View Full Version : Fuel Filter Help

05-09-2015, 01:58 AM
I was just finishing up a 2000 mi trip in my 2003 Sprinter and stopped two hours short of home to get fuel. As soon as I left the stations and came up to speed the “fuel filter clogged” lamp came on. I turned off the RV then started it up again. The indicator light stayed off until I pushed it passed 2000 RPM then it came on again. I made it to a friend’s house and drained the fuel filter. There was water in the filter but I have never drained it before (20,000 miles) so who knows how long it has been there. I followed the instructions in the manual for the self-bleeding and took the RV out for a run. The “filter clogged lamp ” does not come on but if I try and push it passed 2500 rpm the engine bogs down and will not rev up any higher. I checked the filter again for water and there was none.
It does feel like fuel starvation but I’m wondering why no indicator light anymore. I’m going to change the filter. The RV has 65000 miles on it and I’m not sure the previous owner changed the filter as he indicated.
Any thing else I should be looking at besides the filter? How can I determine if the fuel is contaminated? Thanks.

05-09-2015, 02:29 AM
Perhaps your fuel filter has not been changed in too long a time and the actual filter media is plugged up.
You drained the water out of the WIF section of the filter, but that does nothing to get the residual "junk"
plugging the actual filter media cleaned out.
Replace the whole filter.
Of course this can happen with just one load of wet/dirty fuel.
Could be the place where you last bought fuel had water or dirt in their tank or pumping apparatus.
It ended up in your tank, your Sprinter pumped it into the fuel filter, and now everything is plugged
up with water/debris.
If you do change the filter, do a post-mortem autopsy on the old filter.
Perhaps you can find out what plugged it and negotiate with the fuel supplier about the cost of the new
filter in your Sprinter, that their diesel fuel dispensing system filter (s) did not catch.
Hope this helps,

05-09-2015, 03:27 PM
When you do change the filter, be sure to fill the new one with diesel fuel. I use an old turkey baster. With that engine and the lack of a fuel pump in the tank to push fuel, having an air compressor handy and a rag to pressurize the fuel tank will also help get the fuel flowing and the engine started.

05-09-2015, 04:23 PM
Yeah, don't be surprised at a couple 30 second cranks to get fuel up and flowing from the tank. I don't do more than 20 seconds myself because I worry about over heating the starter (old car thing). New filter connections may provide air leaks, it even happens to us experienced filter changers! Getting a filter without the water in fuel sensor or drain (amazon, ebay) eliminates two of the most likely leak locations. I've never had a water problem, so the prospect of not having that sensor connected doesn't bother me.

Also, it helps to have a full tank when changing the filter, it's easier to get the fuel up from the tank. I've had to back-fill the hose going to the tank and then quickly connect it and jump in and crank it when I tried on a low tank.

05-09-2015, 08:41 PM
Hi All,
Do you know I have always wondered why we do not fit one of these to the fuel supply hose.


I have always promised myself I was going to do it one time but simply not got around to it. Wouldn't this be the perfect solution?
They have a one way valve in them too to stop fuel returning on the supply line. Cant see any reason why they wouldn't work can you?

All the best

05-11-2015, 11:04 AM
I got home with the help of a new fuel filter and a wire tie to secure the clear fuel line. No problems at all. Thanks for all the great information. It's a nice feeling to know that there are people out there who have your back.