How to Change a Fuel Filter

Attaching Your New Fuel Filter

Now you're ready to install the new filter. Most filters will have an arrow indicating the direction fuel should flow through them, so make sure you don't install the filter backward. In some cases, the fuel filter will only attach to the fuel lines in a certain direction, so putting the filter on backward isn't a problem. Otherwise, you may need to trace the fuel lines to see if they lead to the engine or toward the fuel tank in order to determine the installation direction. Better yet, check the arrows on your old filter before you remove it and install the new filter the same way.

Once you've secured the filter to the mounting bracket, reattach the fuel lines using any new hardware included with the filter. You might be tempted to reuse clips that held fuel lines to the old filter, but those clips will weaken over time and can create a poor seal between the filter and the fuel lines.

Speaking of fuel lines, take the time to check them closely; if the lines are old and cracking, you'll need to replace them. Once the new filter is in place, simply replace the fuel pump fuse, reattach the negative battery terminal and start the engine. Your car might not start up right away, but don't be alarmed. The pressure in the fuel lines was released during the installation of the new filter, and you'll probably need to try to start the car several times before the pressure rebuilds and your engine can start.

After the car is running, check for leaks, clean up any fuel that spilled during the installation process and pat yourself on the back for properly maintaining your car's fuel system.

Keep reading for more tips on taking good care of your car.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


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