Fuel Filter Replacement

11/26/2014 9:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Fuel Filter
[Author Unknown]

I have often been surprised by how many Miata owners assume that the fuel filter needs replacing every 30k miles. In actuality, it is only scheduled every 60k miles.

This is only a 20 minute job if you have the correct tools to do the job, but precautions must be taken since you will be working with the fuel lines and a small amount of gas will spill regardless of the precautions you take. Remember, the fumes are most flammable, not the liquid gasoline. Fumes can travel along the ground for amazing distances, so take appropriate precautions and remove any possible ignition sources such as heaters or open flames of any kind as well as ensuring that the area is well ventilated. If your gas furnace is in the garage, DO NOT PERFORM THIS PROCEDURE IN THE GARAGE! The starting furnace or the pilot light, depending on the model, can cause an explosion. This will most likely damage your Miata, and ruin your day too. The same is true of any electrical appliance. If running it can be an ignition source. Washers and dryers, if off, are safe, but if in use are not. It only takes one spark, so please be very careful.

Start by removing the locking lug nut from the right rear wheel of the Miata. Then break loose, but do not remove the other three lug nuts. Now jack up the car using the differential base as a central jacking point and place the rear of your Miata on jack stands. Be careful not to apply jacking pressure to the Power Plant Frame (PPF) that runs forward to the transmission. If you have any doubts about the correct locations for the jack stands, please refer to your owner's manual. Remove the right rear wheel and set it aside out of your way.

Now you will have access to the area where the fuel filter resides. Using the Phillips screwdriver, remover the plastic screws and pull out the plugs that secure the plastic cover just forward of the wheel well and inboard. This protects the fuel filter from damage from road debris. Hint: If the plastic screws are stubborn, apply outward pressure to the plastic cover while unscrewing them and the threads will bite in better and unscrew.

Now that the filter is exposed, you can unbolt the filter bracket from the car. Do not unbolt the filter from the bracket, this is not necessary. Once this is done, clamp the rubber fuel lines, using the hose-clamping pliers, on either side of the filter as close to the filter as possible without clamping on the metal tube inside the line. Now slide the Mazda hose clamps off the rubber lines and onto the metal lines at the filter. Now you are ready to remove the rubber hoses from the metal lines of the filter. Be careful to avoid getting fuel in your eyes, safety glasses are recommended. Once the filter is free it will continue to leak fuel for a while depending on how it is placed so put it in the drain pan and move it away or outside to avoid the fumes.

Install the new filter just as you removed the old one. Don't forget to put the Mazda hose clamps on the new filter before you attach the rubber hoses. Hoses first, then clamps, remove the hose clamping pliers that have been preventing pressure and fuel loss, then bolt the filter & bracket to the car and replace the cover. Those pesky plastic screws can be just pushed straight in w/o using the screwdriver. Replace the wheel, lower the Miata, and replace your locking lug nut and finish tightening all the lug nuts on the wheel.

Now you can forget about this for another 60k miles. Or start on the timing belt.

Address: PO Box 396, Portland, Oregon 97207

Email: zoomzoom [at] mthoodmiata.org

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