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.
|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:
- The fastest (and probably least
safe) way is to cover the larger of the fuel line connections with a
rag and use the tips of your fingers to press up on the plastic insert
under the connector and pull it off. Fuel will shoot out,
hopefully into the rag and you'll be done. If you forget the rag,
you may well take a face full of gasoline. Experience has
demonstrated that gasoline is not pleasant to have in ones eyes.
- Another way is to just
pull a plugs off of a fuel injector and energize it a few times.
Do this simply by connecting 2 wires to your battery terminals and
quickly touching the other ends to the prongs on the injectors. A
few taps is all it takes.
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
4. Transfer the heat shield to the new lines.
When reinstalling, you should use new hose clamps.
Fuel Lines & Filter
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
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
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:
- Flat blade screwdiver
- Fuel Filter
- 5/16" and 1/4" Fuel hose clamps
- 5/16" and 1/4" Fuel Injection hose
- Shop rag
- Pan to catch drained fuel
- Dremel or equivalent rotary tool with cutoff wheel (optional).
- Fuel filters are surprisingly expensive compared to air and oil
filters. They come in around $15.
- Fuel line varies greatly in price. You can pay $5 for 18"
or $15 for 18". To do both the underhood and undercar lines you
probably need about 2 packs of 1/4" and 2 packs of 5/16" fuel
line. You'll have some left over but you won't be able to pull it
off with a single 18" length of each.
- Buy "Fuel Injection Hose" not "Fuel Hose". Fuel Hose is for
- Buy the correct type of hose clamps. Don't use the typical
worm gear style.