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How do you know when it's time to change the Fuel Filter?

5106 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  CELICA XX
Greetings. :)

Well, the last routine maintenance part on the list to change is the Fuel Filter...has been for some time...just haven't had the time to do it.

I was just wondering, what are the symptoms when a Fuel Filter is clogged/dirty etc...are there any? How long would you say they last before they get clogged or whatever? I'm not sure if mine needs changing yet...

Also, if the filter isn't working right, would that interfere with the air/fuel, would it be out of sync because maybe not enough fuel is going through when the ECU thinks there is...

I don't know...Hopefully someone can shed some light on the matter.

Thanks guys. :D
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Well.... Depends on who you talk to...

Toyota says that you treat the fuel filter like the timing belt.. IE: Change it every 60,000 miles (sorry, don't know what this is in kilometers).

I on the other hand as of about 6 - 8 years ago, have to do things differently....

Right around 6 - 8 years ago, up here in Washington State (in the US), all of the gas stations up here (at least in the greater Seattle area) switch to Oxygenated gasoline in the winter time. Supposed to burn better & does not pollute the air as much (although studies have now concluded that they really don't do SQUAT). One of the hazards of this stuff is that the oxygenated gas tends to stir up all of the "crud" that sit's at the bottom of your gasoline tank. Some of this stuff does make it's way past the pickup screen on the fuel pump, before it gets stopped by the fuel filter. So now this means that the fuel filter gets dirtier/more clogged up w/ crap much much sooner than normal. So now whenever I do a tune-up every 15K - 20K miles or so (I try to time this in the Springtime after we get off of the crappy gas), I've been told by several peeps (Toyota parts & my own regular mechanic) that the fuel filter needs to be changed out...

So for those of us in the US, it depends on where you live. Don't know if you guys in AUS have to go to oxygenated/blended gasoline in the cold winter months. If not, consider yourself lucky!!! Then that means you get to change it every 60K miles.

One of the symptoms of a clogged filter is that the motor has no getup & go... Very sluggish acceleration. If you don't think that the filter has not been changed in awhile, just change it anyway, as a preventive maintenance thing.
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I'm afraid to... All I hear is how it's a PITA! =)
If you can't remember when it was changed last ... it's time to do it agian. Not scientific but holds true for damn near every part on the car.

And yes, it is a PITA. If my fuel lines ever start leaking that MoFo is getting re-located.

Good Luck, and start practicing making your fore arm realy skinny!
yep, I agree, its defintly something that should be changed if you don't know when it was done last and the filter itself doesn't look all shiny new. Clogged filters can kill fuel pumps, you leave it too long and you'll be changing both at once. But your right, it is a PITA. I know I'll be pulling my motor sometime in the near future so I've been saving it for then :D (and I'm going to relocate the bloody thing too)
its a PITA to change the filter- Just changed mine yesterday with sweat and ache. Had trouble unscrewing the bottom bolt that connected the (i think) out fuel line; it was shut tight.
Q? I checked the torque specs. for the bolt through the Haynes manual. It's not there. .....How much should it be torqued?
Need to know since car is still on jacks.
Its not too horrible to change maybe an hour of contortionist acts. I don't believe there is any torque values on the banjo fittings. I've always just use my built in arm torque wrench to tighten them. Just make sure to check for leaks after you start it up.
Where exactly is the fuel filter located? Is it alright to purchase a FRAM or is the Toyota part better?
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