Fuel filter primer: its 'care and feeding'

  • Article by: Car Care Council
  • Updated: July 16, 2004 - 11:00 PM

Fuel filters trap harmful contaminants that may cause problems with carburetors and intricate fuel injectors. Fuel moves continuously up the supply side, through the filter to the fuel rail or throttle body.

On carbureted cars, replace the filter once a year. On cars with fuel injection it's best to replace the filter every two years or 24,000 miles. Most filters on domestic cars and trucks hide underneath on the frame or body. Just the opposite is true on the imports. Those filters are usually found somewhere in the engine compartment.

If you decide to change the filter yourself, be careful. Fuel injection systems maintain pressure in the lines that must be relieved prior to filter replacement. Also, some filters require special tools to replace the fuel filter. Because of these technicalities and because of most filter locations, it's best to have your car's fuel filter replaced by a qualified service professional.

Source: Car Care Council, a national non-profit organization created to educate motorists about the benefit of proper vehicle maintenance.

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