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Changing Your Fuel Filter
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Changing your fuel filter isn't that difficult of a job. You will need to lift at least the front of the car to get the job done, but it is by no means difficult. It might take a little bit of time to get the old one off depending on the age of your car and the condition of the rubber fuel line hoses. I started off just using ramps, but put the whole car on stands once I realized that extra room is a good thing if you don't want gas spilled all over you!
Various size flat head screwdrivers
Metric Socket Set
Bucket (To catch the fuel that will leak out)
Fuel filter (BMW P# 13-32-7-512-019) $53
3x Fuel filter hose clamps (BMW P# 07-12-9-952-104) $0.62 (If you're going to replace your hoses as well you will need 6 of these. I decided not to since my hoses were still in good shape)
Safely lift at least the front of the car
1. Using a lift or a floor jack with ramps lift at least the front of the vehicle. Instructions for jacking up your car can be found here. This can be a very dangerous step, so make sure that the car is properly secured before ever getting under it. Never get under a car that is just supported by a jack!
Locate the fuel filter
Locate the fuel filter
2. The fuel filter is located on the drivers side of the vehicle right next to the transmission cross brace.
Remove the cover bolts
The last two are a bit hidden
Remove the cover around the fuel filter
3. Using a 8mm socket, remove the three bolts holding the back of the cover on.
4. Using at least a 3" socket extension, remove the two hidden bolts at the front of the cover (closer to the engine). Taking the entire cover off will make things much easier.
(For those of you who might be wondering, my jack is not lifting the car in these pictures, it's merely there as an insurance policy, because I don't want to get any thinner. Some of you out there will probably understand this and others won't.)
Tighten the hose clamps on the filter
Reinstall the bracket and shield
The old fuel filter
Tighten up the hose clamps and put everything back together
12. Using a 5mm socket, tighten the hose clamps on the fuel hoses in the same places that they were tightened before. Make sure they are tight, but don't try and over tighten them.
13. Reattach the fuel filter bracket and reinstall the shield.
(I also added a picture of the gas that came out of the old fuel filter. The dirt on the bottom was already in the bucket, but as you can see the gas definitely wasn't as clean as it could have been, so I recommend you change your filter if you never have!)
This is a simple do-it-yourself job and it should be completed every so often to ensure you're getting good gas mileage and not doing unnecessary harm to your engine. I'd recommend doing it every 40-60k miles, but every has their own opinions. It never hurts to make sure what is going into your engine is nice and clean, especially if you plan on owning your bimmer for a while. I know I'm planning on it!