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How To Change Your Fuel Filter: Guide, Tips, and Tricks

Knowing how to change your Volvo’s fuel filter is an invaluable skill to have, however not having the proper instruction could damage your car in the long run. Contaminants can enter your fuel system and if not trapped by the filter, they can clog the injector inlet screens. If dirt reaches the injector itself, it can clog or damage the pintle valve and seat. In older cars, dirt can plug the carburetor’s fuel metering orifices.

Always check your service manual to see when you fuel filter needs replacement, but typically they should be replaced every 30,000 miles. However, professionals recommend a yearly fuel filter change as well as a change whenever other fuel system parts are replaced.

If the filter is not replaced regularly, fuel flow to the engine will become restricted, resulting in stalling, loss of high speed power, and hard starting.

Our MVS forum members recently had a discussion on how to change the filter on late 90s 850s, as well as tips and tricks to make the job even easier. MVS member Tsquared had this to say about changing out the fuel filter for a 1996 850:

“The gas filter is located passenger side just forward of the rear axle. The band that holds the gas filter in place is a pinch band that has a nut welded/formed into it on the back/top side. A 12 mm bolt holds the band in place. The top of the band has a bracket that hold the return fuel line – this just pops off and the return fuel line can be reattached once the filter has been replaced.

If your filter has never been replaced there is masking tape covering the pinch connections at both ends of the filter. Remove the masking tape. You need to put a pan under the old filter to catch any gas spillage – it will be minimal. Also the new filter comes with plastic caps on the ends of the new filter – you will want to use them to plug the old filter connectors so you need to take them off the new filter to have handy.

There is a T off the inlet gas line that has a cap on it – remove the cap and press the needle in the T to relieve any pressure that is on the gas line – If it has been setting for an hour there will probably be very little if any pressure on the line. You can skip messing with the T and you will see about an ounce of fuel that will come out of the filter when you remove the hose.”

Volvo 850 fuel filter, holder bracket, and in/out fuel lines
Volvo 850 fuel filter, holder bracket, and in/out fuel lines

MVS member turbotim2 added:

Another thing that may help is you can use the end of a box end wrench (I think a 17mm will work) to pry the hoses from the old filter nipples. It will pry on two sides of the hose fitting. I found it to work well.

To read more info, tips, and how-to’s on changing your Volvo’s filter, check out these forum posts below!

Fuel Filter How To

Another Change Your Fuel Filter How To

14 Comments

anthony vicidomine says:

I and trying to replace a fuel line in my 2003 s60 Volvo, can you help?

darius1979 says:

Hi, how 2004 xc90 D5 fuel filter change, with picture plesse.

can anyone tell me the gap for a spark plug for a 2003 v40?

Guy Sandoval says:

Where do I find the fuel filter on ’94 850 Volvo?

russell gitlitz says:

low speed stalling and hesitation../appreciate any help you can provide

Asa chapin says:

my 1993 volvo 850 glt non turbo is having problems it cranks and crank but will not start its been close but will not start people have told me to check my fuel pump or something to see if it is clogged but i cant because i dont know how to get into it and plus i dont have the tools so if you think you can help me out that would be great. this is a video on my car http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ6QI5nGbGg

thomas estingoy says:

how to change a fuel filter on a 2000 v 40 volvo

Ed Robinson says:

Great tutorial. Yesterday my 850 died and had to be towed.

Fuel pump and relay both checked out.

Got a filter and put it in this morning and life is good again.

The car has 150,000 on it and the filter had never been changed. Still had the masking tape on the hoses!

To get more responses, register on my Volvo forum and ask this question in the XC90 sub forum.

There are many potential causes of this, but yes, dirty fuel is one of them that could cause an XC90 to stop running.

I’d start with a fuel treatment (bottle of liquid you pour into the gas tank). You might have bad fuel — water, debris, etc. If you run your XC90 to empty often it will suck the accumulated sludge off the bottom of the tank and clog the system. Never wait till you’re dead empty to fill her up.

Would having a dirty fuel filter cause my volvo xz90 v-8 to stop running while driving? The car sputters like it is out of gas, but I know it has 5-8 gals left. This happens randomly.

Excellent information. I was able to do the job in only 10 minutes. Easiest job I’ve tackled with this car thus far.

Thanks

Scott

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