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Fuel Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Fuel Filter Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

10mm 13mm sockets, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Fuel filter and filter sealing O-ring, fuel filter and pump collars

Hot Tip:

Clean top of fuel tank before removing pump

Performance Gain:

Restore good fuel flow

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel pump

In modern BMW automobiles the fuel pump is electric and located inside the fuel tank. The fuel pump creates positive pressure in the fuel lines, pushing gasoline to the fuel rail, where the DME controls flow to the engine via a programmed fuel injection map. In tank fuel pumps have many benefits. The fuel pump is submerged in fuel keeping it cool, preventing vapor lock and electrical issues. The fuel pump delivers a constant flow of gasoline to the fuel rail at a regulated pressure and volume. The fuel pump draws fuel from the fuel tank and pushes it through the fuel filter, and is mounted in front of the fuel tank.

A dirty or restricted fuel filter can cause poor engine performance and hard starting problems. If you suspect this is your issue you should replace your fuel filter.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

It is best to replace your fuel filter with the fuel pressure relieved. This reduces the amount of possible spilled fuel and fuel vapors. When replacing, work in a well-ventilated area. Working outdoors is a good choice. Do not use incandescent work lights or power tools. Fuel and fuel vapors are highly combustible.

The fuel filter (red arrow) is mounted to the front of the fuel tank (yellow arrow) and behind the charcoal canister (green arrow).
Figure 1

The fuel filter (red arrow) is mounted to the front of the fuel tank (yellow arrow) and behind the charcoal canister (green arrow).

The fuel filter is tucked away behind the fuel tank splash shield.
Figure 2

The fuel filter is tucked away behind the fuel tank splash shield. You will have to remove the splash shield to access it. I prefer to unbolt the shield. Then I let it hang so I can access the filter. I will describe that method in this tech article. Start by removing the three 13mm fasteners at the front of the fuel tank splash shield (red arrows).

Next, move to the center of the splash shield, near the drive shaft.
Figure 3

Next, move to the center of the splash shield, near the drive shaft. Remove the four 13mm fasteners (red arrows). The inset shows a closer view of the two near the center support bearing.

Working at the rear of the splash shield, remove the two 8mm heat shield fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the rear of the splash shield, remove the two 8mm heat shield fasteners (red arrows). Next, remove the two splash shield fasteners (green arrow), you will be removing a 13mm fastener behind the plastic cover (blue arrow). The inset shows a close up of the 13mm fastener hidden behind the plastic cover.

Move to the rear of the splash shield.
Figure 5

Move to the rear of the splash shield. Remove the 13mm fastener just above the rear subframe (red arrow).

Now to the left side of the splash shield, remove the three 8mm fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 6

Now to the left side of the splash shield, remove the three 8mm fasteners (red arrows). Please note that there are also two 13mm fasteners that need to be removed. They are located in the the two holes shown (next to red arrows). 

With all the fasteners removed, pull the splash shield toward the center of the vehicle, then down.
Figure 7

With all the fasteners removed, pull the splash shield toward the center of the vehicle, then down. Let it hang (green arrow). You now have access to the fuel filter (red arrow).

Next, you have to relieve the fuel pressure.
Figure 8

Next, you have to relieve the fuel pressure. Start by removing the engine covers. Then remove the fuel test port cap (red arrow) on the fuel rail. Use a flathead screwdriver and a rag (inset). Press in the Schrader valve to relieve the fuel pressure. Be prepared for fuel to be expelled.

Working at the fuel pump, remove the vacuum line by pulling it straight off (green arrow).
Figure 9

Working at the fuel filter, remove the vacuum line by pulling it straight off (green arrow). Be sure the nipple on the old fuel filter is intact (red arrow). In my area, they will corrode and remain in the hose, requiring replacement of the hose.

Next remove the fuel line.
Figure 10

Next remove the fuel line. Press the blue tab (red arrow) in and hold it, while you pull the line off the filter. The inset shows the line being removed with a rag to prevent spillage.

Next, remove the two remaining fuel lines.
Figure 11

Next, remove the two remaining fuel lines. Press the blue tabs (red arrows) in and hold them, while you pull the lines off the filter.

Loosen the two 10mm fuel filter bracket fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 12

Loosen the two 10mm fuel filter bracket fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the fuel filter by sliding it out of the bracket in the direction of the green arrow.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Alex Comments: I dont' have a picture, but you can use your picture 6. Yu can see the two holes in the picture. Inside them are a 13mm.
November 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Alex Comments: I had to remove the bolts in two holes in the tray near the driver side. I removed all of the ones you mentioned but it would not drop. After I removed those two 13mm, it fell down easily.
October 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share a photo of the holes or fasteners?

Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mke Comments: Very thorough. Thank you. Do you have to purge the air from the system upon replacement and reconnecting all lines? If so, at the the Schrader valve on the engine compartment? Thnx
September 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. it will purge when starting. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
drew Comments: excellent coverage, thank you..
September 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:47:35 AM