Monday, September 13, 2010

Mechanic Tip: Changing Your Fuel Filter Will Save You A Lot Of Grief

One of the most important services you can do yourself, or pay a Mechanic to do is installing a fuel filter. The reason Is simple, letting it go too long will cause it to plug up and cause a major back pressure effect on the fuel pump. The cost of the average in tank fuel pump is around $400.00. To go along with that cause is the unexpected break down that will be an incovenience no matter how you look at it.

Most fuel filters are external and take less than half an hour to replace. I would recommend changing your fuel filter every second oil change. Fuel filter prices range from $10.00 to $50.00. Import vehicle fuel filters are generally more expensive which goes along with the higher import vehicle prices.

If you own a vehicle with your fuel pump in the tank then you're looking at a $600.00 to $800.00 bill (Don't quote me). The labor time varies, there are 2 straps that hold the fuel tank secure. The fill and breather hose have to be removed along with the fuel pump wiring. Hopefully the tank isn't full of fuel since this will add labor time pumping it out.

If a shop has an up to date transmission jack they can strap down the tank and work it out from under the vehicle easily. I wouldn't attempt doing this operation on the ground, a vehicle hoist is a huge advantage. The fuel pump and fuel guage sender assy. comes as one on a lot of domestic vehicles and will cost more as a replacement unit. Make sure if you get stuck with a failed fuel pump to get towed to a well equipped repair shop.

Mechanic Tip: Sometimes if your fuel pump quits you may be able to get it going again by cranking over the engine and banging on the bottom of the tank (you'll need a second person to help you do this). You may be able to get the pump going again and drive to a repair shop. Another piece of advice is to join AAA or in Canada get a CAA membership. The cost is minimal and it's nice to have the piece of mind.

In conclusion the fuel pump needs a steady volume of fuel and it won't happen with a plugged up filter. Get it changed at the proper interval and you will have one less unexpected break down to worry about.

Happy Motoring!

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