressure gauge with a bleeder hose to the test port located on the fuel rail. The rail is where the fuel injectors connect to and the test port is a valve similar to the air valve on your Riviera tires.

Insert the gauge bleed hose into a suitable container and open the gauge bleed valve. Allow the fuel to drain into the container and then close the gauge bleed valve.

Remove the pressure gauge from the test port.

Remove the Fuel Filter

Jack up the front, driver side wheel using a floor jack and support the vehicle on a jack stand.

Chock the rear wheels and apply the parking brake.

Locate the fuel filter under the driver side of the vehicle by the seating area and behind the engine.

Wrap a shop rag around the fitting of the line connected to the bottom of the filter and going toward the fuel tank. Then twist the fitting about one quarter turn in both directions, squeeze the plastic tabs of the fitting connector and pull the line off the filter. Use the rag to soak any residual fuel dripping from the line.

Hold the nut at the top of the filter (engine side) with a backup wrench and loosen the fuel line retaining nut with a flare wrench.

Finish unscrewing the line retaining nut by hand and back off the nut completely to separate the fuel line from the filter.

Unscrew the filter bracket from the frame rail using a ratchet and socket and remove the filter and bracket form the vehicle.

Install the New Filter

Slide the fuel filter from the bracket and mount the new filter on the bracket.

Install the fuel filter and bracket assembly on the frame rail using the ratchet and socket.

Apply a light coat of clean engine oil to the nipple at the bottom of the filter and the nut at the top of the filter.

Start the line retaining nut at the top of the filter by hand. Then hold the filter nut with the backup wrench and tighten the line retaining nut with the flare wrench.

Push the fitting of the line coming from the tank against the plastic connector on the nipple at the bottom of the filter. You should hear a click when the fitting locks on the connector. Pull the fitting slightly to verify the line has locked.

Lower your Buick using the floor jack and remove the chocks from the rear wheels.

Tighten the fuel filler cap.

Connect the ground battery cable using the wrench.

Rotate the ignition key to the On position for 2 seconds and then back to Off for 5 seconds. Rotate the ignition key again to the On position to pressurize the fuel system and check for fuel leaks at the fuel filter.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Clean shop rags

  • Fuel pressure gauge

  • Container

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • 2 chocks

  • Flare wrench

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Clean engine oil