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Old 01-25-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
jzambon
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Default Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Hey all,

I was considering doing a fuel filter replacement as my 2002 SL2 reached 30K miles a few weeks back. The Haynes suggests 30K as the replacement interval, but the "cris_thomas" says (http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48339) that its good to go for 100K. The replacement part at the dealer is over $100 (just went 2 days ago) because of the built in regulator. There is a filter listed on rockauto for around $30 (Fram wholesale closeout, 2 remaining).

So, A) should I bother or wait another 70K before doing it (and before you ask: no, I do not regularly fill my tank with fertilizer). B) would the Fram (yuck!) filter suffice if I do need to change?

Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

A. Never trust a Haynes manual. Interval should be 100k miles per your owners manual.

B. A solved B. Fram fuel filters are OK though. Please no filter wars.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

The nominal interval is 100K miles, but if you have been getting gas with a lot of crud in it, more often may be in order.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzambon View Post
Hey all,

I was considering doing a fuel filter replacement as my 2002 SL2 reached 30K miles a few weeks back.
Thanks!
wow that's some low mileage. I recently replaced the $100 fuel filter in my 2002 SC2 when it passed 100,000 miles. at 100,000 miles in a 2002 S-Series you're supposed to replace the fuel filter, drain, flush and fill the cooling system, change automatic transaxle fluid and filter. at 30,000 miles you should have rotated the tires, replaced the air filter, replaced the spark plugs, lubricate door hinges, check links, hood and roof. this is in the owner's handbook maintenance schedule.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Quote:
at 100,000 miles in a 2002 S-Series you're supposed to replace the fuel filter, drain, flush and fill the cooling system, change automatic transaxle fluid and filter.
What's the interval on the cooling system flush/fill? Assuming of course I don't get a leak on the driver's side...

100k?

Also, per the Wolfman, ATF fluid change is recommended based on color. My fluid is losing some redness, I was going to do a ATF fluid change based on this and the Haynes 30K recommendation (sorry to bring up the Haynes again). Any advice?
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

I think the magic number is time not miles and its 5 years. Miles are mentioned as 150,000.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Ah, thanks OldNuc!

As you can imagine was that I purchased this car last year with 8,800 miles on it. The last owner was an older woman who just drove it to and from the grocery store. So last year it was a 6 year old car with 8,800 miles (yes, thats under 1,500/year). In the last 18 months, I've put 3x more miles on it than she did :-).

The rub is that because its a 7 year old car, I should probably swap out lots of things (fluids, filters, etc). I did the battery last year, I'm guessing that the coolant would be proper next move. I can't seem to find any How To's on coolant flushes. Any advice would be great!
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

My car is 13 years old, and im on the original fuel filter as far as I know. Maybe that's why I average 22mpg?
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

I replaced the second one in 30,000 miles on the wife's 00 SL1, and just replaced the first one in my 02 SL2 with 150,000 miles. So it really depends ...
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzambon View Post
What's the interval on the cooling system flush/fill? Assuming of course I don't get a leak on the driver's side...

100k?

Also, per the Wolfman, ATF fluid change is recommended based on color. My fluid is losing some redness, I was going to do a ATF fluid change based on this and the Haynes 30K recommendation (sorry to bring up the Haynes again). Any advice?
The 2002 S-Series Maintenance Schedule says "Drain, flush and refill cooling system every 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first" and "Change automatic transaxle fluid and filter" at 100,000 miles. At 50,000 mile intervals Saturn says "Change automatic transaxle fluid and filter if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions: In heavy city traffic... In hilly or mountainous terrain... When doing frequent trailer towing... Uses such as taxi, police or delivery service"

This is what SATURN recommends for a 2002 Saturn S-Series. You can get an S-Series Owner's Handbook from www.saturn-publications.com if your local Saturn retailer doesn't have any to give you. I got a 1991-2002 Haynes manual and it only has half as many pages as a 1991-98 Chilton's manual. I donated it to a public library. The 1991-2002 Chilton's is a Haynes in disguise so it's just as bad as the Haynes. Spend the bucks and get a set of Saturn Service Manuals.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

My mechanic kind of rolled his eyes at the suggestion of a Fuel Filter change.

He claims with today's gasoline you really don't need to change Fuel Filters unless you mostly buy from sketchy independent gas stations, or put gummy additives in the tank..

On the other hand I've heard from alot of owners with Ford 2.5L that major starting & stalling issues occur unless they change Fuel Filters every 50 000 kms.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

On the pre 98 cars its a good idea to change them every so often. Your mechanic is correct though as the filter is just a filter and it should last for quite a while. the filter element in the pre 98 filter is the same physical size as the filter element in the 98 and newer filter regulator and that one is recommended to be replaced at 100,000 miles. That interval is based more on the service life of the regulator. check your idle fuel pressure and if its up at the top end of the acceptable pressure band then the filter is probably good.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

My 2001 SL1 has the original fuel filter with just under 102k miles on the odo.

I'm not in a huge rush to replace it, but I will get around to it when I'm not so busy.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01SL1SATURN View Post
My 2001 SL1 has the original fuel filter with just under 102k miles on the odo.

I'm not in a huge rush to replace it, but I will get around to it when I'm not so busy.
With stuff like that, it's a good idea to plan a replacement ahead of time when it's warm out.

No fun crawling on the ground in the wintertime, at least up here.

I got a lot of stuff planned for this spring/summer so that I don't have to worry about it next winter, as i plan on shedding some of my other cars
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Quote:
Originally Posted by CND_SC1 View Post
My mechanic kind of rolled his eyes at the suggestion of a Fuel Filter change.

He claims with today's gasoline you really don't need to change Fuel Filters unless you mostly buy from sketchy independent gas stations, or put gummy additives in the tank..

On the other hand I've heard from alot of owners with Ford 2.5L that major starting & stalling issues occur unless they change Fuel Filters every 50 000 kms.
Good for him. I'd rather not replace a $4000 engine instead of a replacing $100 fuel filter every 100,000 miles. a Ford 2.5L is not a Saturn 1.9L so there's no point in comparing them. 1991-97 fuel filters needed replacing more often (every 48-60,000 miles? I'm going from memory of my 92 SC and 96 SC2) than 1998-2002 but only cost $30. There's other "stuff" floating around inside the fuel tank besides gasoline.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

The owner's handbook for my '95 says 60k miles. Last time I changed one, and tipped it upside down, all this nasty dark crud poured out.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

The 97 and earlier are short life filters and the 98 and later are speced at 100,000 miles for the regulator diaphragm.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

I just had my original fuel filter replaced today at 118k miles and am glad that I did. There was quite a bit of dark crud that came out of it. Strange thing is though that with the new one, my fuel economy does not seem to be as good. Any reason for that? Could just be me. No fuel leakage noted. Note that the filter is from SaturnParts.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Fuel Filter Replacement Interval

Yours has the built in regulator and as long as it was working at all it should have no impact on fuel mileage.
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