Friday, November 19, 2010

Is it necessary to change a vehicle's fuel filter?

I was online comparing oil filters and happened to stumble on fuel filters and, after reading it, I wanted to know if it was really necessary to change it (they recommended 12-15K miles per change). One of my cars has about 80K on it and the filter has never been changed. Is it really critical? I checked my owner's manual and nowhere does it mention changing fuel filters on a regular basis, nor have I heard of changing it from any mechanic. It does make sense that debris from dirty gas can clog the filter, but how many gallons do you need to fill up to get that kind of blockage? Also, my other car, 2004 Honda Accord, doesn't even have a fuel filter I can buy for it. I guess it's located somewhere that only a mechanic service. If it's so critical, why doesn't the owner's manual mention it? Is it just an unnecessary expense that doesn't have any value?Is it necessary to change a vehicle's fuel filter?
After every 50 fill-ups and/or 3,000-4,000 miles. Almost like the oil and oil filter. Have them all changed at the same time.

If you didn't change the fuel filter in 80k miles then the fuel that's put in must diluted as well. Get Fuel Injector cleaner, Lucas is the best, on your next fill up put that stuff in.Is it necessary to change a vehicle's fuel filter?
I drove a suv for 15 years 175,000 miles and never changed the fuel filter.Then I moved to a different area,within a month it wouldn't start the only problem was the fuel filter was stopped up. One of the gas stations in the new area had trash in their tanks, so I would say yes change it but only about every 75,000 miles.
yes at least every other oil change or at every oil change they arent that exspensive
I have a Subaru with 144,000 on it, a Toyota with 102,000 on it, and I've owed many others that have had over 100K and never put on a new fuel filter.

here's my reasoning, which goes against what other people may think. If a fuel filter was restricted at all, it would affect the car at high speed, while the most amount of fuel was going thru the filter. It wouldn't have problems driving around town or any of that.
The quality of the fuel going into cars anymore is far and away superior to what went into cars just twenty years ago. Go back forty years and the fuel was visibly different. From that aspect, fuel filters are almost - but not quite! - unnecessary. They're there to catch bits of crud that make it into the fuel from the tanker, the pipeline, and your own fuel tank - that's where the filter really earns its keep. It doesn't take a large bit of crud to stop up a fuel injector.

80K miles? Go ahead and change it. $10, 10 minutes - a small trade for one less thing to worry about. They're easy to replace - simple hand tools will get it loose, and it's usually close to the fuel tank, but models vary. Have a couple of pencils on hand to plug the fuel lines so you don't wind up taking an unleaded shower.

Get a copy of the Haynes repair manual for your make and model of car. They're typically less than $25, and worth every penny. You'd be surprised how much you can do, once a professional has done it first and written it out for you.

There is a fuel filter on your Accord. It's inside the tank. That's a bit more involved, but still an easy couple of hours to fix. They're available online (price I found: $65) or at your dealership. Dropping the tank and changing it yourself will save you lots and lots of money compared to $60/hr labor the shop charges.
yes, ALL vehicles have some kind of filtering media (filter) for fuel. debris builds up at the bottom of your fuel tank over time. whether it's rust, dirt, or even crap from the fuel pump itself. the fuel pump is usually designed to prevent picking up this stuff, but it doesn't always work. better to catch it as soon as possible before it enters the engine.
this is not rocket science. if the fuel filter is replaceable it is meant to be replaced. if it is located inside the fuel tank it is usually part of the fuel pump or pick up assembly and is replaced when the fuel pump fails
yes you should have changed it 50,000 miles ago to keep your car running good and from getting the fuel injectors plugged.

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