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Author Topic: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut  (Read 366 times)

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« on: July 07, 2020, 05:44:16 PM »
Hello my friends, how are you, I hope you are doing well?

Now then. I'm hoping to change the fuel filter on my 1.9 Mk2 Alhamb and had some questions please:

How important is it to fill the filter up with fuel after you change it?
Do you fill the filter all the way up until it starts overflowing?
What's that weird clip thing on the top left of the filter?
How often does the fuel filter really need replacing?
How important is it to replace the filter and what happens if you don't?
If you don't have a jerry can full of diesel lying around (who does), what's the best way of getting half a litre of the stuff home without buying a new jerry can?
Can you put diesel in a jerry can that has carried petrol? How bad is it if a bit of diesel and petrol gets mixed up (like a tablespoon full or so)?
Are there any common pitfalls or things that can go wrong when you change the fuel filter?

Thank you all for your knowledgeable expertise and continuing friendship!

[THANKS]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 08:11:46 PM »
How important is it to fill the filter up with fuel after you change it?

You do that to reduce the amount of air your putting into the system, if you don't do it, it may not start or may take a long time of cranking to get it to start (until its dumped all the air out to somewhere it isn't' causing a problem).
You may find a hand pump of some type (a rubber bulb in the hose for example) will be provided to do this, the Espace I've got has that, and you can use it to fill the filter up till it starts coming out of the outlet. You may find its not needed at all as theres no mention of it in the manual.... hoepfully someone whos done it can post about it.


Do you fill the filter all the way up until it starts overflowing?
Don't know what the diesel types use for a filter, but usually as close as you can to the top (the less air going in there the better). Looking on ECP for the filter suggests its a sealed canister with 2 spouts on it, so you may need to fill it as detailed above (or put something like that on the outlet from the filter and use it to suck the air out of the filter, AFAIK there isn't an intank pump on the diesels, but if there is, then you might be able to do whats needed by leaving the outlet open (put something over it to catch any that comes out into a container) and using the ignition to pump the fuel into the filter (just turn key to position 2 and let the pump run like that).

What's that weird clip thing on the top left of the filter?
The haynes manual shows a control hose goes onto that fitting if its the same as what i'm looking at. Looks like a hose with a t shape fitting on it is held by the clip.

How often does the fuel filter really need replacing?
Depends how much it gets blocked up, which depends on how clean the diesel your using is. Minimum of every couple of years really, or every 20000 miles is whats recommended in haynes.

How important is it to replace the filter and what happens if you don't?

If it gets blocked up sufficiently you will have the same effect as running out of diesel in the tank (engine will die and fail to restart).

If you don't have a jerry can full of diesel lying around (who does), what's the best way of getting half a litre of the stuff home without buying a new jerry can?
Borrow a suitable container from a friend? May not be necessary if you look at the first answer though?

Can you put diesel in a jerry can that has carried petrol? How bad is it if a bit of diesel and petrol gets mixed up (like a tablespoon full or so)?
Would be a good idea if its had petrol in the can, to empty it into something else as far as possible. If you want to be as sure as you can that its got no significent amount of petrol in the can, leave it open somewhere once you've emptied it as far as possible and the remainer will evaporate.

Are there any common pitfalls or things that can go wrong when you change the fuel filter?

Not being able to get it to start afterwards or having leaks from it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 08:18:40 PM by brianh »

Offline Chrispb

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 09:17:28 PM »
You do not need to fill the filter on the PD engine, just cycle the ignition on and off about 12 times, the intank pump will fill the filter and vent the air back to the tank.
There are two O rings on thermostatic connector make sure you have new O rings with the new filter, before disconnecting anything make a note or take a photo of the orientation so you don't get to fit the filter 180 deg out.

Don't disconnect the pipes from the connector just pull out the clip and carefully pull the connector out of the filter, be gentle as the can break easily.

I usually change the fuel filter every two years or 20.000 mls.
2009 Kia Sedona GS In Black 2.9CRDI 183PS. 5 Speed Manual WAV.
2003 MK2 Galaxy Ghia In Solid Black 1.9 TDI 115PS. 5 Speed Automatic.

Upgraded Eberspšcher booster heater  to independent heating with 7 day timer.

With VCDS lite (full version) need a code clearing or want to scan for faults in the north kent area, PM me.
All for a pint of Strongbow.

The FordMPV.com Forum - The free forum for questions and answers relating to the Ford Galaxy, S-Max and C-Max

Offline Chrispb

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2020, 09:33:52 PM »
Just to be clear you need the cycle the ignition on and off as the pump will only run for 2 seconds without the engine actually running, once the engine starts the pump will run continuously.
If the engine falters or fails to start just repeat the process.
2009 Kia Sedona GS In Black 2.9CRDI 183PS. 5 Speed Manual WAV.
2003 MK2 Galaxy Ghia In Solid Black 1.9 TDI 115PS. 5 Speed Automatic.

Upgraded Eberspšcher booster heater  to independent heating with 7 day timer.

With VCDS lite (full version) need a code clearing or want to scan for faults in the north kent area, PM me.
All for a pint of Strongbow.

The FordMPV.com Forum - The free forum for questions and answers relating to the Ford Galaxy, S-Max and C-Max

Online johnnyroper

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2020, 10:57:32 PM »
As above I never fill the filter up on cars equipped with in tank electric pumps,just cycle ignition as Chris said to prime system.
 The T shaped plastic part is a thermostatic valve, it lets some hot return fuel from engine back in to filter in cold conditions to help prevent waxing.

