Replacing the fuel filter on most types of cars is relatively easy.
It’s necessary to replace the fuel filter periodically so that it continues to trap any dirt in the fuel before it can get to the engine.
A clogged filter can reduce fuel pressure, causing your vehicle to lose power. It can also damage the electric fuel pump over time.
Generally, the fuel filter should be replaced every two years or at 30,000 km intervals.
Please note, the following instructions are for a petrol car only.
1. Locate the electric fuel pump fuse
Consult the user manual to locate the fuse box that contains the electric fuel pump fuse.
On most vehicles, it’s the interior fuse box.
The manufacturer’s website might be able to help if you no longer have the user manual.
2. Disable the electric fuel pump
There should be a diagram on the fuse box cover or in the user manual so you can identify which fuse is for the electric fuel pump.
Using a pair of long-nose pliers or tweezers remove the fuse so the electric fuel pump is disengaged.
3. Start the engine to relieve the fuel line pressure
Make sure the handbrake is on and the car is in neutral.
Start the engine so that the fuel is pushed through the fuel line and into the engine without any more being pumped in by the fuel pump.
This will relieve the pressure and drain the line.
4. Run the engine for a minute
The engine won’t run very long with limited fuel, so it might cut out before one minute has passed.
This is okay.
If the engine won’t start, there wasn’t enough fuel pressure in the fuel line to get it going.
This indicates that the pressure is already relieved enough.
Once the engine is off, reinsert the fuel pump fuse.
5. Disconnect the battery
You won’t need to start the car again until the fuel filter has been replaced, so disconnect the battery for safety.
It’s wise to disconnect the battery before making repairs or doing maintenance on your vehicle, especially if you’re going to be under the car.
6. Locate the fuel filter
Consult your user manual or the car maker’s website to find the location of your fuel filter.
The most common location is under the car, along the fuel line.
You might need to jack the car up to access it.
Sometimes the fuel filter is in the engine bay or accessed from inside the vehicle.
7. Remove the clips holding the fuel filter
Place a bucket or pan under the filter before removing it to avoid fuel dripping on your driveway.
Remove the two clips holding the fuel filter in place.
They’re usually plastic, so it’s fairly common for them to break when removed.
It’s a good idea to buy replacement clips when you buy a new filter, just in case.
8. Remove the fuel lines
Remove the two fuel lines from either end of the filter.
The nozzles on the filter can be quite long, so this might take some wriggling.
Tip the ends of the fuel lines towards the bucket as they come off to catch any leftover fuel.
Gloves and eye protection are recommended.
9. Remove the fuel filter from its bracket
Remove the fuel filter from its bracket.
It should slide out easily enough but might only go in one direction.
You can pull the bracket open a bit to make this easier.
The new filter needs to go in the same direction.
Take a photo of the filter before you remove it, so you can double-check how it was inserted later if necessary.
10. Compare the old filter to the new one
Compare the old filter to the new one to make sure they’re the same diameter with the same length nozzles on either end.
If there’s a size difference, the new filter might not fit in the bracket and the fuel line might not attach properly.
11. Insert the new fuel filter into the bracket
Insert the new filter into the bracket in the same direction as the old one.
If you have to force it, it might be too large.
Some filters have arrows on them to indicate the flow of the fuel to avoid any mistakes.
The fuel should naturally run from the fuel pump towards the engine.
12. Reattach the fuel lines and redo the clips
Reattach the fuel lines to the nozzles snugly on either end and refasten the two clips.
If the clips break and you don’t have new ones, don’t drive your vehicle until you replace them.
You’d be risking a fuel leak.
Fuel filters from Masterparts
If you need to replace the fuel filter on your car, we can help.
At Masterparts, we stock replacement fuel filters for almost all vehicle models – old and new – on our roads.
The four trusted brands we stock are Febi, KS, Wix Filters and Euromann.