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icarus
08-01-2010, 04:59 PM
I've gotten conflicting advice on how often to change the fuel filter on a 08 Freightliner V6 sprinter. The manual suggests every 10k, while other sources suggest 30k. While it is not a huge pain to do it, it seems that with good fuel management 10K seems a bit too often.

Opinions?

Once again thanks for your response(s)

Icarus

piper1
08-01-2010, 05:27 PM
Every 50,000 miles or 6 months, whatever occurs first for me, never an issue. I do usually only buy fuel at truck stops though.

jdcaples
08-01-2010, 09:21 PM
This is the guidance from a professional Sprinter Technician who has cleaned up the mess left behind by cavalier attitudes about fuel filter duty cycle.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=97149&postcount=23

Do you have to follow his advise? No. It's your Sprinter. Do what feels right for you. This board exists to share experiences so owners may make informed decisions.

-Jon

icarus
08-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Jd,

Thanks for the link,, very informative.

I think I will stick to the 10K interval as well as keep one on hand as a spare.

Icarus

piper1
08-02-2010, 12:26 AM
This is the guidance from a professional Sprinter Technician who has cleaned up the mess left behind by cavalier attitudes about fuel filter duty cycle.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=97149&postcount=23

Do you have to follow his advise? No. It's your Sprinter. Do what feels right for you. This board exists to share experiences so owners may make informed decisions.

-Jon

My change intervals have been backed up by doing the very pressure differential tests described in the link. I don't know what Carl has seen doing these tests on a OM642 V6 but I have yet to see over 6 psi drop across the filter after 50 K.

Contrary to what Mercedes may have thought about the stupidity level of it's Dodge NAFTA customers, I do know to pull over and drain the filter properly IF the water in fuel light ever came on while driving and not just ignore the light until it was convenient to get it serviced. Any diesel owner should know how to do this if it ever happens. Perhaps the 10k interval is based on their fears (documented in another thread) about NAFTA lousy fuel and general diesel ignorance? We already know that even with the good 229.51 oil they will not let us have the same longer service intervals as Europe.

That said...other than your wallet....changing at the 10 K interval will not harm anything and does give you piece of mind (and a leg to stand on at warranty time should you have an injection problem.

Aqua Puttana
08-02-2010, 01:14 AM
My change intervals have been backed up by doing the very pressure differential tests described in the link. I don't know what Carl has seen doing these tests on a OM642 V6 but I have yet to see over 6 psi drop across the filter after 50 K.

...


Now that makes sense to me. At 40 bucks a pop for just the fuel filter from a dealer (for my 2004), it seems to me the cost for a competent DIY mechanic to install a couple fittings and a couple pressure gauges would be worth the effort. You will then have some data to base the change interval upon.

On the flip side of the coin, what if you do get a bad load of fuel and plug before your 10 K change? Without any differential pressure indication on your fuel system you will never know it's a problem. The OM612 has a low fuel pressure warning on the 1st stage, the OM647 (and later?) does not. FWIW. vic

jdcaples
08-02-2010, 01:27 AM
My change intervals have been backed up by doing the very pressure differential tests described in the link. I don't know what Carl has seen doing these tests on a OM642 V6 but I have yet to see over 6 psi drop across the filter after 50 K.

Contrary to what Mercedes may have thought about the stupidity level of it's Dodge NAFTA customers, I do know to pull over and drain the filter properly IF the water in fuel light ever came on while driving and not just ignore the light until it was convenient to get it serviced. Any diesel owner should know how to do this if it ever happens. Perhaps the 10k interval is based on their fears (documented in another thread) about NAFTA lousy fuel and general diesel ignorance? We already know that even with the good 229.51 oil they will not let us have the same longer service intervals as Europe.

That said...other than your wallet....changing at the 10 K interval will not harm anything and does give you piece of mind (and a leg to stand on at warranty time should you have an injection problem.

You get no argument from me :)

The only things I'd add to the thread are a reminder that the factory fuel filter is rated at 5 microns, some associated musings and a general interpretations of why things are the way they are....

Our fuel filter is rated at 5 microns. A human red blood cell is 8 microns in diameter.

Those are tight tolerances and even if I could find an efficiency rating, I doubt it's 100%.

