e46 Fuel Filter Replacement
e36 is nearly identical, but these pics happen to be of an e46.
early e36s, the fuel filter is next to the steering column, just
the brake booster (access it from beneath).
We noticed before a weekend
trip that there was a buzzing from beneath the e46 at the right rear
We almost unpacked and took the e36, but
decided to risk it. The buzzing went away after a few blocks.
On the trip, as we drove up
Cuesta Grade north of San Luis Obispo CA, we noticed that the car was
likely that the fuel pump may be failing, but before I spend that much
$$, I will try a new fuel filter.
This filter has 50k miles on
it, and I like to change them at that interval anyway.
I had recently
replaced the filters on both of the e36s, so I am in practice.
e46: new fuel filter and three new hose clamps
(the hose clamps can be re-used, but
they are made to be single-use)
new fuel filter, and new hoses and clamps if they look
These are the on-line prices
for name-brand replacement parts. Figure about
this if you get the parts from your BMW dealer.
Step 1 - put the car
up on ramps. If you have found a good place to put jack
under an e46, you are ahead of me. Please don't ever put any
of your body beneath a car supported by the jack that comes with
e46! The jack from an e36 is much better, but still not safe
on either car is beneath the driver's feet. The shield is
by three 8mm screws and two 8mm nuts. The
e36 filter does not have
an integrated fuel pressure
regulator, so it has only one fitting on each
I flipped the camera on you there.
The strap that
secures the filter is held in place by a 10mm nut.
manual says to pull the fuse on the fuel pump and run the car until
stalls to minimize the amount of fuel that pours out when you pull
hoses. Whether you pull the fuse or not, be sure you
fuel in a drip pan and put it into a closed
Loosen all three clamps (two on the e36)
before pulling any hoses loose.
the fuel. About this time, I discovered yet another
between an e36 and an e46. The e36 is
designed so that the fuel cannot
siphon out of the gas tank if
the fuel line is broken. I had to put a plug
hose to stop the flow from the fuel tank on the e46.
is the dangerous part. Keep the garage doors open, don't use
tools under the car when there are gasoline vapors
present, and for heaven's
sake, no smoking!!!!
the dripping stops, pull the filter from the hoses, and take the filter
the drip pan outdoors.
on the new filter. On the e36, note the flow
direction arrow on the filter.
If you forgot to get
new hose clamps for the e46, you can tighten the
clamps with a pair of pliers,
the shield and you are done! It will take a while to start up
first time, as you have wait for it to
fuel rail back up with fuel.