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BMW E39 Fuel Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Fuel Filter Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$25

Talent:

***

Tools:

Door panel removal tool, 5mm Allen head, 8mm, 10mm socket with ratchet, flat head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Fuel filter

Hot Tip:

Run the engine with the fuel pump fuse out of it to depressurize the fuel system

Performance Gain:

Fix power loss problems from restricted fuel filter

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel filter hoses at the same time.

Whenever you fill up your fuel tank you are also adding dirt and water to your fuel system. American fuel distribution is not the cleanest way to distribute clean, low water content fuel. This dirt and water eventually gets picked up by the fuel pump through the strainer. In order to protect the dirt from reaching the more delicate fuel injectors a fuel filter is put in-line with the supply lines. The job of the fuel filter is to trap contaminates in the filter element. Eventually the fuel filter will restrict fuel flow. This will lower your cars performance and if it's severe enough may cause the check engine light to come on.

You should replace your fuel filter every two years. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to remove your fuel filter so you can replace it. You do not need to remove the left side front wheel but it does give you more room to work. We have removed the wheel for photographic purposes.

Jack up your vehicle and support it on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

This photo illustrates the back of the driver side front wheel well.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the back of the driver side front wheel well. Remove the two 8mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the wheel well panel to the lower panel.

Working underneath the car at the inner part of the lower panel remove the two 8mm screws (green arrows) and the one 10mm fasteners (yellow arrow) towards the back of the panel.
Figure 2

Working underneath the car at the inner part of the lower panel remove the two 8mm screws (green arrows) and the one 10mm fasteners (yellow arrow) towards the back of the panel. The exhaust on this car has been removed for photographic purposes.

This photo illustrates the back of the lower panel.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the back of the lower panel. Remove the single 10mm fastener (green arrow) that faces downward.

Working at the outer edge of the lower panel use a door panel removal tool to pop out the 5 plastic rivets (green arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the outer edge of the lower panel use a door panel removal tool to pop out the 5 plastic rivets (green arrows).

Remove the lower panel and locate the fuel filter.
Figure 5

Remove the lower panel and locate the fuel filter. Loosen the four adjustable hose clamps (green arrows) that hold the fuel filter lines onto the fuel filter and fuel lines. I would suggest discarding the old clamps and replacing them with new ones.

Remove the 5mm Allen head fastener (green arrow) that mounts the fuel filter to the body.
Figure 6

Remove the 5mm Allen head fastener (green arrow) that mounts the fuel filter to the body.

Give the fuel filter a twist to break it loose from the hoses and pull out the hoses.
Figure 7

Give the fuel filter a twist to break it loose from the hoses and pull out the hoses. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedures. Fit the fuel filter in the fuel hoses and tighten the clamps Fit the mounting bracket around the fuel filter and tighten down to the body. Fit the lower panel and tighten fasteners and apply plastic rivets to secure the panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
moonlight Comments: 2001 ble 530I runs good for most days starts running rough then dies let it set for a while then restarts goes for a while then same thing all over again let it set overnight it runs fine for awhile no codes on engine new coils and plugs pulling what's left of my hair out
October 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be an issue with the fuel pump. I would perform a fuel delivery system test. Check fuel pressure, volume and quality.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
project.fuelfilter Comments: Do you remove the fuel pump fuses first before you start the engine or do you start the engine first and remove the fuses? What is best practice and safe to the car?
Is it necessary to disconnect the negative terminal battery cable as well?
July 17, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove fuse, start engine, allow to stall. Disconnecting battery is a good idea as well. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bmw528ie39 Comments: what's the part number for the fuel injection clamps?
May 27, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers, I am the technical question person.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dodgy Haro Comments: Should one use fuel hose clamps on the fuel lines when removing the filter here? Is fuel stored under high pressure and at risk of blowing out if this is not done?
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Always use fuel injection clamps on all fuel lines and hoses. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Tue 11/21/2017 02:06:20 AM