The Average Fuel Filter Cost Is $5 to $182 Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as the fuel pump, may also be needed. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your fuel filter replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:
Cost at the Mechanic: $86 to $182
- Parts: $5 to $79
- Labor: $81 to $102
Replacing a fuel filter can take anywhere from 10 minutes to two or three hours. It all depends on where the filter is and how difficult it is to reach in your particular vehicle. On some cars it’s in the middle of the fuel lines running underneath your car, easy to reach and replace. In this case, it’s much faster and easier to replace it yourself. But in other cars, the fuel filter is part of the fuel pump assembly, which is often located inside the gas tank. In a worst case scenario, the tank will need to be removed to allow access to the pump, and in turn the filter. This is a situation where you really need to see what’s involved for your particular vehicle before deciding whether to take it to the mechanic or DIY.
Cost to DIY: $5 to $79
- DIY Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced, depending on the car
- Parts Needed:
No matter where the filter is, the general procedure is the same: out with the old, in with the new. Our recommendation would be to research how to replace the fuel filter on your particular vehicle, and decide for yourself whether it’s worth doing it yourself or taking it to a shop. Based on that, you can decide whether the job is within your time and capabilities or not.
What Is the Fuel Filter?
Your fuel filter’s function is basically the same as other filters in your car, like for air, oil, and inside your transmission. Fuel can sometimes get contaminated with particles or random gunk. This could happen because of rust inside your fuel tank, though most tanks are plastic these days to prevent that. It could also come from the gas station if their tanks and filtering systems aren’t up to snuff.
Every car has a fuel filter somewhere between the fuel tank and the engine to capture these stray particles and keep them from getting into your engine.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace the Fuel Filter?
Any particles the fuel filter captures sit there and don’t go anywhere. Over time, if it captures too many particles they may start blocking the flow of fuel to your engine. In addition to causing not enough fuel to reach your engine, it also makes your fuel pump work harder to push it there, which can cause premature failure. Replacing the filter from time to time prevents too much crud from building up inside and restricting fuel flow. It’s worth the cost of a fuel filter change.
For more information, see our article all about replacing fuel filters.
How Often to Replace the Fuel Filter
Generally speaking, you usually perform this service every 30,000 miles or so. The manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule will tell you how often to replace the fuel filter in your particular car.
If the manufacturer recommends a particularly long service interval, like 100,000 miles, consider replacing your fuel filter more frequently than recommended. It does no harm to have a clean filter and could extend the life of other components.
Common Symptoms You Need to Replace Your Fuel Filter
- The engine cranks, but won’t start
- Rough idle
- Reduced power
- Engine turns off while driving or idling
Related Maintenance Services
While these services are not directly related to your fuel system, they’re commonly performed at the same time as replacing your fuel filter:
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Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.