How often should I change the fuel filter?

The fuel filter is an important part of the fuel system. It cleans the fuel from impurities and dirt, which improves the quality of the engine and its service life. Without the filter, the fuel system would not be able to run smoothly. The fuel filter needs to be changed, but if the car has been sitting in the backyard for several years and is covered in rust, it’s better to give it to recycling. Especially nowadays, they give a lot of money for it:

The filtration system in the practice of car manufacturers has two levels of purification: coarse and fine.

The coarse filter is a grid in the gas tank, which can be washed or replaced if necessary. For systems with diesel fuel this element is complemented by a separator which separates water from the fuel. It is located before the high pressure pump.

The CFC (Collectorless Fine Filter) is integrated in the fuel supply line. It is a sealed housing with an inlet and outlet connection, resistant to high temperatures. It can no longer be simply flushed, it requires regular replacement. It may be required every 10-120 thousand km, depending on the engine brand.

Types of Fuel Filters

The location and design of filters depends most of all on the type of fuel system. Systems can be:

diesel systems.
Fuel filtration is required for both diesel and gasoline systems.

Diesel engines are more demanding to the quality of filtration because of the peculiarities of their design. They have much higher cylinder injection pressure than their gasoline counterparts. Due to this fact, the filters are replaced more often.

When it’s time to change the fuel filter on a gasoline engine
First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the instruction manual and the dealer’s recommendations, which unambiguously define the filter change time. However, the order of maintenance is also influenced by the operating conditions of the car. Bad gasoline and dusty roads speed up filter pollution, so it is necessary to change them more often than it is stated in the documents.

When is it time to change the fuel filter on a diesel engine

Usually in diesel vehicles, it is difficult to determine if the fuel filters are dirty. Therefore, the filter system is replaced by mileage. The average life of filters is from 15 to 40 thousand kilometers. It depends on the type of filter:

conventional external type – about 25 thousand km;
The filter-cartridge – from 60 to 120 thousand km.

The first type is installed on budget cars, the second – on premium cars from American, Korean and Japanese manufacturers.

Recommendations for Fuel Filter Service
If you are planning to change filters, late or mid-autumn is the best time to do so. During the cold season, the fuel thickens and a good permeability of the filtration system is required to keep the fuel pump from wearing out.

A change in the sound of the engine, a decrease in power is a sign of a clogged fuel system or bad fuel getting into it. The problem can be solved by replacing the fuel filter. Also be sure to drain the bad fuel and change the gas station. If the situation is serious, it may be necessary to flush the tank.


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