The fuel filter on your Toyota Corolla has a big job to do for such a small part. Over the life of the filter, thousands of gallons of gasoline have to be filtered to block dirt and debris from reaching the engine. As it's used, the filter clogs and the fuel needed by the engine either stops flowing or becomes restricted. The fuel filter on the 2006 Corolla is mounted in the engine compartment against the firewall. You can replace it at home with a few tools in 45 minutes or less.
Loosen the gas cap slowly to release any built up pressure in the gas tank. Take the cap off.
Open the driver’s door. Locate your fuse panel and take its cover off. The inside of the cover should list all of the fuses by name and their locations in the cluster. Identify the fuel pump fuse and remove it from the fuse cluster. If the fuse panel cover doesn’t list the fuses on it, check your owner’s manual. The fuel pump fuse should be listed under "fuses."
Start the engine and let it idle until it stalls out. After it stalls, attempt to start it again. Wait five seconds, then make one additional attempt to start the engine. Once the engine fails to start, this indicates that you have successfully relieved the fuel system pressure. Turn off the ignition and remove the key.
Raise the bonnet and use a socket wrench to remove the negative cable from its post on the battery. Look for a minus sign, right next to the cable, to be sure that you take off the negative cable.
Locate the fuel filter at the back of the engine compartment on the driver’s side. It resembles a small metal time capsule and has a fuel line connected to each side of it.
Fold a shop towel into a medium-sized square. Jam the towel down into the engine compartment right below the fuel filter. The towel will catch the remaining fuel in both lines once your remove them.
Remove the bolt from the fuel line at the bottom of the fuel filter, using your adjustable wrench. Place the bolt in your pocket. Before you remove the bolt holding the top fuel line, look at the connection closely. The two metal fuel-line gaskets have to be replaced in exactly the same way. You have to use new gaskets because the old ones won’t create the proper seal.
Remove the bolt holding the top fuel line in place. Discard the old metal fuel-line gaskets.
Loosen the bolt on the fuel filter’s mounting bracket. Remove the fuel filter from your Corolla.
Install the new fuel filter on the mounting bracket just as you removed the old filter. Tighten the bolt on the bracket just until it's snug. Do not overtighten the bracket, as this could damage the casing on the fuel filter.
Attach the bottom fuel line to the filter and return its securing bolt by hand. Tighten the bolt with your socket wrench until snug as well. Install the top fuel line on the filter just as you removed it, using two new metal fuel-line gaskets. Tighten the top fuel-line securing bolt until snug.
Remove the shop towel under the fuel filter and set it to the side of your work area. Put the gas cap back on securely and reinstall the fuel pump fuse into the fuse cluster. Put the fuse-panel cover back on. Reconnect and secure the negative cable back to its post on the battery. Start the engine and check the fuel filter for leaks.
Starting the car after you complete the repair may take several attempts. This is because the fuel pressure has to build back up in the system. Don’t be alarmed if the car doesn’t start right away, and whatever you do, don't pump the accelerator, as this will flood the engine.
Do not smoke while changing the fuel filter, and make sure you do the work in a well-ventilated area. Gas fumes are combustible, and long-term exposure to the vapours can be hazardous to your health. Allow the fuel soaked towel to dry thoroughly before you bring it indoors.
Tips and warnings
- Starting the car after you complete the repair may take several attempts. This is because the fuel pressure has to build back up in the system. Don’t be alarmed if the car doesn’t start right away, and whatever you do, don't pump the accelerator, as this will flood the engine.
- Do not smoke while changing the fuel filter, and make sure you do the work in a well-ventilated area. Gas fumes are combustible, and long-term exposure to the vapours can be hazardous to your health.
- Allow the fuel soaked towel to dry thoroughly before you bring it indoors.