A common part of basic maintenance that often goes over looked
is replacing the fuel filter. In this article, we
will go over the steps involved in replacing the filter. Itís
recommended that you replace the filter every 80,000 miles. A new fuel
filter ensures that a clean fuel supply reaches the fuel injectors. If the
fuel filter is clogged, it can cause your car to surge during acceleration,
poor fuel economy, and the car may not even start at all.
This article is
intended for the BMW E36 3 Series, however it applies to nearly every other
fuel injected BMW model. Keep in mind that you are going to be working
around raw fuel, so use extreme caution.
first step in replacing the fuel filter is to drive the car until you are
just out of fuel. This is a safety precaution in case you accidentally rip a
fuel line. With a small amount of gas in the tank, you prevent a potentially
first step in the actual replacement is to disconnect the battery. Trust me,
you donít want to accidentally short circuit the fuel pump while you are
working around fuel or fuel vapors. I have seen fires start because the
battery was not disconnected.
we need to locate the fuel filter. On early 4 cylinder cars, (318i/is/iC and
318ti) the fuel filter is mounted under the car on the left front bulkhead,
directly behind the left front control arm. On early 6 cylinder cars,
(325i/is/iC) the fuel filter is mounted on the front left motor mount in the
engine compartment. On later cars, (4 and 6 cylinders) the fuel filter is
mounted under the center of the car.
you have determined the location of the fuel filter,
begin by clamping both ends of the fuel line shut so no fuel escapes
from the lines. I usually use a pair of vise grips or locking pliers. Take
care not to use excessive force with the vise grips or locking pliers, as
you can break the rubber lines .Just use enough force to keep the lines
closed. Now clean the connections around the fuel filter. This will prevent
any dirt of grime from entering the fuel system while you have the filter
put on a pair of safety goggles, gasoline and human eyes do not mix. Loosen
the hose clamps holding the fuel lines onto either end of the fuel filter.
Make sure you mark which fuel line goes where, and pull the lines off the
filter. NOTE: there will be some fuel spillage when you do this because of
the residual fuel in the filter. Just donít have any open flames around
when you do thisÖ.
remove the filter from itís mounting bracket. On the early 4 and 6
cylinder cars, remove the bolt at the bottom of the fuel filter bracket and
slide the filter out of the mount.
later model cars, there is a protective cover over the fuel filter that must
be removed. Take this off and
remove the fuel filter from the mounting bracket.
take the new filter, and install it in the mounting bracket and secure as
needed. Make sure that you take note of which direction the filter flows in.
You should an arrow printed on the filter. What this means is whichever
direction the arrow is going, install the filter so that it is pointing
towards the engine. The fuel flow will enter from the tank then flow to the
fuel injection system. Next, slide the fuel lines back on to either end of
the filter and tighten the hose clamps.
On the later cars,
re-install the protective cover over the fuel filter.
remove the vise grips or locking pliers from the fuel lines, and add
approximately a gallon of fuel in the tank. Now check for leaks under the
car. If you detect any, fix the problem immediately. Wash your hands to get
off all the residual fuel and re-connect the battery.
we are ready to start the car. Keep in mind that since we replaced the
filter, we introduced air into the fuel lines. It may take a few turns of
the key to get the car started, so donít be alarmed if the car suddenly
dies a second after starting. After one or two times, the car should start.
Well, there you have it - it's
really not too difficult at all. If you would like
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