The fuel filter is located in front of the left rear wheel on the bottom of the outside chassis. The instructions below are for filters with banjo couplings. In the middle of model year 2005, they changed to a different kind of filter in North America. This filter has quick-connect fuel lines and requires a special, inexpensive tool. I am not sure why they call it quick-connect because it took me quite a while to figure out how to use the tool and go out and buy one in the first place. See the next posts for the WIS instructions and more information about this different type of filter and fuel line connections.
Fuel filter and 4 sealing washers
Tie wrap, 14" / 36 cm or longer
Wrenches/spanners. I think I remember it was 17 and 19 mm for the banjo bolts.
Tool to cut the tie wrap
Socket with ratchet for the filter clamp
Container to catch the fuel
Time estimate: 30 - 60 minutes
Difficulty: 1 - very easy. Keep in mind you're working with fuel so take safety precautions. Protective eyewear is recommended because fuel can splash when the fuel lines are removed.
Half way through the 2005 model year, Saab started to use a different type of fuel filter. Check your car to make sure what type of filter you need or use the VIN to determine.
Filter for model years 1998 to 2005
For fuel filter up to chassis number 53507522 - EU/RoW
For fuel filter up to chassis number 53510415 - US/CA
Filter for model years 2005 to 2009
For fuel filter from chassis number 53507523 - EU/RoW
For fuel filter from chassis number 53510416 - US/CA
Fuel line disconnect tool
Instructions for model year 1998 - 2005 1/2:
(scroll down to read instructions for the quick-connect fuel filter)
Use car ramps for the rear wheels or jack up the right rear of the car. Make sure to always use jack stands or other support when working on a car that has been lifted with a jack.
Remove the fuse panel cover on the dash.
The fuel pressure needs to be reduced from the system because otherwise you will have an unpleasant surprise of fuel spraying everywhere when you try to undo the fuel lines from the filter.
With the engine running, remove fuse #15 - 20A - yellow. This will turn off the fuel pump and the engine should shut off in a few seconds or less. Turn off the ignition off and put the fuse back in.
The fuel filter splash guard is clipped on the fuel filter itself and is held in place with a tie wrap.
Cut the tie wrap and remove the guard.
Loosen the front fuel line (upper right arrow). Fuel will start to come out so have a container to catch the fuel. It is probably more than you expect so using a rag won't be sufficient.
Remove the front and rear fuel lines when most of the fule has come out. Take out the bolt for the filter clamp and remove the filter.
View from the back with rear fuel line.
Use the new sealing washers for the fuel lines and put back together in reverse order. Note the arrow on the filter for the fuel flow direction. This should point towards the front of the car. The banjo bolts for the fuel lines are different sizes so you can't really put it together the wrong way.
Start the engine and check for leaks.
Use a new tie wrap (or two) to secure the splash guard.