How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Pontiac Sunfire

by John Stevens J.D.

A fuel filter is one of the most overlooked, yet most important, engine components. Gasoline contains sediments which can clog the passageways within the Sunfire's fuel injection delivery system. When a Sunfire's fuel filter becomes clogged, the vehicle's performance will seem sluggish and the engine may experience difficult starting and idling due to a insufficient fuel supply. Unlike most vehicles, where the fuel filter is located under the hood, the Sunfire's fuel filter is actually located underneath the vehicle. Thankfully, accessing the fuel filter is the hardest part of replacing the fuel filter.

Step 1

Place one wheel chock in front of each of the Sunfire's front tires. Lift the rear of the Sunfire with a floor jack. Then support the weight of the vehicle with one jack stand placed under each rear axle.

Step 2

Locate the fuel filter. The fuel filter is a metal cylindrical piece located underneath the Sunfire on the passenger's side of the fuel tank.

Step 3

Note that one end of the fuel filter has a nut, while the other end has a clip. Use a wrench to remove the portion of the fuel line which enters the side of the fuel filter which has the nut.

Step 4

Allow any fuel which is present in the line to drain into a bucket. Use a tool for quick connect fittings to release the clip on the opposite side of the fuel filter. The quick connect fitting tool is readily available at most auto parts stores, and can sometimes be rented instead of purchased. Once the fitting is released, pull the fuel line away from the filter.

Step 5

Press the end of the new fuel filter that has the clip onto the fuel line until the line clicks into place. Then use a wrench to tighten the end of the other fuel line to the fuel filter.

Step 6

Raise the back of the Sunfire with the floor jack.Remove the jack stands from underneath the axles. Then lower the Sunfire with the floor jack and remove the wheel chocks to complete the installation.

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