If your car reacts slowly when you press the accelerator or makes strange noises, it is very likely that these symptoms are caused by a clogged fuel filter or an oversaturated one with particles.
All fuel filters occasionally require replacement, this operation generally being done together with the vehicle overhaul. Over time, the filter becomes oversaturated with dirt, rust from the gas tank, or leftover contaminants from normal damage to the intake manifold.
Even if you have a new car with a filter “guaranteed for life”, it will still require replacement, at least once every 40,000 to 80,000 miles traveled.
How Much Does a Fuel Filter Replacement Cost?
The cost of a fuel filter replacement for your vehicle is anywhere between $55 and $160 at a dealer or local mechanic. This cost will include the labor and parts. However, you can do this job on your own and spend only $20 to $60 for the parts, depending on the car you drive.
If you choose to go to Pep Boys, you should expect to pay around $85 for their fuel filter replacement services.
The Jiffy Lube service charges anywhere between $70 and more than $110 for replacing the fuel filter, depending on the make and model of your car.
When talking about the cost of the parts, as we mentioned above, these would be anywhere between $15 and $50. For instance, you can find a filter at AutoZone that costs only $7, while Advance Auto Parts sells most of their premium filters for $15 to $30.
In general, the fuel filter replacement is done with the annual service for most cars, and its costs will be included in the overall package cost. In order to maintain the health of your vehicle’s engine, most mechanics recommend changing the fuel filter every year.
Keep in mind that for some newer car models, the fuel filter is part of the fuel pump module and you will not be able to replace the filter alone.
In the table below you will find the average costs for fuel filter replacement for some of the most popular car models.
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$159.5|
Fuel filter overview
The fuel filter is mounted between the fuel tank and the engine and has the role of filtering impurities from the fuel. This is usually constructed of a metal body and has a gasket to prevent fuel leaks. Inside, there is a filter element, which can be made of paper or a porous material, and which retains the impurities. The fuel flow is drawn through the fuel filter before reaching the engine.
Some fuel filters also contain a water separator, which is a device that removes water from the fuel before it reaches the engine. Water can cause engine damage and clog fuel injectors, so removing it is an important function of the fuel filter.
How to replace a fuel filter
Replacing the fuel filter is a relatively simple operation and can be performed by the vehicle owner or a mechanic. The procedure may vary slightly depending on the vehicle model, but in general, the following steps should be followed:
- Locate the fuel filter on the vehicle. It can be located in a variety of locations, such as under the body or in the engine compartment.
- Disconnect the battery terminals and bleed the fuel system to relieve system pressure.
- Remove the old fuel filter and replace it with a new one, making sure the gasket is in place and in good condition.
- Connect the battery cables and terminals and start the engine to check the operation of the system.
How to test the fuel filter?
There is certainly no way to repair the fuel filter, nor is it advisable to repair it given the fact that a fuel filter does not have a high price at all.
The most important thing, however, if you are going to clean a dirty fuel filter, is to check if it is functional or not, and to do this you just have to start the car and wait. If the car manages to start without much difficulty and it has a normal flow of fuel, it means that you have successfully cleaned the filter. Otherwise, a visit to a care service will be needed.
Bad fuel filter symptoms
There are some signs that may indicate that the fuel filter needs to be replaced. If you experience any of the following 5 symptoms of a bad fuel filter, it may be time to replace it:
- Difficulty starting the engine;
- Reduced engine power or performance;
- Hard idling or engine misfires due to low fuel pressure;
- Stiffness or hesitation while driving;
- Increased exhaust gas emissions.
It’s also important to note that if you frequently drive in dirty or dusty conditions, or if you use lower-quality fuel, you may need to change your fuel filter more often. regardless of the car’s mileage
Tips for saving money
Believe it or not, it is not that hard to replace a fuel filter. As long as you follow a how-to tutorial video, like the one we posted below, you can easily do this job, even if you don’t have a lot of car repair experience. As we already mentioned in the beginning, the parts will cost you less than $40 and the fuel filter replacement process will take less than one hour. For example, you can find a lot of universal parts on Amazon that cost less than $30. Just look in your car’s manual and make sure you purchase the right part.
And if you really want to save money, take into consideration buying an aftermarket filter instead of an OEM piece.
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