How to change a fuel filter in a 2004 kia rio

Submitted by Ray Thornburg on Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:48

How to Change a Fuel Filter in a 2004 Kia Rio

Don't be surprised if you have a hard time finding the fuel filter on a 2004 kia rio. I looked everywhere to find a filter which looked like the one the auto parts store gave me. In the end I had to go to the dealership where they explained that the fuel filter is in the gas tank wrapped around the fuel pump. (Not the typical location) The dealership typically changes the pump and filter out as a unit but you can save cash by just ordering the filter. Mine was around 41 bucks.

The Symptoms

Fuel filters typically need to be changed every so often. My car would start sometimes and other times (on cool damp days) it wouldn't start at all. When a fuel filter gets clogged the engine may stumble and run rough. You may have to pump the gas to get it going. I knew it wasn't the fuel pump because I could hear the fuel pump energize for a few seconds when I turned the key on. Be aware though that fouled or incorrectly gapped spark plugs may exhibit some of the same symptoms. (If your car only runs rough on cool rainy or foggy days it could be the coil. The moisture in the air is affecting it. To test it mist a little water on it (with a water bottle) while it is running to see if it chokes out. If it does look no farther.)


The fuel filter on this car is in the gas tank wrapped around the fuel pump. Fortunately it is actually easy to get to. Take out the back seat by unscrewing the two bolts in front of the seat which hold it in. Below it is a cover with four screws where the fuel pump is located.

The Procedure

I know this procedure works on the 2004 kia reo but the location of the fuel filter on a kia of other model years may be different.


2004 kia fuel filter under back seat  This picture shows the fuel pump access cover. First remove the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine. Run it until it runs out of gas to relieve the fuel pressure. You must disconnect the gas line and the electrical connectors. Click the images to enlarge into a new window.






removing the retaining ring After you remove the rubber ring hiding the retaining ring;  unscrew it by putting a screwdriver into one of the little holes and gently tapping to loosen it. It has threads like a jar.





retaining ring   

  The retaining ring (blue arrow) and the rubber ring which covers it (red arrow). Now the pump is ready to remove.





2004 kia fuel pump  Lay the pump on a clean towel to work on it. Note the float (blue arrow) and the plastic clips (red arrow). You must be careful not to break the plastic tabs.





the filter

 This is what the new filter looks like. It goes inside the pump casing.






how it works Another view of the new filter. Note the plastic tabs (red arrows). The blue arrows show that the pump motor slides up inside this hole.






c clips You must gently and carefully remove the electrical connector and the clips (blue arrows) to extricate the pump from the filter.






dirty sock filter 2004 kia rio  Here you can see the outer casing (yellow arrow) and a dirty sock filter (blue arrow).  The sock filter goes on the bottom of the pump but does not have to be removed. Simply clean it with compressed air.





key pointsDon't forget to retrieve the rubber o ring and put it here (red arrow) before putting it back together. Note the clip (yellow arrow).  Also be very careful with this wire (blue arrow). I actually broke it when I was trying to remove it but I was able to crimp a spade terminal to it and jamb it back together.



more plastic clips

  Red arrow shows more plastic clips that hold everything together. Be careful.






another view of plastic tab  Here is another view of the clips that hold the fuel pump to the filter. Picture shows fuel pump installed into a new filter.







 At left shows the new 2004 kia rio fuel filter properly installed into the pump and pump housing. Ready to be installed.





    Bottom view shows hole where the gas enter the contraption. It's ready to be put back in the tank now. When installing just push down a little so you can thread the retaining ring on. Hook the gas lines and the connectors back together. Put the fuse back in and test it before replacing the back seat.


That's it. It's actually a fairly simple job that only takes a few hours to complete. Take your time and you'll be fine. Although this blog was not about home inspection I thought a lot of people would benefit from the above info. If you found it useful leave a comment. Thanks.

Submitted by Ray Thornburg on Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:48


Anonymous | Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:38

Hi, thanks for the how to. Which fuse is the fuel pump? Thanks,

Ray Thornburg | Tue, 10/11/2016 - 06:23

On my kia the fuse panel was for the fuel pump was in the engine compartment under a plastic lid labeled fuses. Inside the lid was a legend to help you find it. There is another fuse panel under and beside the steering wheel but it does not have the fuel pump fuse.

Anonymous | Mon, 11/07/2016 - 11:54

I appreciate it very much. Thank you again!

Anonymous | Tue, 09/27/2016 - 20:15

MR. RAY i'll say it as my grand kids say it to me instead of to much they say youre to many grandpa. well MR. RAY you're tooo many..great teacher thanks rick

Anonymous | Wed, 07/13/2016 - 13:39

Man you don't know how much this helped me out #Apple561

Anonymous | Mon, 06/22/2015 - 22:03

Thank you,pictures and directions are spot on!

Anonymous | Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:25

Thanks for the step by step!!! Just used your how-to to change the filter on my 2004 Rio. If I may make one suggestion: when you remove the old filter, check to make sure that you have removed ALL the O rings. Besides the one pointed out in these instructions, there are two others. Once again, THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous | Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:30

I have a 2003 Rio and looked EVERYWHERE for the fuel filter!! Thanks for posting this so now I do not have to deal with the dealership!

Anonymous | Sat, 10/11/2014 - 12:04

This excellent helpful post-exactly as shown- is a cut above anything dealers and manufacturers have devised, which clearly demonstrates to all the thoroughness and quality of Ray's professionalism.

Anonymous | Tue, 07/08/2014 - 16:42

Excellent documentary. All the important pictures and explanations for an easy to follow 'how to'. Thanks. Len

Anonymous | Sun, 07/13/2014 - 09:16

Thanks Ray great power point im gonna dig into this top cover area I'm having a tank pressure problem i believe the pressure regulator is there my car is on the 4th fuel tank they keep cracking so I don't close the fuel cap all the way keeps the tank from pressuring now it won't pressure up with the cap tight I have to repair evac system for smog test it's on an going problem I'm having. Thanks again Ray. Zofo

Anonymous | Sun, 07/13/2014 - 20:59

Got it fixed Everything as good as new. Thanks Ray. It was a connection corrosion problem at the wires connection under the seat.

Anonymous | Sun, 02/01/2015 - 18:23

hi dear is there any other full filter in this car?i have been told from auto parts that there is an other one under the car if so where is the location thank you

Ray Thornburg | Wed, 02/04/2015 - 17:14

good question......I couldn't find any other filters which is why I wrote this blog