Even for someone who has never done it before, changing a fuel filter is an easy procedure. It takes about 30 minutes. Fuel filters protect your car's engine from foreign material by filtering the particles that get into your fuel. Honda recommends that you change your fuel filter every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. Failure to change your fuel filter on a regular basis can lead to thousands of dollars in engine damage.
Find a level area for you to work. Park your Civic, but let the engine run. Find your fuse box, underneath the steering wheel, and take out the fuel pump fuse. The Civic should idle for just a little while longer. It will run out of gas and die. This relieves the pressure in your fuel line.
Open the bonnet of your Civic. Locate your fuel filter. On a 2003 Honda Civic, it is located along the firewall just a few inches to the right of the battery (on the driver's side).
Use two wrenches to remove the hex bolts that are secured to the top of the fuel filter. Use one wrench to hold the lower washer bolt while using the other wrench to loosen the upper hex bolt. Do the same thing for the hex bolts that are secured underneath the fuel filter.
Use an adjustable socket wrench to remove the brackets on the sides of the fuel filter. As you are disconnecting the brackets, your fuel filter should release itself from the firewall. Remove the fuel filter by pulling it upward.
Replace the old filter with a new filter. One kind of fuel filter that would fit your Civic is a Beck Arnley fuel filter, part number 6015-05011531. Reattach the fuel filter to the firewall with the brackets. Secure the hex bolts to the fuel filter using a new set of hex washers.
Go to your fuse box and reconnect the fuel pump fuse. Start your engine.
Wear protective eye wear and goggles when changing your fuel filter.