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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All right folks, I finally hit 60K miles and summoned up my wits to tackle replacing the fuel filter. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified mechanic. I did this on my own, and the info below is to be used only as a reference. I am not responsible for any issues you may have.

Time: 1.5 hours. It can be done in less time, but this was my first trial at it.

Difficulty: On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most difficult, I would say this is about a 5. The tricky and most time consuming parts where a) removing the collar nut/ring from the fuel filter lid and b) removing the fuel connecters to the filter itself.

Parts needed: OEM BMW Fuel filter, part #16142283196 (It includes the rubber o-ring).
you can see the part description here: RealOEM.com Online BMW Parts Catalog
I bought the part from getBMWparts.com



Tools: Some small wrenches. I also bought a special tool to remove the collar nut/ring. It made things SO MUCH EASIER to remove it.



You can buy it here: Mac Tools Online Store - Fuel Pump Removal Tool

**Also bring some rags, sponges, and/or plastic bags/containers so when you unplug the fuel lines, you have somewhere it can drain into.

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1) When you do this, make sure your car is less than 1/4 tank. Id say do it when you have less than 40 miles left of fuel range.

2) Do this outside or in a well ventilated area. NO SMOKING OR ANYTHING FLAMMABLE NEAR BY

3) In order to maximize the working space in the rear area, I put forward both front seats, as far forward as they would go.

4) I then removed the back seat. It is real simple. Just reach down, tuck your hands under the rear seat, one hand on each side, and pull straight up until you hear an audible pop. Then just pull up and out and remove the seat.

5) I then took out the rear seat and laid it across the front seats so I wouldn't get it dirty.

6) Now locate the access point for the fuel filter, which will be on the driver's side. The other side is the fuel pump.

7) Gently pull up on the rubber seal. You'll see a wire running through it so be careful as you don't want to yank on it too hard.

8) Once that rubber seal is off, then lift up on the carpet mat where you will see the metal lid to the access point.

9) Using a small wrench, unscrew the four nuts.

10) Remove the metal lid

11) From there you will be able to access the connecting point of that wire. Unplug the wire by gripping the plug and sliding it off. Set it aside.

12) Now it is time to remove the fuel feed. Make sure you have towels, a plastic bag and/or bucket or small container. Squeeze in on the fuel feed connector, pressing firmly on the small nipples. Then pull up to remove it. IMMEDIATELY cover it with rags and/or put it in a container. Let the fuel drain out. This is where a sponge comes into play as you may have to clean up a bit in case some fuel spills.

13) Once the fuel is done draining, set aside the fuel feed. You can tuck it away.

14). With the special MAC tool, remove the collar nut/ring. There are other ways to remove this, but I found this tool to be the best. The collar nut/ring rotates as it has threads to it. Righty tight, lefty loosey. So unscrew it by rotating it counter-clockwise.

15) Once you remove the collar nut/ring, set it aside and you'll have access to the fuel filter itself. Once the collar nut/ring is removed, the fuel filter will kind of pop up since it is held down by a spring.

Now it is time to remove the old fuel filter and install the new.

****STUDY the new fuel filter and learn where the connecting pieces go. As you remove the older fuel filter, make a mental note on which connector goes where****

It is pretty self explanatory on which goes where, but do study the part so you won't have trouble.

16) This is the tricky part. You have to gently remove the old fuel filter by wiggling it around to pulling it out. As you do so, disconnect the other fuel lines that connect to it. There is an L-Shaped pin on one of the connectors, the piece in white. Push down on that pin in order to remove that one part.

***Be careful. The old fuel filter and the feeds still have fuel in them. Be mindful of this when removing it as you don't want excess fuel spilling out. Be sure to place rags around the area.

17) Once the old filter is removed, install the new one. Connect everything the way the old filter was, and install it into the fuel tank.

18) This is optional, and it depends on the state of your O-ring, but this is also the time to install your new O-ring. The O-ring sits on the bottom half of the outside collar that holds in the filter, right under where you remove the collar nut/ring.

19) Once the new fuel filter is connected, re-install everything in reverse order.

21) Before you start up the car, you need to let the fuel filter prime. Do so by pushing the start/stop button, but not turning on the car. Wait a few minutes, then start up the car. The car may take a bit to kick over, this is because the fuel lines and new filter are being pressurized. You may also experience an engine fault, reduced power. Just drive slowly, turn the car off, and restart it. It should clear and go away.

***other reference website on how to remove the fuel filter:
Pictures of my Fuel Filter after 62k miles - 5 Series Forums

DIY - Fuel Filter/Sending Unit Swap - 5 Series Forums
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Fuel line removal from filter:
 

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added to DIY, thx
 

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Unless I'm mistaken, if you turn the ignition on (but don't start the car) and give it a few seconds before you start it, the fuel pump will prime more of the fuel system and it may start more immediately, possibly making it less likely to get the reduced power fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unless I'm mistaken, if you turn the ignition on (but don't start the car) and give it a few seconds before you start it, the fuel pump will prime more of the fuel system and it may start more immediately, possibly making it less likely to get the reduced power fault.
That's a good observation! I did not think of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
just a quick update.