Carl's experiences are certainly on one extreme, unfortunate side of a bell curve.

I suspect your (piper1) experiences closer to the middle than those unfortunate owners who had their tale of woe contribute to Carl's conclusions....

How far - towards the happy side of that curve - your experiences actually land, can't be known.

Everyone gets to make their choices about these things.

My personal opinion is that the aggregate of (5 microns + 10k duty cycle) is a "best bet" compromises between

1) the space between the moving metal parts of our fuel system and

2) how many warranty claims Daimler would have to honor for any number of environmental conditions inadequate fuel filtration for commonly available fuel quality in this market

Any "best bet" is just a hope, and in this case, it's a hope that most owners will land in the largest part of the sad-to-happy bell curve (some extremely sad and some extremely happy), which will end up costing Daimler the least and provide owners the most out of their Sprinter.

I think it's great that you measure the PSI differential because the filter medium becomes more efficient over time until - as I think you said - it clogs and stops the motor as there's no bypass.

You haven't had any fuel system problems in a lot of distance with your Sprinter; but everyone needs to remember that there are a lot of variables that contribute to catastrophic failure and your unquestionable success.

-Jon

icarus
08-02-2010, 02:09 AM
Interesting conversation, thanks guys.

At my cost of $32 per fuel filter, I think I will stick to the 10k interval. I was thinking it might be a rather large pain to do. (as a new owner, I am rapidly realizing that most of the routine service items are extremely easy to do!) So the routine 10k service is oil and filter and fuel filter, about $40 total plus 13 quarts of oil. (anybody ever figure out where to get mobil on MB spec oil in larger quantities?) Oil changes with a vacuum pump couldn't be easier and it seems with the exception of the MB clamps on the fuel filter, that can be done in a coat and tie as well!

Once again, thanks for the input.

Icarus

ebsprintin
08-02-2010, 02:59 AM
I'm changing the fuel filter every 40,000 miles.

eb

flman
08-05-2010, 10:57 PM
This is the guidance from a professional Sprinter Technician who has cleaned up the mess left behind by cavalier attitudes about fuel filter duty cycle.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=97149&postcount=23

Do you have to follow his advise? No. It's your Sprinter. Do what feels right for you. This board exists to share experiences so owners may make informed decisions.

-Jon

I agree, every 10K. Don't starve the fuel pump.

IslandGuy
08-06-2010, 08:08 PM
Which clamps do I need to change out the fuel filter?

http://store.europarts-sd.com/fuelfilter-diesel2004-2009.aspx

Thanks!

jdcaples
08-06-2010, 08:46 PM
The clamps

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4813

Some information about alternatives...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4921


-Jon

IslandGuy
08-06-2010, 08:52 PM
Thanks Jon!

icarus
08-06-2010, 10:41 PM
As for clamps, I just replaced the OEM clamps with NAPA steel fuel line band clamps (not gear clamps) Cost ~$1 each, you need two different sizes, 13mm and 16 mm if memory serves. Then taking them off and putting them on only requires a screw driver.

Icarus

Aqua Puttana
08-06-2010, 10:43 PM
I guess I'm in a bit of a contrary mood, so take this for what it is worth.

10,000 mile fuel filter changes seem a bit too often to me. That said, to me a 50,000 mile change seems like you're pushing the envelope a bit and going on borrowed time.

IF you buy fuel from reputable suppliers that have high volume (I buy much of mine from a Native American rez business, so maybe I shouldn't go this direction in my discussion) then 10,000 miles is probably too soon to change.

IF you get a couple loads of questionable fuel, then maybe a 5,000 mile change would have been better.

I guess what I'm saying is that there may be a happy medium selection. Were I Mercedes Benz I would choose a safe conservative number so as not to get burned (10,000 miles?). As an owner I want to reduce the number of times I need to screw with changing the fuel filter and also save a few bucks by avoiding needless changes which also needlessly consume natural resources.

I just went over 30,000+ miles that I know of on a filter without problems. That may be pushing it, but I'm picky about where I buy fuel (The Rez business is actually well run.). In the absence of any real data like differential pressure, I think a 20,000 to 25,000 mile fuel filter change interval is reasonable IF you are picky about fuel suppliers. That works out basically to every other oil change.