The main problem that can occur with these cars is o rings on thermo valve allowing air to enter so make sure they are replaced,a decent filter will have them in the box.
As for replacement intervals what Brian said is the most I would run one for 2 years or 20k, if you donít change them you can get poor flow resulting in low power

Offline Mirez

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 09:29:43 AM »
As above, the fuel filter is inline with the tank pump so is automatically primed with the ignition. Therefore cycling it on and off will push fuel into the filter and the air will be returned to the tank.

The other questions have been answered, the reason for changing is to maintain good fuel flow to the engine and remove collected water - Like Chris, I do mine every 20K
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Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 05:16:30 PM »
Thank you all so much, this is really helpful and clearly/logically answered and I feel confident to do this handy little job now!  Have ordered the filter from Euros and can't wait to crack on with it!

 [THANX]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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  • Region: South East
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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 04:33:36 PM »
Hello everyone, so a little update on the fuel filter. I got my filter from Euros, a Bosch one, and was saddened to see when I got home with all my tools ready that it didnít have a little packet of o-rings in the box (like the oil filters do). I took it back and they said the Crosland and Mann ones didnít have any in the box either. Iíve seen so many articles in the computer saying how important it is to change the o-rings that I was very surprised to not see any in the box. I figured that if an oil filter has o-rings in the box then surely a fuel filter would.

Now, my local Euros is full of shifty types who take ages to serve you, who flirt with customers and who try to borrow tools from the shop just because they work there. So, I canít be sure whether the filters really donít come with such an important part or if itís just Euros being rubbish. Itís possible that the man in the shop didnít even really check, they do talk out of their backsides there quite a lot. I just got a refund and said I would leave a review in the computer.

So, what do you expert and knowledgable friends think? Should the o-rings have been in the box? How important is it that theyíre changed? Do you think the garage ever changes them (you know how lazy a lot of garages are)?

Thank you
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 05:31:10 PM »
The Bosch number shown on the photos is 0450906334, you should be able to locate it from that.

Bosch filters usually come complete with any required seals, as Johnnyroper said above, your best to replace them (usually a good rule with any disturbed o rings to replace them anyway). searching for the number above doesn't seem to show any filters with the o-rings. The Crosland one does show it comes with o-rings in the photo, but I generally avoid Crosland filters and wouldn't necessarally trust the photo on ECP anyway.

I'd expect them to be in the box, but it wouldn't be unknown for them to not be included. I'd suspect its more likely they have gone missing from the box. Might be worth ordering one for delivery and confirm that the o-rings will be with it though?.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 06:32:52 PM »
Thank you... this is most puzzling indeed, on the one hand everyone seems to agree that it is important to replace the o-rings, yet all the photos on the internet and the product descriptions make no mention of any o-rings in the box (and the box I had also didnít have any). Iím now starting to get suspicious as to whether the o-rings have ever been changed, I bet most garages donít even bother to change the o-rings even if they do come in the box.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Online johnnyroper

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  • Spec: 02 tdi 115 ghia
  • Region: South West
  • Country: United Kingdom
Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 07:13:28 PM »
Every VAG filter I have changed has come with the green o rings, typically I have used either OE ones or Mann and not had an issue before. Strange they arenít in the box.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2020, 08:47:00 PM »
So typical of Euros if thatís the case, sigh why is it always so difficult hey
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline brianh

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  • Model: Galaxy Mk2
  • Spec: 2001 2.3 Ghia LPG
  • First Name: Brian
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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2020, 08:50:05 PM »
I'd think most garages would change the orings if they were with the filter. Simply because it avoids the same problem you want to avoid having (cutting out due to air in diesel). You'd be more likely to find they didn't change the filter than change the filter but not the o rings I think.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2020, 09:42:19 AM »
Out of interest, for those filters which donít come with the o-rings, I wonder what people usually do? Just change the filter and leave the old o-rings unchanged?

Also does anyone know a better alternative to Euros please.

Thank u

 [THANKS] [THANKS]

I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline Daveandsharan

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2020, 06:46:06 PM »
My car is a 2010 VW Sharan 1.9 tdi. I just thought I would share my own experience of fitting a replacement fuel filter.


I bought a Mann fuel filter from Europarts and it came without a sealing ring. I queried it with the sales guy and he took out a couple more filters and they too didnít have any rings in the box.

I ordered a sealing ring from my local VW dealers and used that, rather than re use the old one.

After fitting the new filter and sealing ring, I suffered from difficulty in starting for days on end when the engine was cold, which I put down to air getting by the sealing ring. I used Vaseline on the sealing ring and refitted it.

Following this, the starting improved but every now and again, I would have problems starting.

Earlier this year I had a full service at my local independent. They fitted a new VW fuel filter and I have had no problems starting whatsoever.

I can only conclude that the non VW filters are not engineered to the exact spec the VW filters are manufactured to, hence the leakage of air into the system.

So for me, in future, I will only use genuine VW parts.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: The Fuel Filter - That Old Chestnut
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2020, 07:16:06 PM »
Hi Dave!

Firstly, how very nice to meet u! This is a lovely forum, lots of nice people and very easy to form friendships with people who can help u with all sorts of things to do with your car.

Next, please let me thank u for that excellent tale from your own experience with fuel filters. A very wise learning lesson indeed and it makes me ever so thankful I didnít just try and replace the filter with the one from Euros. I think I will only use a genuine one from the Seat people in future. Starting problems sound terrible and goodness only knows why the ones in Euros donít come with the important o-ring.

Thank u again and have a very nice evening!

 welcome5 [W3] [FUN]
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

 

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