Impurities are the major enemies of your car’s engine. The fuel filter is in charge to keep those outside from gasoline and diesel. Or else you may end up with the carburetor clogged. A messed-up fuel filter is the last thing you want to deal with since it can affect engine in a worse way.
Sometimes it can also cause harm to the fuel injector. So, giving a good shot on learning the right way of how to clean fuel filter of your car is a priority that you should take seriously. Let’s help you with that today…
Tools & Materials You Need
- A huge jar or bucket.
- Adjustable wrench.
- Flathead screwdriver.
- Flaring tool
- Hose clamps.
- Pressurized carburetor cleaner.
- A good pair of work gloves.
- Safety goggles.
- Jack and stand (optional)
Fuel System’s Pressure Relieving
Staring notes on how to clean car fuel filter is regarding pressure of the system. You need to figure out fuse location through the manual first. After that, run your engine for a couple of minutes.
In some cases, you will notice a sputtering out even before this time period. If so, then the pressure must be relieved completely. However, sometimes the sputter has no relation with pressure. So, you still need to continue the process for those two minutes.
Also, make sure you have the car in a well-ventilated area. The surface needs to be on level as well.
Negative Terminal Connection Should Be Off
Open the hood of your car after turning it off. You need to figure out the negative terminal of battery at this point. A wrench will help you to remove the cable here. Simply tuck that cable on the battery’s side. This will help to avoid any accidental connection with terminals.
Of course, the negative terminal will have a minus sign marked for you to identify it. The plus marked one is positive terminal.
In some cases, there are colors to identify the positive and negative terminals. Usually, a black terminal is a negative one. You must disconnect the battery to avoid any sparks. Or else it will ignite the fumes and residue causing huge trouble.
Find Out the Fuel Filter’s Location
Now it’s time to find the fuel filter’s location. It should be mentioned in the owner’s manual. So, you better check it there.
In general cases, it stays somewhere with the fuel line. Usually, the spot is between the gas tank and engine. Another common spot is past the fuel pump located under your car. While in some models, you will discover the housing in engine bay.
Jacking Up the Car
You need to place a jack right under the jack point of your vehicle, any one would do. Next, simply pump the handle or in some cases, twist it. This will result in raising your car.
The stand needs to be right beneath car where jack is situated. Now gradually let jack get lower so that the car sits over it. The information regarding your car’s jack points will be inside manual once again, don’t forget to check it.
It’s a good idea to not rely on a jack only for holding the entire weight of your vehicle. Also, you should use a jar or bucket for catching all the fuel that is supposed to spill out. These usually come from the fuel lines.
Detaching the Fuel Lines
Depending on what model you are using, the clips holding lines of filter would vary. So, you need to get that information from the manual and use either a screwdriver or your hands to pull or pop them out.
Once you are done detaching fuel line’s clips, move on to removing the line itself. A wrench or hose clamp will help here. On either end of the filter, you need to pop those lines off carefully.
Make sure you are angling the lines towards earlier placed bucket or jar. This way while removing the lines, you will easily catch those spilling gas drips without creating a mess. Also, don’t forget to wear eyewear and gloves when working with fuel lines.
Getting the Filter Out
Now you need to slide the filter from its bracket gradually. In some cases, it needs to loosen bolts for removing. Since that’s how the filter stays connected to its place. Also, make sure you note the spot of filter in your mind.
So that when you reinstall it, the placement isn’t wrong by any chance. Now take out all the gas remaining from filter. Tap both nozzles over a container and the gas should spill out. Now use a cleaner inside a special container. This is basically pressurized one with small application straw. Use it to spray the interior of the nozzle.
Cleaning the Filter
Finally, we are in the main part of how to clean fuel filter. After spraying, you want to gently tap on the filter against side of container. This is basically the container you used for getting all spilled gas.
This way you’ll get all the spray and lose debris out from each nozzle. Go for another spray after this. And again, tap the debris. Once everything looks nicely clean, you want to air-dry the filter. Leave it dry for at least one hour.
Fit the Filter Back to Its Place
Now you need to put the filter back to its original spot. Also, make sure to replace bolts if the condition looks worse. You also want to get the lines back inside each nozzle carefully. Don’t forget to connect those lines tightly. So that there is no chance of leaking. Now use the clips you detached earlier for fastening lines with nozzles.
At this point, you can also bring the car low and reconnect battery as well as fuse. A wrench will help you to reconnect the negative terminal to cable. If there’s a need, go for a fuel pump fuse replacement.
Checking for Leaks
Once the battery and fuse are reconnected check engine by turning it on. Let it run for a few minutes. The fuel system’s pressure needs a reestablishment here. So, taking some time or trial for restarting is pretty much normal.
As soon as the engine runs, check under your car for leaks. If there are any, you need to disconnect battery and jack the car up once again. Then simply tighten fuel lines that are usually the main reason behind leaking.
If there’s a problem with engine start-up, check the fuse. Also, the dashboard and dim light may come up with a problem because your battery needs a jump. In case, the battery and fuse are alright, then go for filter reinstallation. If none of the troubleshooting works, contact a mechanic without delay.
Handling the Old Gas
If there’s no bad contaminant inside the old gas, you can use it for other gas equipment or lawnmower. If there is noticeable debris and it seems unusable, you’ll need to pour the gas inside a gasoline container.
Next, simply carry it to a disposal center. Some automobile shop also agrees to handle the gas for you. So, don’t forget to ask your local automobile shops and maybe you’ll get a free disposal opportunity.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace a Fuel Filter?
Cleaning a fuel filter is unfortunately not possible with some specific models. Usually, these are more compatible with replacement. Especially if the model uses a paper fuel filter.
So, in such a case, you should not avoid a replacement and try cleaning. Or else there’s a good chance of risking your engine’s performance and longevity. In some cases, the damage is pretty expensive. If the injector gets clogged, there will be very significant harm to your engine. So, don’t take a chance and go for a replacement when its recommended. After al these things you have to wash your hands with mechanics hand cleaner properly.
And that was our guide on how to clean fuel filter without any professional experience. Well, this isn’t a good idea if you are not sure about handling car components. Also, it’s best to call a mechanic if there’s any problem faced during the process.
Don’t try to handle a fuel filter that looks too worse and in a severely poor condition. Instead, you should go for a replacement since that’s quite unhealthy for your engine’s wellbeing. Good Luck!