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The fuel filter works to remove any unwanted debris from the fuel line to help prevent it causing damage elsewhere in the engine. Fuel filters will generally need replaced once a year for most drivers, but those with high monthly mileage may need to replace it more often.
A fuel filter replacement costs between $53 and $165 for most cars to have the work done by a mechanic, while you can order the part itself for between $14 and $60. There’s usually a fast turnaround time on the repair, meaning most garages won’t charge much for the work. It’s often done as part of the annual service for most cars as a proactive measure to prevent any future issues.
Fuel Filter Replacement Cost Comparison
Changing a fuel filter is a routine repair and the vast majority of garages will be able to do the work for you. It’s an easy and quick repair to make so labor costs are usually low and the part itself is usually fairly inexpensive. If you want to make the repairs yourself, fuel filters can be ordered online from a variety of retailers.
Some sample costs from major garage chains and online retailers are below.
|Parts & labor||12 months||$83 – $209|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$64 – $188|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$71 – $213|
|Parts & labor||6 Months||$79 – $199|
|Parts||Limited||$6 – $45|
|Parts||Limited||$8 – $110|
What Is the Fuel Filter?
The role of the fuel filter in a car is to trap large particles of fuel before they reach the engine. The pistons in the engine compress the air and fuel mixture to allow it to burn more efficiently, and if any large particles make it through there’s a risk it could cause serious damage to the engine.
These large particles can also clog the fuel injectors, which would prevent a cylinder from receiving the proper amount of fuel and require a repair or a replacement of the injector. A properly maintained fuel filter will prevent these issues from occurring, saving you the time and expense of additional repairs to your car.
On most care the filter will be found within the engine compartment or close to the fuel tank under the car. The various types of fuel delivery systems means that fuel filters are different from car to car. A carburetor fueled engine uses a vacuum to suck fuel into the engine, and has a relatively low pressure fuel system. The fuel in this system will pass through rubber hoses, and the fuel filter will have an inlet and an outlet tube through which the fuel can pass. These fuel filters will typically be made from metal or plastic.
In a car which uses electronic fuel injection, fuel is squirted into each cylinder by the injectors. This is a high pressure fuel system, so the fuel filter needs to be made from metal to prevent it from breaking. The filter on a fuel injection system is normally threaded on to the fuel lines, again to keep it secure in the higher pressure environment.
Benefits of Fuel Filter Replacement
Replacing your fuel filter regularly is essential for maintaining the health of your engine and protecting it from foreign particles which may cause damage. In general, most mechanics will recommend replacing the filter once a year at the annual service. If you live in a high-pollution area or cover a significant number of miles each month, the filter will need to be replaced on a more regular basis.
There are numerous ways in which dirt and debris can get in to the fuel line, so a working fuel filter is crucial for preventing it causing damage to the engine. Replacing your fuel filter regularly is an inexpensive repair, and could end up saving you a small fortune in the future.
When Should You Have The Fuel Filter Replaced?
Most garages will inspect your fuel filter at the annual check up, and if they think it needs replaced they will carry out the work there and then. For the majority of drivers this will be enough to keep the filter healthy and prevent any possible issues.
Most cars don’t include a check engine code for the fuel filter, so it won’t be monitored directly by the car. Other issues caused indirectly by the faulty filter may trigger the check engine light though, such as decreased fuel flow from a clogged fuel filter. Another common error is for the computer to misinterpret a fuel filter issue as a problem with the oxygen sensor or mass air flow. It will sense a problem with the air and fuel mixture and flag a fault code, which can often lead to a misdiagnosis of the issue.
If the filter is plugged it can also cause random cylinder misfires, which can trigger an error code. If the engine begins to misfire when it’s under a heavy load, chances are that it’s a problem with the filter.
What Is Done During Fuel Filter Replacement?
- Before any work is undertaken, the pressure in the fuel line will have to be relieved. This is done by disabling the electric fuel pump before starting the engine
- To disable the fuel pump, first remove the fuel pump fuse from the fuse box. Ensure parking brake is on and start the engine. The car should run briefly before the engine cuts out, meaning the pressure in the fuel lines has been reduced
- Turn off the engine and disconnect the fuel lines from the filter
- Compare the existing filter with the new one before disconnecting. The filters should have an arrow indicating which way the fuel passes through
- If the new filter doesn’t have any arrows, make a note of the direction the existing filter is installed and look to replicate this
- Remove the old filter and replace it with the new one, ensuring everything is refitted securely
- Reattach the fuel lines securely and replace the fuel pump fuse in the fuse box
- Start the engine and inspect the new filter for any leaks
How to Save Money on Fuel Filter Replacement
Replacing the fuel filter is a fairly straightforward job, and most garages won’t charge too much for the work. If you’re looking to save money on your fuel filter replacement, it’s a job that most people will be able to manage on their own. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment, and the parts can be ordered online fairly cheaply.
Be sure to consult your owners manual and make sure you’re ordering the right part for your car. You can often save more money by opting for an aftermarket filter instead of OEM parts, so shop around for the best deal on a part with a good reputation.
You can usually save money by having it replaced as part of your annual service. This is when most people will have the filter replaced, and there’s often some discounting involved if there’s other work being done to the car.
The final option is to shop around for good deals in your area. With a filter change being a simple and routine repair, many garages run specials on things like filter replacements and oil changes to acquire new customers.
Sample Fuel Filter Replacement Costs
Below are some examples of how much a fuel filter replacement costs for some of the most popular cars in the country. These are estimates based on common pricing, and it may vary between garages and from place to place. Nevertheless, it should give you an idea of what a fuel filter replacement will cost.
|Ford F-Series||$71 – $90||$14 – $34||$85 – $124|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$71 – $90||$27 – $60||$98 – $150|
|Ford Focus||$71 – $90||$14 – $34||$85 – $124|
|Toyota Camry||$79 – $100||$44 – $56||$123 – $156|
|Toyota Corolla||$63 – $80||$18 – $55||$81 – $135|
|Nissan Altima||$63 – $80||$31 – $60||$94 – $140|
|Honda CR-V||$47 – $60||$20 – $42||$67 – $102|
|Honda Civic||$47 – $60||$26 – $34||$73 – $94|
|Honda Accord||$102 – $131||$26 – $34||$128 – $165|
|Ford Fusion||$39 – $50||$14 – $34||$53 – $84|