How to Locate the Fuel Filter

by Hans Fredrick

The fuel filter is an important part of the overall fuel delivery system in any vehicle. When a driver presses on the accelerator in his car, he is increasing the fuel and air that is fed into the engine to increase combustion. Modern cars rely on fuel injectors to provide the fuel to the engine. These injectors have tiny openings that can become plugged if there are any particulates in the fuel. The job of the fuel filter is to screen all fuel and remove such particulates before the fuel reaches the injection system.

Ensure that the vehicle is off. Work only in a well-ventilated area in case fuel or fuel fumes escape while you examine or work on the fuel system.

Look at your replacement fuel filter so that you know what you are looking for. Fuel filters need to be changed regularly, so the most common time to look for the filter is when it is time for it to be changed. Have the replacement part ready, and know what it looks like. That way, when you spot the filter, you will know that you're looking at the correct part. If you do not have a spare fuel filter for your car but still want to find the filter, you should consult with a repair or maintenance manual that will indicate where the filter is located.

Check your car's manual to see if it mentions where the fuel filter is located. Because changing a fuel filter is a part of regular maintenance, its location may be listed in the standard manual.

Check under the hood for the fuel filter. If there are any plastic sheaths that cover most of the engine, remove them. Look for a round filter that approximates the one that you have bought as a replacement. There will be a fuel line coming into the filter. You can recognize the fuel line, because it is soft and flexible, and approximately an inch thick.

Check under the vehicle towards the rear of the body. Find the fuel tank, and then begin tracing the fuel line forward toward the engine of the car. Somewhere along that line, you should find the fuel filter.


  • check If you are looking for a fuel filter without a comparison filter, but do not find anything that looks like a filter in the locations mentioned above, you may have an in-tank fuel filter. Replacing a fuel filter that is located in the tank itself is a job for a mechanic.
  • check The fuel filter may have a shield of some kind around it. Keep that in mind when looking for it. It may not look exactly like the replacement filter you bought, but will need to be close to the same size.

About the Author

Hans Fredrick has been busy in the online writing world since 2005. He has written on diverse topics ranging from career advice for actors to tips for motorcycle maintenance. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Refuelling by gasoline of the modern car image by terex from