Make sure when you reassemble the fuel filter, that you ensure the collar nut/ring is screwed on tightly, as well as all the connecting pieces. If not, you will experience an idrive warning indicating that the gas cap is loose - which means there is a vapor leak.

I experienced this, but just tightened everything down. Issue was resolved.
 

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Great write-up. Thanks for the detailed information!
 

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just a quick update.

Make sure when you reassemble the fuel filter, that you ensure the collar nut/ring is screwed on tightly, as well as all the connecting pieces. If not, you will experience an idrive warning indicating that the gas cap is loose - which means there is a vapor leak.

I experienced this, but just tightened everything down. Issue was resolved.
Very good point. I would mark the ring's location with a sharpie before I took it apart so I could see how far it must go when putting it back on.
 

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Just a thought here, as I'm not too sure how many on this board DIY their own maintenance...

Over on M3Forums, there are quite a few guys who have specialty tools for BMW work who rent them out. Perhaps there are enough of us here that have them already to create a sticky thread listing the tool noun name, part number, and member?

Most of the guys there charge a deposit and then refund the majority of it. It was so easy to to work on my M3 knowing I could get tools easily and not kil my wallet. Diff, headers, valve adjustment, SC install...I did it all myself renting the tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a thought here, as I'm not too sure how many on this board DIY their own maintenance...

Over on M3Forums, there are quite a few guys who have specialty tools for BMW work who rent them out. Perhaps there are enough of us here that have them already to create a sticky thread listing the tool noun name, part number, and member?

Most of the guys there charge a deposit and then refund the majority of it. It was so easy to to work on my M3 knowing I could get tools easily and not kil my wallet. Diff, headers, valve adjustment, SC install...I did it all myself renting the tools.
Not a bad idea but It would be difficult and cumbersome to rent tools. Keep in mind that board members are from all over the US and from countries around the world. Unless people are local to each other, it wouldn't be very efficient to mail/ship tools around the country.

This is why I invested in my own set. There are members that participate in local BMW CCA chapter DIY days where they can have access to tools they need.
 

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I just swapped my fuel filter - thanks to your write-up... took me only 40mins.

I bought the removal tool at Napa, so if anybody wants it, let me know. It makes it much easier. The most painful was removing the filter
to get the lines out.

The approach that worked is to pry the filter out (squishing and bending the lines) and then remove them one by one. You can't mix-n-match
connectors, so don't worry trying to keep them tracked.

Old filter definately had dirt in it - surely impeding flow in some fashion or at least making the pump work harder!
 

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^^^ Careful when you cut it open...a lot of people have scorched their eyebrows :)
 

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Try "cahhbahn ahhkin". I don't know what the hell it is, but according the Mainers up here at the shipyahhd, it's "wicked high temperature" cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I couldn't wait. I got one coming and I'll cut it open and post the pictures when I'm done.
Post your mileage when you crack the old filter open. Also curious as to what fuel brand you generally use. I usually use Shell
 

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UPDATE>>>Did my filter today. Took about 30 minutes and very easy thanks to the DIY. Wanted to update this post with some pictures of the filter element. When I pulled the paper element out of the plastic housing, there was white sandy media all around the dirty side (outside) of the paper element. Almost like beach sand. Probably covering 20% of the filter. I cut the paper up and here are the pictures. The darker gray color is the outside dirty part of the filter and the brown is the inside where the cleaned fuel is. Very dense filter and very clean inside. Was done with 46.5K on the ticker. Will probably do again at 100K. I would hate for any of that sand to make it to an injector and stick it open. This filter was not as dirty as I thought it might have been. Could have gone much further.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE>>>Did my filter today. Took about 30 minutes and very easy thanks to the DIY. Wanted to update this post with some pictures of the filter element. When I pulled the paper element out of the plastic housing, there was white sandy media all around the dirty side (outside) of the paper element. Almost like beach sand. Probably covering 20% of the filter. I cut the paper up and here are the pictures. The darker gray color is the outside dirty part of the filter and the brown is the inside where the cleaned fuel is. Very dense filter and very clean inside. Was done with 46.5K on the ticker. Will probably do again at 100K. I would hate for any of that sand to make it to an injector and stick it open. This filter was not as dirty as I thought it might have been. Could have gone much further.
Thanks for the feedback. Maybe you should have waited until 60K for the filter to be dirtier. lol
 

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just tried this excellent diy, and have a few caveats.
1. When removing the filter feed line fuel rushes out. My car had 35miles to empty, but i just drove it to the grocry store, so the system was well primed.
2. Make sure you get the correct filter...mine was missing the connector on top. Fortuneately i was not too far into the process when i noticed the difference.

i will have to get the new filter sorted again.
 
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