2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Change a Fuel Filter

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The fuel filter is the part of the fueling system that helps clean the fuel of dirt and debris. Over time, the filter can become clogged, causing the fuel delivery system to begin to shut down. Symptoms of a clogged filter include engine power loss and decreased gas mileage. Chevrolet and professional mechanics agree that you should change the fuel filter on your Cavalier every 25,000 miles or so.

Tools Used[edit]

Car jack
New fuel filter
Adjustable wrench
Flathead screwdriver
Drip pan
Protective eye wear

Change a Fuel Filter[edit]

  • Park your 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in a well ventilated location on level ground. Engage your parking brake or apply tire stops to the wheels of the vehicle to prevent the car from rolling. Unscrew the gas cap from the fuel tank on the passenger's side. Open the hood and disconnect the negative cable from the battery.
  • Raise the rear of your Cavalier using a car jack and apply jack stands to keep the car elevated. Make sure the car is settled securely on top of the jack stands. Crawl underneath the rear of the vehicle from the passenger's side. Locate the fuel filter just in front of the fuel tank near the rear passenger wheel. The fuel filter is a cylindrical-shaped container with a black hose attached at both ends. The black hose is the fuel line.
  • Inspect the area where the fuel filter meets the fuel line. The two are connected via a bolt. Apply an adjustable wrench to the area where the fuel line meets the fuel filter. Place a drip pan beneath the filter. Turn the wrench counter-clockwise to disconnect the fuel line from the filter. Be sure that you are twisting the bolt and not the fuel line. You may be able to pull the fuel line away from the filter; however, depending on how stubborn the fuel line is connected, you may need to use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the quick-connect fittings apart. Some fuel may leak as you are disconnecting the fuel line. This is normal.
  • Slide the old fuel filter out of the mounting bracket and discard it. Slide a new filter into the bracket. Make sure the arrow on the filter is pointing forward toward the engine of the vehicle. Align the fuel line with the inlet hose of the filter. Push the fuel line and the filter together until you hear an audible click. Secure the fuel line in place with a bolt and a wrench. Turn the wrench clockwise to tighten the filter.
  • Jack down your Cavalier and remove the jack stands. Screw the gas cap back to the fuel tank. Connect the negative cable to the battery. Turn your car on and allow it to idle for a few minutes to pressurize the fueling system.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Wear gloves and protective eye wear when changing the fuel filter on your Cavalier.
  • Keep open flames and lit tobacco away when changing the fuel filter.