Fuel filter change can be tricky. Any time you are dealing with raw fuel there is a risk of fire. Modern vehicles have fuel systems that are under quite a bit of pressure so when you loosen the fittings fuel can spray out and get all over you. Before you consider replacing your fuel filter yourself you need to have instructions to reduce the danger. Keep reading to learn more.
What you might have heard: "This has always been an easy job."... "You just need a screwdriver." or "Easy, no-mess money saver!"
The truth: This USED to be a very easy job. On older vehicles it was right in the engine compartment and was easy to get to and change.
On cars built since the 80's and 90's this has become a much more difficult job. Most of them are now located under the car on the frame rail and some are located inside the gas tank, so if you are going to try this job yourself make sure you know where it is located. You might even want to go buy one first so you know what it looks like.
Doing this job on today's cars sometimes takes a few tools. In order to remove some of them you need to have the right sized wrenches, while others require no tools at all...they have "quick disconnect" fittings. If you buy the new part first then you can see which type of fittings yours has so you can be prepared with the right tools if needed.
You need to find out where the fuel pressure relief valve is on your vehicle. If you don't relieve the pressure then when you go to loosen the fittings fuel will spray everywhere.
You can find an online repair manual here that will show you how to relieve the fuel pressure. It is very important to have some type of container to catch any gas that might leak out. I usually use latex type gloves (available at most auto parts stores) to keep the gas off of my hands.
In my opinion a fuel filter change is best left to a professional. This is an easy job for someone with a lift as well as the tools and experience necessary to know how each one comes off. Most shops should change yours for fairly cheap.
If you still want to try this job then I recommend that you watch the above video guide on replacing a fuel filter. It is vehicle specific, but you will be able to see the general principles that apply to any car.