Auto Systems and Repair: Fuel Filter Replacement
Many manufacturers don't specify a replacement interval, but it's wise to replace the fuel filter at every 30,000 mile service.
If low-quality fuel has been used or if there have been any drivability problems related to a loss of power, the fuel filter should be replaced.
The main fuel filter can be located under in the engine compartment, under the vehicle or in the fuel tank.
To replace the fuel filter, the engine must be off and cool. The lines to the filter are opened so gas can drain out of the old filter. Then, a new filter is installed and the engine is "turned over" until air is removed from the fuel lines.
Mechanics' Corner: More Technical Detail
Many vehicles also use a screen- or "sock"-type filter in the fuel tank. Any restriction at this or the main fuel filter location can cause performance issues such as poor performance when climbing hills or under acceleration. Blocked fuel filters can cause engine moaning noises. Due to extended replacement intervals, fuel filters tend to be overlooked during diagnostic procedures.