How to Change a Fuel Filter on a Dodge RAM Diesel

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Maintaining your Dodge diesel should always include regular fuel filter changes. Diesel fuel will often contain water and other contaminants; the filter is keep those things from entering your engine. You can change the filter in a few minutes at home using common hand tools. The filter is a cartridge that sits inside a housing on the engine and can be accessed by simply removing the housing cover.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet
  • 1-1/8" socket
  • Bucket or drain pan
  • Plastic bag
  • New filter
  • Position a drain pan under the truck, directly below the drain hose on the filter housing. Make sure to position the hose so that fuel does not drain directly on the front differential.

  • Loosen the cover on the fuel filter housing using a 1-1/8" socket and ratchet. When the cover is loose, lift up on the drain lever, allowing fuel to drain into the drain pan.

  • Unscrew the cover until it is completely loose and lift it slowly. The filter is attached to the cover and will lift out along with it. Be careful lifting it, as the filter can fall off the cover fairly easily and splash diesel fuel all over the engine compartment.

  • Slip the filter and cover into a plastic bag and remove it from the engine compartment. The bag will keep the fuel in the filter from dripping and making a mess.

  • Wipe out the inside of the filter housing with a clean rag before putting the new filter into the housing. Be careful not to damage any sensors inside the housing.

  • Invert the cover and pry the filter out of the cover with a flat screwdriver. Wipe the cover down and install the new filter by clipping it into the cover.

  • Remove and replace the O-ring on the filter housing cover. Lubricate the O-ring with diesel fuel or oil before reassembly.

  • Close the drain by pushing the drain lever back down. Fill the housing with diesel fuel but leave enough room to install the filter without the fuel overflowing.

  • Replace the cover and tighten with the 1-1/8" socket and ratchet. Remove the drain pan and dispose of the fuel in the pan.

Tips & Warnings

  • When positioning the drain pan, be sure the drain hose is positioned over it. On some models, the hose is very short and drains right on top of the differential.
  • On some models the drain cover will have a square hole in the top of the filter housing cover that appears to be the right size for an extension bar to fit in. Do not use this hole to open or close the cover.

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