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  1. #1
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    Inside a fuel filter cut open

    I did like I was told here and replaced my fuel filter with regulator built in. I have just turned 77,000 miles on my original filter, so conventional wisdom says I was overdue. Others have suggested cutting open a replaced filter to see how much glop gets filtered out of the line, so I gave it a try.
    Interesting to see exactly what is inside for the $40 and up that you can pay for this combo unit. It's basically an aluminum tube packed with a pleated paper filter similar to the oil filter element. There's a tiny spring/diaphragm at one end that I guess performs any regulation that takes place.
    So anyway, after my 77K miles of filling across this country at always the cheapest indy pumps you could ever find, I can tell you that I found zero accumulation of any visible sediment, glop, sludge, particulate or whatever. The paper filter was blackened, but I have no idea what color it started out as.
    I'm not sure what this proves and I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Doesn't appear that I was in imminent need of this filter replacement, but what do I know. I had thought that the cheapest indies are supposed to have dirty tanks with horrid stuff in them, so go figure. My filter was in great shape.


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    Re: Inside a fuel filter cut open

    Thanks for the info. When I changed my fuel pump at 186k miles, I wanted to also change the fuel filter ( last changed at 125K ) but since I did not have access to a lift, I've decided to wait until next oil change. After I installed the new fuel pump I lived with the fear that the fuel filter might be partially clogged and will stress the new pump, but your post gives me some hope that this is not the case. Evidently, each case is different but is good to know that your fuel filter is clean after 77K miles. Did you have access to a lift?
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Re: Inside a fuel filter cut open

    Disagree.

    Replaced mine at 67k miles.

    The new one is/was easy to blow through. The old one was impossible.

    Guess leaving it in for a "lifetime" would have ended up costing me a fuel pump sooner rather than later . . . .

    Filters are cheap; pumps are not.

  4. #4
    Mark
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    Disagree

    I used www.autohausaz.com for mine; not very expensive at all.

    Also, it's best to change this when your fuel tank is almost empty--less head pressure and less flow on your garage floor . . .

  5. #5
    Stinger9
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    I tried to get under the car, but could not get

    far enough in to do the fuel filter. Asked the local BMW dealer to do the labor and they quoted me $80 to install my filter.
    Local garage was totally familiar with the job and did me for $20!

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    I wish you'd go back and read my post where

    I said 'draw your own conclusions'. How can you 'disagree' with that?

    Fuel filter is not cheap or easy, but I'd never advocate infrequent changes. Just thought it would be interesting to relate what one person's experience was.

    Wish they put it in an easier place for the DIY'er to reach!

  7. #7
    James
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    In one respect, not really that surprising.

    Standards and controls related to gasoline production and delivery have evolved so much over the last 10-15 years there's little difference these days between 'most' small independents and the larger gasoline outlets, so for me anyway there's not nearly the concerns there use to be. Certainly, there are still some very small independents I'd be wary of, and yes, some may still not have their pump systems calibrated to where you're really gettin (for example) the specified 50/50 mix of low and high for medium grade, but I think those are a very small exception to the norm.

    I still prefer to use Chevron whenever I can, but if I'm in a pinch and have no other reasonable options, I don't have nearly the concerns I once did about using a mom and pop gas station out in the middle of nowhere. If the tank inspectors are doing their job, then there's typically not going to be that much to worry about.

    Re the filter, I did the same thing a few years ago with the filter out of my wife's Infinity. 96k miles on the car when I changed it the first time, had never used anything but medium grade Chevron, and you would have thought the filter came out of a car with 20k miles on it (compared to what you'd seen 15 years ago in a similar test). Just more evidence to me that gas, just like motor oil, has evolved ten fold to what where we use to be.

    James

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    Re: In one respect, not really that surprising.

    would you get the same results if you used any standard brand gas other than Chevron.. I always thought that any standard brand works well.

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    What you say makes sense, just that so many

    people still talk as if a tankload of sludge is a horror still waiting out there for us. I do recall decades ago using a small inline fuel filter that was a clear glass cylinder with the pleated element inside. In much less than 77K I could notice small particles collecting in the filter. So I was surprised when I saw nary a piece of anything. And I was stopping at the cheapest place in town always over 7 coast to coast round trips.

  10. #10
    James
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    Re: In one respect, not really that surprising.

    I really can't speak from first hand experience, but I suspect the answer would be yes. Texaco for example has always seemed to have an excellent reputation, it's just that around here anyway they've always seemed to be priced higher than Chevron. And Chevron, I believe even back when they were Gulf, was the first to use Techron or similar additive. I've had several cars and trucks over the years that have seen way over 100k miles without ever having any type of engine problems. So for me, it just seems reasonable to attribue some of that success to the gas. Good gas and changing the oil when it's time seem to be the key factors to engine longevity.

    James

  11. #11
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    Re: In one respect, not really that surprising.

    FYI
    I have been getting well over 200k miles on a car and almost never use Chevon, but only use standard brands. Never use gas additives as a rule. Sold my E30 at about 260k. But if Chevon works for you, do it. I agree with Techron being a good product.

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