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How to Replace a Car’s Fuel Filter Guide

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How to Replace a Car’s Fuel Filter Guide


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The fuel system of an engine equipped with a carburetor uses one of three types of filters to trap contaminating material that may be present in gasoline because of dirt in the vehicle fuel tank or dirt in the tanks of gasoline stations. Dirt that enters the carburetor can block passages, im­peding the flow of fuel to the engine and resulting in poor engine per­formance.

The three types of fuel filters have the following characteristics:

One type of filter, which is completely visible, is connected to and is part of the fuel line. This is called an in-line fuel filter.

Another type of filter, also visible, is screwed into the carburetor inlet. This is also called an in-line fuel filter.

The third type of fuel filter is inside the carburetor inlet. This is called an internal fuel filter.

If a fuel filter has not been replaced for some time in an engine that hesitates on acceleration and/or idles rough, replacing it now may solve the problem. Here is how to do this job for each of the three types of filters:

In-Line Filter #1

  • With the engine cold, place a rag under the fuel filter to catch gasoline that may drip as you remove the part.
  • Using pliers or a screwdriver, release the clamps.
  • Pull hoses from the fuel line to release the filter.
  • Note the arrow on the new fuel filter that shows the direction of fuel flow. Place the filter in position with the arrow pointing to­ward the carburetor.
  • Attach hoses to the fuel line and slide clamps in place to secure the filter to the fuel line.
  • Remove the rag and start the engine. With the engine running at idle, check around filter hoses to make sure that no gasoline is leaking.

In-Line Filter #2

  • Stuff a rag under the filter to catch gasoline that may drip.
  • Remove the air-filter housing from the carburetor.
  • Unscrew the fuel line from the fuel filter.
  • Unscrew the filter from the carburetor.
  • Screw in and tighten the new filter, attach the fuel line, remove the rag, start the engine, and check to make sure that no gasoline is dripping.

Internal Filter:

  • Stuff a rag under the fuel line at the carburetor inlet to catch gaso­line that may drip.
  • Remove the air-filter housing from the carburetor.
  • Unscrew the fuel line from the carburetor inlet.
  • Unscrew the large nut that holds the filter inside the carburetor inlet. The filter, which is equipped with a spring, will pop out. Discard the filter, but hold onto the spring. New fuel fil­ters usually don’t come with new springs.
  • Insert the new filter into the carburetor inlet so that it presses against the spring.
  • Screw on the large retaining nut. Turn the nut as far as you can by hand, then tighten it with a wrench.
  • Attach and secure the fuel line, remove the rag, and start the en­gine. With the engine running at idle, check around the fuel line to make sure that no gasoline is leaking.

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