How to Change a Fuel Filter

Preparing Your Car for a Fuel Filter Change

Regardless of how complicated the job may be, safety should always be your first priority if you decide to take on the job yourself. Even if you're careful, changing your fuel filter will release flammable fumes and small amounts of fuel. Accordingly, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and clean up any fuel spills as quickly as possible. Ideally, you should replace your fuel filter outdoors, since fuel fumes are heavier than air, they can accumulate in enclosed spaces and pose a fire hazard.

In addition, wear safety goggles and disposable nitrile gloves to keep gasoline from getting into your eyes or being absorbed by your skin. Nitrile gloves are a bit more expensive than latex gloves, but they offer much better protection from solvents like gasoline, making them ideal for the job. And of course, don't smoke or work near open flames like pilot lights when you're working on your car's fuel system. Keeping a fire extinguisher nearby is a great idea as well.

Depending on the location of your car's fuel filter, you may also need to put your car on jack stands before you can access the filter. If this is the case, apply your car's parking brake and place blocks against the wheels that will remain in contact with the ground. The last thing you want is for your car to start rolling while you're underneath it. Make sure to consult your car's owner manual to determine the safest place to apply the jack. Once you've got the car high enough in the air, replace the car's jack with jack stands. Otherwise, you'll be put at risk if your jack fails during the job. Once you've safely put your car on jack stands, you're ready to remove the old fuel filter. Read on to find out how.