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How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a Firebird

by Tonya Cunningham

Your Pontiac Firebird's fuel filter is one of the most important components of the engine. The fuel filter is responsible for weeding out sediment, dirt, harmful particles and other grime that would otherwise harm your engine. A clean fuel filter keeps your vehicle running on optimum gas mileage with a smooth drive. Although it is easy to miss the signs that a fuel filter is due to be changed, an easy way to stay on top of its maintenance is to commit to changing it every 30,000 miles.

Relieve the pressure in your fuel system by running the engine until it stalls out and unplugging the fuel-system fuse. The fuel relay fuse is located in your engine's fuse box.

Disconnect your battery's black (negative) cable beneath the hood of your car. This will prevent any accidental start-ups or sparks, a hazardous situation while working with the fuel system.

Raise your vehicle using a car jack supported by jack stands. It is important to wait until the engine is cool before beginning to work on your vehicle, so this step may require a brief waiting period before moving on to replace the filter.

Disconnect the old fuel filter by using needle-nose pliers to squeeze the end clamps. The filter should slide out easily and you can gently lower it to the ground, allowing excess fuel to drip into the pan. Be sure you are wearing your glasses, to avoid eye injury from fuel splatter.

Check the fuel line's O-rings for any damage or wear-down. If the O-rings are not in good condition, replace these before mounting the new filter.

Mount the new fuel filter onto the supporting brackets. The filter should comfortably rest back into the same place that the old filter occupied. There is a threaded fitting at the spot where the fuel line meets the filter. Be sure this fitting is connected to the fuel filter outlet.

Reconnect the fastener clamps to secure the filter's mount. Many filters will have arrows showing where the fasteners go, as well as what direction the filter should be facing.

Lower the car to ground level before reattaching the battery cable and fuel-system fuse. Use caution to ensure that no children or animals are nearby when you are lowering the car.

Refuel the car. Then turn the ignition key several times, waiting a few seconds between each try. Since it takes time for fuel to flow through the system, you will probably not have a successful start until the fourth or fifth try. This is a normal part of the refueling process, and once your engine starts, your fuel filter change is complete.

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About the Author

Born and raised in western New York, Tonya Cunningham attended Niagara University until 1992 as a pre-law student. Today, Cunningham is a legal assistant and freelance writer looking forward to the completion of her first book.

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