How Long Does a Fuel Filter Last?

The fuel filter in your vehicle helps deliver clean gasoline to your vehicle's engine while also protecting the fuel injectors. Over time, though, a fuel filter can become clogged, letting less and less fuel through to the engine until it eventually stops working altogether.

The only way that a car will be able to crank and run properly is by having the right amount of gas. Making sure that each of the components of the fuel system are working properly should be one of the top concerns that a car owner has. Among the most important and commonly overlooked parts of the fuel system is the fuel filter. This filter helps to filter out both the moisture and the trash that may get into the vehicle’s fuel system. The fuel filter on your vehicle is used every time you crank and drive the automobile.

When should you have the fuel filter replaced?

The rule of thumb when replacing a fuel filter on an older model car is at least every 2 years or 30,000 miles. On newer models, this interval can run longer. The best way to tell if your fuel filter needs replacing is to have the mechanic do a fuel pressure test. This lets the mechanic know how much PSI the fuel pump is generating at the fuel rail, with a faulty fuel filter reducing the pressure produced. The normal amount of pressure for a fuel-injected vehicle runs around 30 to 60 PSI.

Failing to get this filter replaced when it needs it will lead to a large degree of instability for your vehicle. Just like any other filter on a vehicle, eventually the fuel filter will become clogged and unable to do the job it was intended for. The location of the fuel filter depends on the type of vehicle. Some vehicles have fuel filters that are mount in the fuel line, while some have them in the fuel tank. Regardless of where your fuel filter is located, keeping an eye out for signs that it needs to be replaced is important in keeping your vehicle reliable.

Driving a car that has a bad fuel filter can lead to you being broke down on the side of the road. Usually, there will be a number of warning signs when the fuel filter has to be replaced. Failing to notice and act when these warning signs surface can lead to a number of different issues.

Symptoms of a faulty fuel filter

After determining that your vehicle has a faulty fuel filter, have a mechanic replace it. You should also check with the mechanic to determine the best fuel filter to use for your vehicle. Some of the symptoms associated with a faulty fuel filter include:

  • An engine dying or sputtering while driving, especially when accelerating
  • A rough idling engine
  • The car does not have the power it did
  • The car will not start
  • Very poor gas mileage
  • The Check Engine Light is on
  • The car will not stay cranked

At this point, ask a mechanic to change out your old filter. The ease of this process depends on where the fuel filter is located in your vehicle. On older models, the fuel filter lies between the gas tank and the engine. The easiest way to find it is to follow the fuel supply line. Most often, the filter is attached to the vehicle firewall or underneath the back of the vehicle, close to the fuel tank. Modern vehicles usually have the fuel filter inside the fuel tank and are harder to replace.

A bad fuel filter can be very bad for your engine and may render your vehicle unusable. A professional mechanic will be able to replace your fuel filter without a problem.


Next Step

Schedule Fuel Filter Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Fuel Filter Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Fuel Filter Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(497)

Rating Summary
460
25
3
1
8
460
25
3
1
8

Levi

9 years of experience
44 reviews
Levi
9 years of experience
Mercury Grand Marquis - Fuel Filter - Edmond, Oklahoma
Levi arrived on time, worked during cold conditions and did an excellent job. Levi has helped us before. We like his attitude and his work. He is an outstanding mechanic.
Mercury Sable - Fuel Filter - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
He let me know that he was going to be there earlier than expected, which was awesome, and he took care of the problem and didn’t try and up sell any work that some garage mechanics do. Will definitely be using him again for all our car needs.

Andrew

15 years of experience
399 reviews
Andrew
15 years of experience
Acura Integra - Fuel Filter - Vancouver, Washington
Andrew was very informative on what was going on with my Acura and what needed to be done as part of it’s maintenance. He was also early on both appointments which was even better!
GMC K1500 Suburban - Fuel Filter - Portland, Oregon
On time, very polite, and is one of the few mechanics who I felt actually listened to what I thought the problem was! I don't really want any other mechanic anymore

LAVELL

27 years of experience
121 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Fiat 500 - Fuel Filter - San Francisco, California
Lavell was very knowledgeable and I appreciate his expertise! He was patient and listened to my concerns. Additionally, he recommended services that would be beneficial in order to maintain the life of my vehicle.

Ruben

17 years of experience
115 reviews
Ruben
17 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C230 - Fuel Filter - Columbia, South Carolina
Ruben is a very proficient Mechanic, with good work ethics and manners. He took time to explain the pertinent issues and answer all my questions in detail. He appears to be very knowledgeable about Mercedes, as evident by his explanations regarding the Service he provided and my Car in general.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Buy a Good Quality Fuel Filter
Fuel Fuel filters can be considered the final defense to block particles that may be in the fuel from reaching and damaging the engine. Both high-pressure fuel injected systems with either diesel or gas fuel can all have additives or...
How to Change a Fuel Filter
Changing a fuel filter can be challenging, as you may need tools specific to the fuel line fitting of your vehicle.
What Does the Fuel Filter Warning Light Mean?
The fuel filter check engine light warns you when your diesel fuel filter is full, and needs to be emptied to avoid engine damage.

Related questions

Fuel system not working properly.

You have already performed most of the repairs associated with this problem. This vehicle uses throttle body injection (TBI) which is a fairly simple system. In your situation, the pressure line to the throttle body assembly may be obstructed or...

It won't start - 2002 Nissan Maxima

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2002 Nissan Maxima. You should start by testing the fuel pump pressure. You could try banging on the tank while someone cranks it to see if the pump starts working again. If...

Car only runs when jumper the fuel pump

Check to see if you are getting power when you test the green with orange stripe wire going to the fuel pump module. If you have no power then check the the fuel inertia switch, in the left kick panel,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com