Otherwise using the sooner is better logic of not waiting too long the 10,000 mile interval change should be reduced to 5,000, or maybe even 3,000 miles like some people hold on to the old oil change interval recommendation. Remember, every time you open the fuel system to change a filter you are exposing the injector feed hose to possible contamination. Getting dirt in there will really give you a bad day. :2cents: :popcorn: vic

flman
08-06-2010, 11:08 PM
10,000 mile fuel filter changes seem a bit too often to me. That said, to me a 50,000 mile change seems like you're pushing the envelope a bit and going on borrowed time.



With common rail you are pushing a lot more fuel from the tank to the engine and back, with the old injector pump engines you could go further on fuel filters because they recycled alot less fuel. If you wanna take a chance of a common rail pump failure over a few dollars worth of filters, I wish you luck.:hmmm:

Aqua Puttana
08-06-2010, 11:41 PM
...
If you wanna take a chance of a common rail pump failure over a few dollars worth of filters, I wish you luck.:hmmm:
I think you missed some of my points.

"and also save a few bucks by avoiding needless changes which also needlessly consume natural resources."

"Remember, every time you open the fuel system to change a filter you are exposing the injector feed hose to possible contamination. Getting dirt in there will really give you a bad day."


Since you brought it up...

The new engines may cycle the fuel around more, but the common rail direct injection system is more efficient (gets better mpg) so in 10,000... 20,000(?) miles less new fuel is actually added to the system for the filter to clean. I'll concede that the fuel may be a bit more "polished" with more recirculation?

I don't see fuel pump failures as a hot topic in any of the Sprinter forums I go to and I doubt that is because every owner follows the 10,000 mile fuel filter change to the letter. What data are you basing your "chance of a common rail pump failure" comment upon? If you could tie fuel filters to Sprinter EGR valve failures you would have my attention. Thanks for the reply. vic

flman
08-07-2010, 12:00 AM
I think you missed some of my points.

I don't see fuel pump failures as a hot topic in any of the Sprinter forums I go to and I doubt that is because every owner follows the 10,000 mile fuel filter change to the letter. What data are you basing your "chance of a common rail pump failure" comment upon? If you could tie fuel filters to Sprinter EGR valve failures you would have my attention. Thanks for the reply. vic

You got that right, I do not see alot of or any pump failures on this board, actually my Jeep CRDs call for 25000 mile filter changes per maintenance schedule, but they get almost 30 MPG. Some times the filters will last 25K, other times they wont and you will get a CEL that says "large fuel leak" even though it is a lack of fuel condition. I guess MB is just being conservative with the 10K figure?

Nice chatting with you

sprintguy
08-07-2010, 02:50 AM
Fuel filters , Fuel filters and more fuel filters.
Piper1 :if you monitor fuel pressure drop across the fuel filter , at what point do you change it? (just a question and good info for others). Vic : I disagree with causing excess contamination (unless you stick the hoses in dirt) with more frequent filter changes. But alas I cannot (and will not ) try to force anyone to change that filter at the recommended interval. Just take into consideration that a small amount of water (or starvation of fuel) can cause havoc with the common rail system , especially one that uses piezoelectric injectors with hydraulic couplers , that can see upwards of 23-30,000 Psi , and do not overlook the fact that diesel fuel is also a good lubricant and is used that way in the system to lubricate the pump elements and other various pieces in the system.

Now how often do you change the very important air filter ? Only when its dirty, or before it gets to bad. How dirty is dirty for an air filter in a TURBO diesel ??

Carl

Aqua Puttana
08-07-2010, 03:46 AM
Carl,
Given your credentials, background, and demonstrated knowledge with postings on this forum I should know better than to even reply, but as I said earlier I'm in a bit of a contrary mood tonight. I'll start by reminding people that I'm just a hack on a forum.

...
Vic : I disagree with causing excess contamination (unless you stick the hoses in dirt) with more frequent filter changes.
I wasn't saying excess contamination. Just that it is a fact that anytime you open a sealed system (remove a fuel filter in an inherently dirty environment) you run the risk of contamination. By reducing the filter changes by 50% (every other oil change) you open the system less times and therefore reduce the risk. Maybe this will help to remind people to take extra caution and keep the outlet hose of the filter very clean while changing the filter regardless of schedule.

