Regular and timely vehicle maintenance is the best way to keep your vehicle running efficiently for an extended period. Changing a fuel filter is a simple and important task that can improve your engine’s performance. A dirty fuel filter will clog the fuel injector and lower your engine’s performance and fuel economy.
I recommend changing fuel filters on 6.7 Cummins every 15,000 miles to 40,000 miles or yearly. During the third oil change, you can also change the fuel filter on your 6.7 Cummins. Driving longer than that without changing your fuel filter could damage the engine.
Consult your owner’s manual and confirm what the vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. Visit your local auto shop and listen to the mechanic’s advice.
Also, vehicle owners that fill their engines with high-quality fuel and drive their vehicles carefully in clean conditions tend to get more miles from their fuel filters than owners who don’t. Also, small fuel filters on old vehicles become clogged easily and should be changed more often.
Additionally, if you drive your vehicle for long distances with low fuel in the tank, you may need to replace the fuel filter more often. As your vehicle draws fuel from the bottom of the tank, the fuel filter will clog easily.
How Do I Know When to Change the Fuel Filter on My 6.7 Cummins?
Every fluid entering your vehicle needs thorough filtering to eliminate impurities and contaminants. This explains why modern vehicles have more than one filter, including fuel, brake, oil, and transmission filters.
The fuel filter removes impurities, unwanted debris, dirt, and contaminants from the fuel before it reaches the fuel pump. When you fill your fuel tank with cheap fuel, you will hear a pinging sound from the engine. This is because cheap fuel contains sediment and impurities that can easily travel to the engine.
Since your vehicle’s fuel filter is not something, you think about often, it is possible to forget it. The fuel filter tells you when something is wrong or when it’s close to total failure.
Therefore, you need to pay close attention to these signs to change the filter before something goes seriously wrong. The following are the most common telltale signs that you need to change the fuel filter on your 6.7 Cummins:
Reduced Fuel Efficiency
This may sound counterintuitive, but a clogged or bad fuel filter can cause poor gas mileage. Once the fuel filter becomes clogged, the air-fuel mixture becomes lean, which means that the engine will require more fuel to mix with the excess air being drawn into the engine so that the vehicle can deliver the amount of power you are commanding.
At this stage, your vehicle will underperform, but the engine will consume more fuel than usual, resulting in bad fuel economy.
Engine stalls or runs rough
A common sign of a failing fuel filter is your engine stalls from time to time. A dirty or clogged fuel filter will likely prevent the engine from receiving enough fuel. This will cause your engine to stall while driving or to simply shut off.
Difficulty starting the vehicle
Your vehicle needs fuel to keep running. When you punch the gas pedal, the fuel pump forces the fuel into the supply line. However, a dirty or clogged fuel filter prevents fuel from entering the combustion system, which makes your engine’s combustion process inconsistent. Since the engine is not getting sufficient fuel, it may fail to fire up.
Sometimes it may fire up and die again. But a clogged or failing fuel filter is not the only reason your vehicle may have difficulty starting. Other factors such as a bad alternator, dead battery, faulty starter, and faulty spark may also be the reason.
Damaged fuel pump
As mentioned earlier, the fuel filter works to allow a consistent flow of fuel from the fuel tank into the combustion system. A clogged fuel filter prevents sufficient fuel from entering the engine. The engine’s excess demand for fuel to maintain the desired performance will stress the fuel pump. As this stress increases, it will cause the fuel pump to fail prematurely.
Strong odor from the exhaust system
Every time you fill the fuel tank, you may notice a gas smell inside your vehicle, which fades.
However, if the smell of fuel worsens or lingers for longer than usual, this may be a clear sign of a clogged or bad fuel filter. A failing fuel filter causes the exhaust system to emit strong bad fumes.
But, you should rule out other potential causes of strong fuel odor in your vehicle. The problem may also be caused by a loose gas cap or damaged spark plugs.
Poor engine performance
If your vehicle is under a heavy load or going uphill, the demand for fuel is usually higher. A clogged fuel filter will restrict sufficient fuel from entering the combustion system, and this will affect the power the engine can produce. Therefore, you will notice a fluctuation in your engine’s power as it tries to cope with the enormous stress.
Check engine light Appears
The check engine light usually appears on the dashboard for various reasons. You can add a clogged or failing fuel filter to that long list.
If your vehicle’s fuel injectors do not receive adequate pressurized fuel, there won’t be enough fuel for the cylinders to burn. Therefore, a P0174 error code may be stored in the power control module of your computer system and trigger the check engine light to illuminate.
What Happens If You Don’t Change 6.7 Cummins Fuel Filter on?
If you don’t change a worn-out or failing fuel filter on your 6.7 Cummins on time, the engine will develop various problems, including stalling, misfiring, and rough idling. Starting your vehicle will become increasingly difficult, and the check engine light may also pop up on your dashboard.
If you continue ignoring this problem, your vehicle’s engine will lose power during acceleration, and after some time, the vehicle will not start.
Can I Change the Fuel Filter of 6.7 Cummins by Myself?
Changing the fuel filter on your 6.7 Cummins is not simple, especially if you have never done it. Therefore, you should leave the job to a professional mechanic. However, if you cannot access a professional mechanic, you can always consult your owner’s manual to show you how to go about the process.
- Ensure that the ignition is in the ‘OFF’ position.
- Locate the fuel filter along the fuel lines coming from the engine on the left side of the engine. Depending on your vehicle’s model, you may have to deal with obstruction from the brake lines.
- Disconnect the fluid sensor to prevent it from getting damaged by water and fuel spills. Locate the fuel filter drain and place a drain pan or an empty jar under the fuel filter housing. Use a head screwdriver to open the valve and drain all the fluid.
- Use a socket wrench to remove the fuel filter housing. This takes about 5 to 6 turns. At this stage, the fuel filter housing may come out with the fuel filter or not. If it doesn’t, you need to pull the old filter out.
- You may notice that the filter housing is covered with mud and other debris. Proceed to use a clean piece of cloth to wipe all the dirt.
- All new fuel filters are fitted with a new O-ring. Therefore, you need to replace the old O-ring with the new one. The O-ring is supposed to fit perfectly on the top groove.
- Install the new fuel filter together with the cleaned filter housing. You should ensure that the unit is adequately tightened.
- After installing the new fuel filter, reconnect the fuel and water sensor.
- Cycle the ignition key to ‘ON’ and leave it for a few minutes. Once the fuel pump stops priming, you should only turn the ignition key back to the ‘OFF’ position.
There are plenty of options if you are looking for the ideal fuel filter for your 6.7 Cummins.
- Dodge Ram 6.7L Cummins Diesel Filter Set Mopar OEM
- Dodge Ram 6.7L Cummins Diesel Filter Water Separator Set Mopar OEM
- Dodge Ram 2500-5500 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel Fuel Filter
- Cummins Filtration FS53000 Fuel Filter
- ATRACYPART-6.7L Cummins Fuel Filter Water Separator
- WIX 33255 Fuel Filter
- Cummins Filtration-FS43257 Fuel Filter
- Diesly Pro 6.7L Cummins Fuel Filter
The cost of a new 6.7 Cummins fuel filter ranges between $14 and $60. The labor cost for changing a fuel filter varies a lot depending on the auto shop and your location. Therefore, you should expect the total cost of changing the fuel filter on your 6.7 Cummins to be between $100 and $200.