An in-line fuel filter (pictured above) connects to the main line of the fuel system. To replace an in-tank fuel filter, though, will require lowering the fuel tank to remove the fuel pump assembly. If your filter is located in a hard-to-reach place, it’s probably better to get a professional do the work. These jobs do require considerable expertise.
The filter may be in the engine compartment, mounted on the firewall, under the vehicle, mounted on the frame near the driver's side, or close to the fuel tank. If you don't see the filter, you can follow the main fuel line from the engine towards the fuel tank.
Let’s look at how to replace the easier in-line fuel filter.
New fuel filter, rags, line wrench and screwdrivers.
First, you need to relieve the pressure in the fuel line, before disconnecting it. To do this, loosen your petrol cap and then remove the fuel pump fuse. Every car has a small fuse panel, either under the hood or under the dashboard. On the lid of the box, you should find a description for which fuse goes where. After removing, make sure that your gear is in neutral, handbrake is up and then go ahead and start your engine.
Let it idle until it stalls. Now you’re ready to disconnect the fuel line.
Disconnect the negative (black) battery cable. Clean the fittings on both fuel lines connected to the filter, to avoid contamination. Make a note of how the old filter is connected (they usually have arrows printed on the case). The new one must be installed the same way.
Disconnect the fuel lines. This could involve removing hairpin clips or unscrewing the nuts which hold the lines in place. If there’s a clamp or bracket holding the filter in place, remove this as well. Follow the same steps in reverse order to install the new filter and reconnect the fuel lines.
Reconnect the battery, place the fuel pump fuse back into its slot and start the car. Check for any leaks around the filter while the car runs.
Congratulations! Your car is almost serviced. All that remains is topping up your brake fluid, water, steering fluid and engine coolant, which shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. You could also check your spark plugs, brakes, shocks and rotate your tyres if you have the means to do so.