Your engine's carburetor has small passageways in it. If one of these gets clogged by a foreign particle, the engine may perform poorly. Or it may not run at all.

So each car engine has a fuel filter between the fuel pump and the carburetor. The fuel filter does a good job of trapping tiny particles that could create problems.

Over a period of time, a fuel filter can become clogged. When this happens, performance problems can develop. The engine may lose power after a certain speed, for example.

Changing the fuel filter once a year can prevent filter problems. It's an easy job -- one you can do yourself. Here's what you need to know.

There are three types of filters commonly used on cars today -- the canister type, screw-in type and paper type. CANISTER FILTER most chrysler engines use this type. It's placed in the fule line, between the carburetor and fuel pump. A short length of hose at each end of the canister holds it to the metal fuel line.

To remove the filter, squeeze the spring clamps that hold the hose to the canister. This expands the spring clamp and lets you slide the filter out of the hose.

There are special pliers for this purpose. But if you use ordinary pliers, be especially careful.

When installing the new canister filter, note the arrow on the filter. Install the filter so that the arrow is pointing in the direction of fuel flow (towards the carburetor).

Squeeze each spring clamp with the pliers to expand it, and slide the new canister filter in place. Be sure that the rubber hose at each end of the cannister slides all the way on the inlet and outlet tubes of the canister.

Release the spring clamp and it will hold the hose tightly against the tube.

After the filter is installed, start the car and let it idle. Observe the filter to make sure it doesn't leak. SCREW-IN FILTER. Some cars use this type. It screws into the carbuetor fuel inlet, and a short piece of rubber hose attaches the metal fuel line to the filter's inlet tube.

To remove the filter, first remove the clamp that holds the rubber hose to the filter inlet tube.

If the clamp is a screw-type, simpley unscrew the clamp. If it's a spring type, expand it with pliers by squeezing the clamp tongs together and slide the rubber hose off the inlet tube.

Crimp-type clamps are cut off with diagonal cutters. These are often referred to as die-cutters, and are available at most places that sell tools.

Once the hose is removed from the inlet tube, unscrew the filter from the carburetor with a wrench of the proper size. Screw the new filter in with your fingers, then tighten it with a wrench.

Place the rubber hose over the filter's inlet tube, and put the clamp in place. If you had to cut the clamp off, replace it with a new screw-type clamp. These are available at service stations, auto parts supply stores.

Start the engine and let it idle, and check for leaks. PAPER FILTER. This type fits in the carburetor inlet. To remove it, use a line wrench of the proper size on the fuel line nut -- the small nut at the end of the metal fuel line which screws into the larger nut at the carburetor inlet.

Place a large wrench of the proper size on the large nut to keep it from turning, and loosen the small nut.

Once the small nut is completely unscrewed from the large nut, unscrew the large nut, and remove the filter and coil spring which are behind it.

Install the new filter, being sure the open end of the filter faces the fuel line. Don't forget to put the spring in first.

Screw in the large nut and tighten it. Then insert the fuel line inside this nut (called the fuel inlet nut) and tighten fuel line nut.

Start the car and observe to make sure there's no leakage. A COUPLE OF TIPS. Do not smoke while removing and replacing a filter. Have an approved fire extinguisher handy to be on the safe side.