The Subaru Forester has been sold since 1998. Although replacing a fuel filter is very similar in most models, some newer models do not have a serviceable filter. Starting in 2005, Subaru switched from a canister fuel filter to a fuel filter that is stored inside the fuel pump. 1998 to 2004 Subaru Forester fuel filters should be changed every 30,000 miles, according to the Subaru maintenance guide. Vehicles from 2005 on do not require a fuel filter service.
Unscrew the gas cap, and then locate and pull out the fuel pump relay. The relay is labelled. It's located either in the passenger side interior fuse box or the engine fuse box, depending on the year of your model.
Turn the ignition key for 3 to 5 seconds. If the engine cranks, let it run until it shuts off. You must relieve the fuel pressure in the fuel lines before replacing a fuel filter. After you have relieved fuel system pressure, disconnect your negative battery cable.
Open the bonnet and examine the engine bay to find the fuel filter. The fuel filter is directly behind the windshield washer fluid on a Subaru Forester.
Unhook the clamps from the fuel filter lines. Twist the lines back and forth to pull them from the fuel filter. Have a towel or shop rag handy to wipe away the small amount of fuel that leaks out.
Remove the fuel filter mounting bracket and pull the old fuel filter out.
Place the new fuel filter in the mounting bracket and tighten the clamps. Replace both fuel lines and tighten the hose clamps.
Replace the fuel pump relay and connect the negative battery cable. Tighten the gas cap.
Turn the ignition on for a few seconds until you hear the electric fuel pump turn on. Turn the ignition off, and then on again. Repeat this process a few times to rebuild pressure before you crank the engine.
Crank the engine and inspect the fuel filter lines for leaks.
Use caution around fuel. Always wear gloves and goggles. Always relieve fuel system pressure first. Do not smoke around fuel.