The Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan that has been around for decades. Like any car, it requires regular maintenance (including oil changes every 3,000 miles or so and fuel filter changes every 30,000 miles or so) to keep running strong and prevent any internal damage. Fuel filters work very much like any other filters and keep dirt and debris out of your car's fuel, allowing for clean combustion. Luckily, fuel filters are relatively easy to replace in most Corolla models made in or before 2001.
Open the bonnet and let the car sit idle and unpowered for at least a half hour it you had just been driving it. This will allow the car to cool down.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. This will prevent the airbags from deploying as you're swapping the filter.
Locate the old fuel filter. It is underneath the driver's side of the engine chassis, and it is encased in a small canister (which is shaped somewhat like a soup can) attached to the fuel line.
Remove the protective shield from around the filter using the line wrench and set it aside. If the cleaner hose or charcoal canister are in the way, then simply remove them, too, by unscrewing the bolts on the brackets holding them in.
Loosen the flare nut, which is attached to the filter and the fuel line, to allow the pressure inside to subside.
Remove the banjo fitting and metal gaskets, then disconnect the fuel line from the old fuel filter and remove it from the mounting bracket.
Slip the new fuel filter into the old fuel filter's place in the mounting bracket and screw a new gasket onto each end, attaching them with the union bolt.
Tighten the flare nut back onto the fuel filter, put everything you removed back on (like the cleaner hose, charcoal canister, etc.) and attach the negative battery cable to the battery.
Start the car and check for leaks.
- Gaskets should always be replaced when the filter is replaced, as these degrade over time.
- Fuel filters do not need to be replaced in models made in or after 2002, as they are contained within the fuel tank.
- Take care to let the pressure release slowly when disconnecting the fuel line, as gasoline may spray out if it is done too quickly.