The fuel filter is under the car, directly behind the gas tank. It is between the tank and the charcoal filter assembly, which looks like a rectangular black box. The filter sits parallel to the back of the fuel tank and looks like a metallic or black cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and about 3 inches long. Use jack stands or a lift to give yourself safe and ample room get to it.
DANGER: The fuel system is pressurized! Before doing any service, relieve the pressure by starting the engine and removing the fuel pump fuse or relay while the engine is running, the car should die after a few moments. Also, it's probably advisable to remove the gas cap and disconnect the battery after depressurizing the system(make sure you know your radio's theft-lock code before disconnecting the battery!).
You should EXPECT gas to spill when you do this so keep rags handy - keep clear of open flames.
THINK before you work with fuel - a drop light with an open bulb is a bad idea, as is working indoors near a gas heater with a pilot light. If you have to be told not to smoke you probably should go to a mechanic (umm, for the car)
Before service, clean the lines and filter - use compressed air or carb cleaner.
The OEM unit probably has a METAL clip on the incoming line - it's very difficult to remove without a tool which is cheap and readily available at auto parts stores. Make sure the new filter comes with a plastic clip and don't try to re-use the metal one.
To remove the outgoing side of the filter you should use TWO wrenches, a larger open end wrench to hold the filter body steady and a flare-nut wrench on the fuel line. Failure to use 2 wrenches as I describe can easily result in twisting of the fuel line. Failure to use the flare-nut wrench can result in rounding the edges of the nut. The outgoing line has an o-ring which you really should replace if you are replacing the filter.
When the lines are off remove the bracket on the side of the filter.
New filter installation should be reverse of the above.
The fuel filter can be found in the rear of the vehicle on a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero. The filter is located directly under the trunk area.
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