Replacing the Fuel Lines & Filter

Last Updated April 10th, 2005

Most people probably never consider replacing their fuel lines however with our cars often well over 100,000 miles and greater than 10 years old, it's about time to do it.  The rubber in the lines deteriorates with age and after a decade can start to crack.  Since the lines are carrying high pressure fuel, replacing them is a good idea.  The fuel filter, as a general maintenance item, is often forgotten but doesn't take very long to replace.


Time Investment:  Under 2 Hours

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    Fuel Lines (Underhood)
    Fuel Lines & Filter (Undercar)

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Click on a picture to enlarge it

Here are the fuel lines under the hood.  These are located on the passenger side of the engine and generally covered with plastic heat shielding.
Here's a shot of the fuel filter.  The cable in the foreground goes to the parking brake.
Here's another shot of the fuel filter.
This shot is zoomed out a little further and shows how the two lines run.


Fuel Lines (Underhood)

1.  In order to prevent gas from spraying everywhere, you need to depressurize the fuel system.  There are a few ways to do this:

2.  Unclamp the hose clamps at fuel rail end of the hoses.
Note the hose clamps in the picture.  These are special hose clamps for fuel lines as opposed to the typical worm drive hose clamps.  PepBoys stocks these.  AutoZone doesn't.

3.  Cut the new fuel line to the length of the old line.
The fuel supply line is 5/16".  The return line is 1/4".  Use hose marked "Fuel Injection" hose.  Hose simply marked "Fuel Hose" or "Fuel Line" is designed for lower pressure carburetor applications and is not to be used in fuel injected vehicles.  A little shopping here can pay off.  18" of GoodYear fuel injection hose cost mike $15 at Lee's Auto Parts.  PepBoys had generic hose for $5.

4.  Attach quick connectors to one end of each hose.
You can buy new quick connects at the parts store but they cost $10 each.  If your existing quick connects are in good shape, you can use a Dremel to slice the metal crimp fitting lengthwise and then simply reuse the connector, attaching it with a hose clamp.

4.  Transfer the heat shield to the new lines.

5.  Reinstall.
When reinstalling, you should use new hose clamps.

Fuel Lines & Filter (Undercar)

1.  Depressurize the fuel system.  (See #1 above)

2.  Unbolt the single retaining bolt for the fuel filter.

3.  If you intend to replace the lines, just cut them now and save yourself some time. 
Once cut, fuel will drain out because it's flowing down hill.  Put a pan or rag under the lines to catch the spill.

4.  Remove the the filter.
The fuel lines by the filter have quick connects on one each end.  One has a quick connect at the filter end as well.  The other is just hose clamped on.  These connectors are often rusted solid due to salt and snow.  If they are, you can use the Dremel trick from #4 above to slice the metal compression fittings off the stock lines.  You can also use vice grips to rip up the compression fittings or a small hack saw.  If you go the Dremel route make sure not to crank it up too high because the last thing you want is sparks.  If you do this make damn sure no gas soaked rags are laying under the car.  One bad spark and you could have a nasty explosion, burning your car, your garage, and probably killing you.  (Point taken?)  Thus, be careful.  You'll want to do both ends and replace the fuel lines along with the connector on the filter side.

It's worth noting that once the rubber stock hoses are removed, hose clamps can be used on BOTH ports of the filter as well as to hold new hoses to the now solidly rusted former quick connects.  This is the current setup on both of Mike's cars.

5.  Install the new filter and hoses.


Tools & Supplies: