Fuel filter repair or replacement is not listed as a regular maintenance item on most vehicles, and your vehicle’s fuel filter generally will not need attention unless it is causing problems. However, some manufacturers recommend periodic replacement of the fuel filter. Most current models say to change it every 150,000 miles or 15 years. But Volkswagen says to replace it every 20,000 miles on many current models, and Subaru recommends replacement every 60,000 miles.
Whether your fuel filter needs periodic service or replacement can also differ by model or engine. On most Ford vehicles, fuel filters are not part of the maintenance schedule – but on a diesel-powered F-250, there are actually two fuel filters, both of which Ford recommends replacing every 15,000 miles. Other manufacturers may have similar recommendations for diesel engines, make sure to check your maintenance schedule to ensure that you are replacing yours at the correct intervals.
If the fuel filter is not on the maintenance schedule, then it is most likely integrated with the fuel pump inside or on the fuel tank, and to replace it, you will have to replace the whole setup. The filter is designed to catch and remove any contaminants and impurities from the fuel line that could damage your engine. Sediment can get into a vehicle’s fuel tank, which can clog the filter or restrict the flow of fuel.
How do you know if you need a new fuel filter? One typical example of a restricted fuel filter is a vehicle that cuts out or loses power driving up an incline, such as a bridge. Under load, fuel demand increases and a clogged fuel filter reduces the needed flow. As the fuel filter gets dirty, the fuel pump works much harder. This is why a restricted filter will damage the fuel pump.
A misfire at idle or a vehicle that is hard to start is NOT normally a symptom of a bad fuel filter. Fuel requirements at an idle or startup are low. Even a badly restricted filter can supply adequate fuel under low load conditions. As the need for fuel flow increases, the restricted filter will reveal itself. This is why we notice bad fuel filters on acceleration and when climbing an incline.
If you suspect that you have a problem with your fuel filter and it needs service or replacement, come in to Orozco’s Auto Service of Long Beach today. We can fix any of your fuel system related problems and get that fuel flowing freely again!