How Often to Change Fuel Filter

Like any other filters in your car, fuel filters can be blocked or clogged after a particular time. Therefore, replacing the fuel filter becomes obvious to avoid any unexpected mess. But how often to change the fuel filter? How can you identify bad fuel filters? These types of questions may arise in your mind.

Don’t worry, here you’re going to help you to get answers of your questions.  After reading this article, you’ll be able to recognize whether the fuel filter is in good condition or not and how often you should replace the fuel filter

Where is my fuel filter located?

On most car models, the fuel filter is located between the fuel pump and the injectors. In some cars, there are two filters installed for better filtering. One filter among them works for rough cleaning and another for cleaning more finely.

Typically, the highest point in the vehicle’s fuel system is the perfect location of the fuel filter. This way, the nozzle valve collects and returns entered air with a portion of the fuel. 

This special paper-made filter is generally located in the engine compartment of the car in a steel container. However, if you’re still hesitant about where is the fuel filter located in your car, you can check the user manual.

Symptoms of a bad fuel filter 

There are some common
signs of a bad fuel filter that will indicate that your vehicle needs fuel filter replacement. However, there might be any other problems associated with those signs you need to change your fuel filter.

So, it’s better to analyze bad fuel filter symptoms with the help of any professional mechanic. So, let’s have a look at all symptoms of a bad fuel filter.

Engine Power Failure

Suppose you notice your engine can’t provide as much output as you put on it. Let’s make it clear. When you’re trying to climb over a hill or any other inclined area, you may be able to see this issue. 

When you press down the accelerator, you’ll notice no response from the engine as it usually does, while the thing should be opposite. That means your car isn’t getting enough amount of fuel into the combustion chamber as it should, which results in a lack of engine power.

Although your engine will behave normally, it is not getting enough fuel that matches its demand, and ultimately your engine will face a lack of power. 

Bad Gas Mileage

Your car’s fuel efficiency mainly depends on the condition of the fuel filter. So when your fuel filter gets worse, your gas mileage will get worse.

A clogged fuel filter hinders the standard fuel supply to the engine. If your engine is not getting enough fuel, the fuel flow will be faster to ensure sustainable fuel supply as the car demands. 

Engine Stalling

Your engine requires the proper amount of fuel for its functioning. However, when the fuel filter is clogged with contaminants or debris, or other substances, your engine won’t get enough power.

For this naturally results in malfunctioning of the engine, and ultimately the engine can be stalled at any time.

Engine Won’t Start

If your fuel filter is clogged severely, you may not be able to start the engine even after having a full tank of gas. In this case, your car isn’t getting any fuel there.

However, this is a pretty rare issue so far. You may notice some other matters before the engine fails to start. Those symptoms may help you to identify the actual problem. 

When your engine isn’t starting without showing any other symptoms, that means your fuel filter is highly clogged with an excessive amount of debris or contaminants. 

Bad Fuel Pump

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that a bad fuel filter can malfunction in the fuel pump. If the fuel filter is clogged badly, that means the fuel pump needs to work overtime to flow more fuel. 

Think about you’re vacuuming your house, and something is blocking the hose at the end. This could result in burnout of the whole unit just because the line is clogged and it can’t do its job correctly. 

Check Warning Light

Most modern cars come with a warning light, and this is the most effective warning system. However, the engine warning light signals don’t mean the problem is limited to the fuel filter. Instead, it can indicate different issues so far.

However, the easiest way to find out a clogged fuel filter is looking whether the light is going off. That means your fuel filter is failed to maintain the necessary fuel pressure.

You can also detect a bad fuel filter if your car has a pressure; this sensor can check out the fuel pressure in the line.

Engine Misfires

When your fuel filter is clogged, you’re just putting overstress on the engine that may result in misfiring. The acceleration to a high-speed or climbing hill or heading incline requires more fuel to burn.

If the fuel filter is clogged, it won’t supply a precise fuel to the combustion chamber and may occur misfiring. Misfiring in the engine for a more extended period can occur severe damage to the engine.

How often to change fuel filters

how often should you change your oil filter? or how long do oil filters last? Generally, you shouldn’t wait until the fuel filter gets fully damaged. 

Instead, you should change the fuel filter after a certain period. However, there are several recommendations from experts about the frequency of fuel filter replacements.

What does a fuel filter do? Like other filters in your car, a fuel filter catches contaminants and debris, so it is highly susceptible to be clogged or blocked. Previously, the lifespan of a fuel filter was claimed as 30,000 to 60,000 km. 

However, as the modern refining process is upgraded and fuel gets purer, a filter can perform up to 100,000km. 

Generally, it is good to replace the fuel filter every two years or when you’ve completed 30,000 km. However, in case you identify the fuel filter clogged severely, you should replace it as soon as possible. Now you might have learned when to change fuel filter.

How long does it take to change a fuel filter?

Many people become worried about how to
change fuel filter. Luckily, you needn’t to be worried at all. Changing a fuel filter is not a hard job by any means, and you can do this yourself easily at home. 

However, sometimes it may get complicated, still, it will take 10 to 20 minutes to replace the fuel filter with a new one. But you should be careful about relieving pressure before your job is done.

Benefits of Changing Fuel Filter

There are several benefits of changing a fuel filter; this is why you should replace your fuel filter as soon you notice any symptoms in your car. First, let’s have a quick look at all the benefits of changing the fuel filter.

  • Increases the lifespan of your engine
  • Boosts engine power
  • Improves engine performance
  • Provide reduced emissions
  • Ensures better fuel efficiency
  • Protects fuel injectors from contaminants.

Fuel Filter replacement cost 

Fuel filters for diesel engines
or gas station pump filters have to be replaced after regular intervals. However, as we mentioned before, replacing a fuel filter is not a taught task so far, and it’s not much expensive. The average fuel filter replacement cost is $50 to $170. 

You can purchase the fuel filter part at $15 or $70, and the labor cost will be approximately $45 to $100. 


Your wise decision about
how often to change fuel filters can ensure better performance of your engine and give you a more safe driving experience. So, don’t delay while you have noticed any symptom of a bad fuel filter. If you’re an expert, then it’s okay; otherwise, go to a professional mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does a fuel filter last?

How long a fuel filter will last depends on the model of your vehicle, your driving habits, maintenance, and the age of the fuel filter. However, the most recognized concept is changing a fuel filter after 2 years or 30,000 miles. 

  • What happens if you don’t change your fuel filter?

If you don’t change your fuel filter even after noticing signs you need to change your fuel filter, you’re putting the engine and yourself in danger. Avoiding regular replacement of fuel filters can create issues in the engine performance. If the filter is clogged severely, it can damage your engine badly. You won’t get decent mileage and often notice a misfire in the engine. 

  • Can I change my fuel filter myself?

If you have enough knowledge about the steps of replacing a fuel filter, then you can do it fast. However, there is only one fuel filter in your car; this is why you should be more careful. Otherwise, failure in the process can lead to many problems.

  • Can I drive with a bad fuel filter?

It depends on the condition of your fuel filter. If the fuel filter is high clogged, there is less chance that you can drive with a bad fuel filter. However, even you can go with a bad fuel filter, you’re risking the engine and yourself as well.

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