It’s usually a good idea to send your car for a service and a tune-up every 30,000 miles – or every two years – in order to keep it in optimum running condition.
Fortunately, most of the work done during a service can actually be carried out at home by anyone who’s confident with taking the DIY approach. As a result, we’ve decided to go through some of the major tasks on our blog.
TWO THINGS THAT ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:
- Always wear safety glasses when carrying out work on your vehicle, and also look at obtaining latex gloves and closed toe shoes for occasions where they’re necessary.
- Fuel is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby when working with the fuel system. Avoid any forms of ignition. Also, never use incandescent work lamps near the fuel tank. Fuel vapours can travel a long distance, so be aware of any electrical equipment anywhere near the working area.
Replacing your car fuel filter
- Park your vehicle on a solid, level surface.
- Relieve the pressure in the fuel system by loosening the fuel cap, and then remove the fuel pump fuse or relay (for the location of these, check your owner’s manual). Start and run the engine until the fuel in the lines is used up and the engine stops working. Then, crank the engine for two more seconds to remove any remaining pressure.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery.
- Find the fuel filter in the engine compartment or beneath the vehicle near the fuel tank (you may need to raise the rear of the vehicle and then support it with jack stands). Then, disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel filter.
- Remove the mounting bolts on the fuel filter (if your car has them).
- Once you’ve verified that you have the correct replacement filter, install it, ensuring that the flow arrow is pointing towards the engine. Re-install the mounting bolts if applicable.
- Fit the lines back onto the new fuel filter and re-install the fuel pump fuse. Then, re-connect the negative battery cable.
- Start your engine and check it for fuel leaks. On some occasions, the engine might not start easily on the first attempt due to a lack of fuel, but as the pressure increases and the fuel reaches the injectors, it should start to get back to normal.
- Give the car a quick test drive to check everything’s running as it should be.