...Just take into consideration that a small amount of water (or starvation of fuel) can cause havoc with the common rail system , especially one that uses piezoelectric injectors with hydraulic couplers , that can see upwards of 23-30,000 Psi ,
A shot of water can happen to a new filter also. Isn't the filter designed to trap water and indicate when it does so? Does the ability of the fuel filter to trap water diminish with age? I should think the designed water reservoir capacity for the sensor would remain constant.

and do not overlook the fact that diesel fuel is also a good lubricant and is used that way in the system to lubricate the pump elements and other various pieces in the system.
How could I disagree that diesel fuel is a good lubricant? Is it fair to say that with a recirculating fuel system if there is enough fuel to keep the engine running properly there is enough fuel for pump lubrication?

Now how often do you change the very important air filter ? Only when its dirty, or before it gets to bad. How dirty is dirty for an air filter in a TURBO diesel ??

Carl
I have not had the filter minder needle move at all (other than that unfortunate unsuccessful filter cleaning experiment), so I change it way before MB tells me to.:smilewink: Seriously, I do change air filters fairly regularly.

FWIW. Previous to this thread (and specifically some of your comments) my thoughts were that with buying fuel from high volume sources I could push fuel filter changes to probably 40,000 miles. I'm now convinced that it is in my best interest to change it every other oil change which is about 20,000 miles. This thread now has me changing the filter twice as much as I planned. I do listen. But much like a PIA kid, not as well as you'd like.:bounce: Thanks for the additional information and comments. vic

jdcaples
08-07-2010, 04:45 AM
Diesel fuel is a lubricant for the fuel system.... that's true.

Note MB's specification requirements:
Fuel characteristics descriptions - Fuels for diesel engines: 25345 (pay particular attention to the HFRR information under "Lubricity"

Note the lubricity spec found by Arlen Spicer's study and HFR information cited in Stanadyne's study of lubricity:
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=49407&postcount=4

Note the ASTM Fuel requirements: 25346

The main reasons I participate in this forum:

1) to learn
2) to help assure I don't forget any part of the information that helps me make informed decisions

I have to believe that some of the "lack of lubricity" is due to impurities in the fuel, which may be large enough to turn lubricious fuel into a conveyer of abrasive materials, each particle of which may be more than 5 microns in diameter.

-Jon

piper1
08-07-2010, 06:14 AM
Carl, I don't monitor my fuel filter pressure drop continuously. I started out changing the filter at 20k and have worked my way up to the 50 k or 6 months level I'm at now based on measuring pressure drop (before changing the filter) and cutting them open to look at contaminant loads and filter condition ( I cut all my filters open). I don't think any filter, regardless of miles should be left in longer than 6 months, even oil filters.

I will repeat again, I buy good fuel...always. I keep extra filters with me...always. If I think there is the slightest bit of performance loss or some other condition that may lead me to think the filter is something other than perfect, I change it...immediately, even if it means pulling into a parking lot en-route and doing it. I drive this unit for many hours, every day so if it is "out of sorts", I feel it. I'm in business...cost per mile is everything, so I need to safely stretch expensive maintenance items out as far as I can. When I first started running this Sprinter the fuel filters were well north of $90....I had a lot of incentive to try to stretch things.

As far as my air filter goes, yearly or right away if the air filter restriction light comes on. I lab sample my oil at every service, of I see evidence in the sample report pointing to dirty intake air I will change it then as well.

I guess I should put a disclaimer on all my posts "The opinion expressed above is from a high mileage commercial Sprinter user and mechanic, your consumer use may vary"

folzag
08-07-2010, 06:25 PM
Mention of visually inspecting the filter brings up two interesting aspects of filtration.

The first is how "full" the filter is. That can be seen by looking at the inlet side of the filter and seeing how much aggregate contamination is present. In isolation it won't tell you much, but by looking at a bunch of filters and knowing what their corresponding pressure drop was you could "learn" how full a filter was by visual inspection. Of course it's not all the useful a skill since it's a destructive test so all you'll know is whether you changed too soon or too late, and by then there's not much you can do about it.

