It is a fact that some car users are looking for different types of cheaper parts. Nevertheless, there are elements which it is not worth to save on. One of them is the fuel filter, which is very important for the durability of the injection system.
If you use modern diesel engine or petrol engine with direct injection, putting off replacement of fuel filter for later might result in damage to the injectors and air blocking of the fuel system. Of course, this involves huge costs of repair which brings us to the question of how often we should replace the fuel filter?
Of course, the primary determinant of frequency of such replacement is the manufacturer’s indication, which can be found in the vehicle operating manual. Most often, it is advised to replace the fuel filter after riding from 30 000 to even 120 000 km ? the latter case concerns some Japanese cars. However, if the distance that we cover during one year is about 10 000 km, it is worth to replace the fuel filter every year.
It is also worth to remember that, in case of diesel engines, such replacement should be made before every winter, as this is the time when greatest amounts of water, heavy oil fractions and other harmful substances, are deposited in the fuel filter. Riding another winter with contaminated filter can result in costly repairs of engine parts.
Now there arises another question: can you save by replacing the fuel filter on your own? Yes but provided the fuel filter is located in a visible and accessible place. In newer cars, it is usually a metal can accessed by fuel lines. Sometimes it is replaced as a whole, and in some cars only its cartridge. The fuel filter is most often located next to MacPherson columns or partition wall of the engine compartment – in some older vehicles, it could be located underneath, near the fuel tank or along the fuel lines.
In such situation, we will need a lift or a channel to replace it. Once we find the fuel filter, it all becomes quite simple. You just need to clamp rubber ends of the lines and remove the bands, then pull out the old filter, insert the new one, paying attention to the flow direction, and fix the lines properly ? just like they were mounted in the removed filter.
If the filter is located in the tank, it will not be possible to replace it manually because of lack of special tools and it is not worth to buy them for a one-time operation.