fuel filter schedule

   / fuel filter schedule #21  
If the filters look clean and you don’t see any water when you open the drain save your money and leave them alone.
A fuel filter is designed to catch particles that are perhaps 2 microns or less. As they become loaded with contaminants they actually do a better job of cleaning the fuel at the expense of flow.
When the engine feels sluggish & won’t run at rated speed & load that is when you must stop & replace them.
Unlike engine oil filters that can restrict flow and go into bypass mode allowing contaminants to bypass the filter & cause engine damage fuel filters have no bypass feature.

Recommended schedules are conservative to avoid unplanned downtime.
I have a 28hp 1720 Ford compact tractor with a very very small fuel filter that I rarely replace because I fuel up from an inside bulk fuel tank with 3 filters. The first filter is 10 micron 2nd is a 2 micron and 3rd is a water block/10 micron.
The last time I replaced the filter was because the o-ring was leaking, filter was clean.
   / fuel filter schedule
  • Thread Starter
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'll probably continue replacing those little $1 fuel filters on my gasoline equipment every year, as they're cheap and easy insurance. But this $80 filter pairing on the 3033r is going on a new schedule of every 4th year, corresponding with 400 hours, rather than staying with the "or every year" recommended in the manual.

Someone mentioned this tractor differing from commercial equipment, implying commercial equipment had cartridge filters that are easier to change, but that is what I'm discussing here. The one downstream of the lift pump is a canister filter, looks exactly like any spin-on automotive oil filter, and the one between the tank and lift pump is a large pleated paper cartridge inserted into a clear separator bowl. The latter comes with a large (4-inch?) o-ring to replace on the separator bowl.

I would expect this filter pairing could be sourced aftermarket for all of $20, with some effort and risk, but the Deere parts counter gets $80 for the set. If it's every 4th year, I don't care that much about the cost. But at an every-year rate it would be $1600 over the 20 years I might keep this machine, at current pricing.
   / fuel filter schedule #23  
Deere 3033R (33 hp Yanmar 3-cyl diesel) wears two enormous fuel filters, to the tune of $80 for a full change, which is recommended at 400 hours. If seeing less than 400 hours per year, then they are to be changed yearly.

But given the cost, mess, and wear and tear on disassembling the clear plastic separator into which one of the filters is assembled, I'm wondering if that's really the smart plan. The filters always look clean after a year, and there is zero visible water in the separator. There is a drain cock on the bottom of the separator, so even if there were water, it could be drained without touching the filter.

Does it make sense to just wait for 400 hours, even if that's only once every 4th year, if there's no visible water or dirt in the separator? Or split the difference at 2 years and 200 hours?
Change yearly. Filters are far cheaper than an injector pump.
   / fuel filter schedule #24  
I live in a dry climate. Algae doesn't seem to be a issue. I believe I had over 1000 hours on mine before I changed it. If I didn't live in a dry climate I think it would be a different story.
Dry or wet climate has little bearing on microbial algae gropwing in a fuel deliver system. Has more to do with the age of the fuel, the bio-diesel content (all diesel has a percentage of bio in it and whether there is already algae growing inside the tanl or lines in the first place.

Myself, I have not changed a fuel filter on either of my M9's since I added the Racor fuel polishing unit and don't plan on EVER changing tham.
   / fuel filter schedule
  • Thread Starter
Change yearly. Filters are far cheaper than an injector pump.
You sure about that? What's the cost of an injector pump for a 3033r? If I go from yearly filter changes to every 4th year, averaging 100 hours per year on the machine, we're looking at $1600 vs. $400 in total filter cost over 20 years. If this causes one injector pump failure in that time, which seems doubtful, the pump would need to cost me more than $1200 for your statement to be true.

These numbers are all done in 2023 dollars, because I'm not opening the inflation can of worms on this thread.
   / fuel filter schedule #26  
Filters don’t degrade sitting on a shelf before being purchased, nor do they degrade sitting in a machine that’s seldom used 100 hours per year.
Other operators could put 500 ~ 1000 hours on the same machine that you only put 100 hours on per year.
If it gives you peace of mind change them yearly regardless of hours.
   / fuel filter schedule #27  
I have 360 hours on my tractor
Took twelve years changed filters once were clean always has additive for fuel. starts and runs even after months of sitting battery is maintained one battery in that time also don't put in bad stuff don't have bad stuff happen
Also has been in a garage it's whole life
Truck sits outside
   / fuel filter schedule #28  
I prefer to replace once a year rather than figuring out what I need to fix now.
   / fuel filter schedule #29  
Actually the mileage is 110,000 and 16 years ago
that I purchased the truck. For the axles its recommended that the fluid be changed out every
18 to 20,000 miles, I changed mine at 100,000
and used a magnet and had exam gloves on and
could not find any small or tiny pieces of metal, even
ran my hand in the housing nothing. If you had the
dealership change for you every 20,000 miles that
could run into quite an expense. Years ago we
never changed the fluid unless we pulled an axle or
replaced the bearings. When I used a riding lawn
mower I had the clear plastic fuel filters so you can see
if they are dirty. For changing a fuel filter every fill up
its recommended to change the filter. Oil filters are
different and I don't change every 3,000 miles I use
the pure synthetic and change every 7500 miles and
my believe is if you change the oil and not the filter you
didn't change the oil

   / fuel filter schedule #30  
I did not change the Deere 790 fuel filter till the 500 hr mark from new. It has 1200 hrs or 700 hrs on the filter now, water separator spotless of anything. I'm gun a let it ride.

Did the 500 hrs service on the LS and changed the fuel filter also. I suspect a very long service life from the new LS brand fuel filter too.

I buy clean, fresh fuel from two busy fuel dealers and have a filter/water separator on the bulk tank. Also treat my fuel with a anti-jell, cetane boost, water dispersing stuff like hot shots secret anti-jell winter treatment when filling the tank. I have had zero fuel issues in 30 odd years from 90 degree temps to well below zero.

There was a message on a 95H John Deere combine fuel cap I remember reading back when I was in the single digit ages. It simply quoted "buy clean fuel, keep clean fuel". That's all you really have to do.