Replace the fuel filter on your car once a year or every 12, 000 miles. On General Motors cars and some others, the filter is in the carburetor behind the fuel-line fitting. Otherwise it’s in a fuel line; follow the fuel line away from the carburetor or fuel-injection unit until you find the canister. On some Japanese cars, the filter (or a second filter to replace) is just forward of the gas tank.
Caution: When working with the fuel filter, let the engine cool, disconnect the battery cables, and don’t smoke.
Filter in carburetor: Use a wrench to hold the fuel-inlet fitting, a second wrench to open the fuel-line nut. Unscrew the fitting. Catch the filter and a coil spring as they come out. Insert the spring, then a new filter; thread in the fitting and reconnect the fuel line.
In line filter held by clamps: Using special pliers on spring-wire clamps, loosen or move the clamps away from the filter. Cut apart crimp clamps with cutting pliers and replace with a spring-wire or worm-drive clamp of the same size. Work the filter necks free of the hoses. Slide the new clamps out to the hoses. Work the necks of the new filter into the hoses, then center the clamps over the necks; tighten.
Filter at carburetor. Disconnect the fuel hose at the filter. Use a wrench to unscrew the old filter and thread on a new one. Reconnect the hose.
In-fine-filter held by threaded fittings: Hold the filter’s hex flange with one wrench, loosen the fuel-line fittings with a second wrench. Use new sealing washers on the fittings.
Filter on fuel pump: Use a fabric band oil-filter wrench to remove the cover, lift out the old element, and install a new one. Hand tighten the cover; if necessary, use a wrench.
Finally, wipe up any spilled fuel, reconnect the battery cable, run the engine, and check for leaks.