Bad Fuel Filter Symptoms And Replacement Cost

Replacing the fuel filter may be more or less difficult. What do you have to do to install a new filter? How much does it cost in the workshop? If you read our text, you will learn how to change the fuel filter yourself!

Fuel Filter Replacement Cost

Fuel filter elements are placed in various nooks and crannies of the vehicle. Therefore, you don’t always have easy access to them. However, replacing the fuel filter is quite simple in most cases. When does complexity increase? The older the car, the more difficult this task. How to change the fuel filter in the car? Read our guide!

Where is the fuel filter located?

You need to know where this item will be replaced. Stairs appear here, because usually these elements can be hidden:

  • In the engine compartment
  • In the fuel tank
  • On the fuel line
  • Under the car

Once you’ve found it, you can move on to filter replacement. What are the different stages? Read on!

How to change the fuel filter in the car?

How to replace the fuel filter depends on where it is located. In older cars, the fuel filter is often placed near the McPherson buffer cup. Therefore, for this model, you must:

  • Open the top cover
  • Remove the filter used
  • Fill the tank with fuel
  • Reinstall elements

However, if the filter is located along the line under the car, you will need to clamp it first. This will stop the fuel flow when the filter is removed. The next steps are similar.

Why is it not worth changing the fuel filter yourself?

This is a situation that requires you to move beyond your capabilities. Sometimes changing the fuel filter requires removing it from the tank.

  • First, it is quite dangerous (especially when dealing with gasoline).
  • Second, it requires the use of special tools.
  • Thirdly, if there is no drain, it is impossible to replace the dirty element if it is placed under the car.

Then it is best when you go to the repair shop.

What’s the point of changing the fuel filter?

For some, this topic is quite controversial because in principle they don’t change filters in cars…never. Therefore, they do not experience any special problems with the operation of the machine. However, it must be recognized that modern power engines (especially diesel) are very sensitive to fuel quality.

The injector unit and common rail system require very clean fuel due to the small holes in the injectors. It is necessary to make several injections during one cycle of action. Even small contaminants can damage this sensitive device. Therefore, replacing the fuel filter is an absolute must.

How often to change fuel filter?

On engines requiring very clean fuel (eg in the diesel units mentioned), it is recommended to change the fuel filter at any or every other oil interval. This may mean a mileage of 1,300 – 1,800 miles ( 20,000-30,000 kilometers ). Others do it every 3 oil changes. There are also drivers who stick to the 62,000 mile ( 100,000 kilometers ) limit. However, we do not recommend imitating the habits of the car users above who do not change the fuel filter at all.

How to change the gasoline fuel filter?

On gasoline engines, changing the fuel filter does not require a bleed system. Usually all you need is:

  • Unpacking old elements
  • New filter installation
  • Turning the key several times to the ignition position

Of course, you cannot turn the key to start the engine. First, let the pump depress the system a few times. Only then turn the key to start the engine.

How to change the diesel fuel filter?

On older diesel engines, the system must be bleed to replace the fuel filter. This can be done with a special bulb placed on the inlet pipe or on the filter. On newer diesel engines, you can start engines similar to gasoline construction. The fuel system on the common rail system and injector unit does not require bleeding. You only need to turn the key a few times to the ignition position.

How much does it cost to replace the fuel filter?

Replacing the fuel filter by a specialist technician is only useful if it is hidden in the fuel tank or in some other inaccessible place. Then self-replacement is not an option. The cost at the workshop can fluctuate around $20 – $40. However, if you have a filter in the engine compartment and you’re not going to replace it yourself, you’ll end up paying more than $20. You have to decide if you need a professional or if you can handle it yourself.


For some people, changing the fuel filter is an unnecessary activity, but it is completely wrong. Contamination from the tank or in the fuel can cause major damage to the fuel supply system. The worst consequences await diesel owners.

Debris or other elements can damage the smooth surface of the injection pump or clog the injectors. Repair or replacement of these elements is a cost calculated in hundreds of dollars. However, maybe it’s better to pay a few tens of dollars or replace the filter yourself?

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