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Ask the mechanic: how do I change a fuel filter?

Over time, your vehicle's fuel filter can become clogged with dirt or rust, as well as any other debris that enters the fuel line. Signs that your fuel filter has become obstructed can include your vehicle lagging or stalling. The general rule amongst mechanics is that your fuel filter should be changed at least once a year.

Here are some simple tips to help you change your fuel filter:

1. How to find the fuel filter

Your vehicle's manual will highlight the exact position of your fuel filter. Before you change your filter, it is essential to gather a few items to assist in removing it, such as some dry rags, tools, an extra hose (for filters that require a standard hose and screw clamps) and the new fuel filter.

2. Steps to prepare your fuel pump before replacing the filter

If you have an electric fuel pump, you need to initially remove the fuel pump fuse, or alternatively the relay in your vehicle's fuse box. Once completed, you then need to start the engine of your vehicle and let the motor run until it stops naturally. This will remove any fuel from the line. With a non-electric fuel pump, you can't release the fuel from the line this way, but as there is less pressure, you will not lose much fuel.

3. How to remove and replace your filter

Once you've located the filter, lay a rag down to collect any spillage during the removal process, then follow your vehicle's manual on how to remove the old filter. After you've finished this step, replace the old filter with the new, and carefully assess whether it's facing the right direction. After changing the filter, also check your fuel line hose - if it's deteriorated, change this and clamp it securely. If your vehicle has an electric fuel pump, you will also need to reinstall your pump fuse.

Try to start the engine. It may take a couple of attempts while the fuel line is filling up.

If you have any problems, contact our expert Sydney mechanics at Reliance Auto Centre in Chatswood.

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