The second is filter efficacy. The filter is supposed to stop all contaminates larger the 5 um. As the human eye can only resolve particles 10 um in size, you have no idea if the filter is really doing its job or not. You would need a microscope to look at the outlet side of the filter and see how many and of what size particles are in it. Ideally there would be no particles greater than 5 um, they having been all trapped earlier in the filter element.

I rather suspect in the real word, filters are spec-ed by the % of particles they trap at a given size. A 5 um filter might mean something like it traps 99% at 10um, 90% at 5 um, and requires 0%, though probably actually traps some non-zero amount, at 1um at a specified pressure.

And of course, there is also flow rate to consider in a filter spec.

Anyway, here's a pretty cool graphic (http://nobelprize.org/educational/physics/microscopes/powerline/index.html) showing object sizes in relation to the resolving power of human eye, light microscope, and electron microscope.

shanemac
09-26-2011, 03:19 PM
I just dropped of van at dealer and service adviser said fuel filter needs to be changed every 15000 km(I mentioned to advisor it's every 30,000km...of course I was proven wrong) I changed mine about 12000km ago service adviser was insisting it be changed rather than argue about it I said sure go ahead...my original fuel fitter I got 32000km out of it.

I figure before winter and possible crappy winter fuel change filter out that's my motivation for now :tongue:

jdcaples
09-26-2011, 03:59 PM
The service manual's pretty clear on this, Shane:

Change your engine oil/oil filter & fuel filter at the same time (10,000 miles, or 16,000 km)

Section 0
Maintenance Schedules
Scope Of Work For Maintenance Service

Oil Service
Engine Oil change and filter replacement

Fuel filter with water separator: fuel filter replaced.

-Jon

jeffs
09-29-2011, 04:11 AM
I have a 2010 and the Service manual says 20,000 miles for fuel filter changes for normal operating conditions. It would appear that the factory has extended the interval. Don't think the filter has changed 2007 to now but maybe?

Another question...searched and read many posts about changing filter, didn't see any info about how to remove plastic cover over engine on passenger side covering filter??

JeffS

jdcaples
09-29-2011, 02:20 PM
Jefs,

My 2007 has a center engine cover which must be removed to expose the fuel filter. The center engine cover is under the air cleaner housing, which must be removed first.

For 2007-2009 Sprinters, you don't not have to remove the passenger side cover to expose the fuel filter.

I've only seen one 2010 Sprinter engine and there was no center engine cover, but the fuel filter was in the same place as on 2007-2009 Sprinters.

On the 2010 Sprinter I saw, the fuel filter was directly underneath the air cleaner housing, which is over the "valley" between the valve covers of the v6 engine.

Here is a write up, me exposing my fuel filter. Let me know if this helps.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3652

If your engine looks substantially different from mine, please post pictures and someone should be able to help you.


-Jon

jeffs
10-03-2011, 04:04 AM
Jon, thanks for the link to the pictures. My filter is just where your's is and there is no center engine cover. It was my first time really looking under there after I had read several of the other "how to" posts and for some reason I just thought the filter was under that left cover. I think they have relocated the water bleed valve as it is easily accessable up top just to the left of the left cover and perhaps that got me off to the wrong start. Anyway, I see the filter now and have ordered one, along with clamps and will get on with it.

JeffS

jdcaples
10-03-2011, 02:04 PM
I think one thing which has changed for the US/Canadian 3.0 L diesels.

Members have reported the black piece that goes in the top of the fuel filter on 2010/2011 Sprinters (this is MB engine OM642.898) is different from 2007-2009 Sprinters (OM642.993 engines).

OM642.898 engines appear to have a standard fuel heater in the filter housing, which doubles as the Water in Filter (WIF) sensor.

OM642.993 engines weren't ordered by Chrysler from Germany with the in-filter fuel heater, just the WIF.

There are a few more o-rings involved on 642.898 fuel filter changes when compared to 642.993, due to the presence of said fuel heater.

-Jon

flman
11-09-2011, 11:04 PM
I just did my NCV3 fuel filter the other day, what a PITA compared to the T1N. The second time should not be so hard. But I am sticking with every 10K, better safe then sorry. Also, do not mess with that plastic connector, leave it attached to the WIF sensor, the Pex hose has plenty of flex that you do not need to take a chance breaking it. Now what can we do aftermarket to eliminate that stupid filter located in the V of the engine? :thinking: