Where is the fuel filter located? This part, which needs to be replaced periodically, can be found in the engine compartment of some vehicles, and underneath the body on most, halfway between the front and rear wheels. Unfortunately, it may be located beneath the engine, which will require you to jack the vehicle to change the filter.
The Importance of Fuel Filters
The fuel filter is an integral part of the fuel system. It removes impurities that may have gotten into the gas tank. Impurities can get into gasoline if there is a leak or a source of contaminants in the underground tanks at a service station, though that is very rare today. Impurities may also get into the gas tank of your vehicle because the system is not closed. Impurities in a fuel tank include water and, if your vehicle has a metal fuel tank, rust. Over the years, condensation buildup in the fuel tank may cause the tank to rust, though this is also rare.
Fuel filters should be changed every 30,000 miles to provide optimal protection to your engine and fuel system. When a fuel filter clogs, it reduces the amount of fuel that gets through to the carburetor or the fuel injectors. You'll notice this as a lack of power or a tendency for the engine to sputter. Be aware that some fuel filters have a built-in bypass system that lets fuel skip the filter on its way to the engine if the fuel filter is too dirty. This is the equivalent of not having a fuel filter at all, and it can lead to costly engine repairs if impurities build up in fuel lines, the carburetor or the injectors.
Finding the Fuel Filter
Some filters are very easy to reach, others are not. The year, make and model of the vehicle determines the fuel filter location.
Most vehicles have one fuel filter. This fuel filter is located underneath the vehicle on the frame of the vehicle. In some vehicles with only one fuel filter, the fuel filter may be located in the engine compartment on or near the firewall. If the filter is on the frame, you'll need to jack up the vehicle to change it. If the filter is mounted on the firewall, note the direction in which it needs to be removed. You may still have to jack the vehicle to take the filter out without damaging it or the fuel lines.
Some high-performance vehicles have two fuel filters. If your vehicle has two fuel filters, one is located in the fuel tank and the other is located on the frame underneath the vehicle or on the fire wall. The fuel filter in the gas tank should be changed whenever you replace the fuel pump, or if you need to remove the fuel tank for any reason.