Popped my Fuel Filter Cherry....

danski0224

Active member
Well, I finally decided to replace the fuel filter on my 2008. Probably not too many nice days like today until spring, and I am a little overdue at 25k miles on the original one...

There are a couple of writeups already, so I'll just add a little.

The little clip that holds the MAF sensor wires to the air filter box is a pain to pull off.

The torx fasteners that hold down the plastic cover under the filter box are simply 1/4 turn devices.

The water in fuel (WIF) sensor is easy to remove once the white clip piece is firmly squeezed and the assembly is twisted as it is pulled out (squeeze the rectangular end towards the center of the sensor. Do not squeeze/pry the small white clips). Note: The new fuel filter does not come with the green O ring for this step. I reused mine, and will need to order one for next time. The black piece with the wiring plug and 2 screws stays in place while the WIF is removed- leave the 2 screws in place until the WIF is loosened... then remove the screws... then the WIF sensor. Why? The screws are small and will fit into the opening of the filter if one is dropped.

I was able to undo the OE fuel line clamps with the plain fixed jaw specialty tool I bought for ~$25 USD. I did get 2 new clamps when I got the new filter, just in case. I used them and put the old ones in the love box with the removal tool. I'll probably put a 5mm hex key in there too.

The filter clamp needs a 5mm hex key. No need to actually remove the bolt. A key with a ball end is invaluable here. There is a small slot on the bracket for a screwdriver blade. Gently pry open, and the filter slides easily.

There are 2 rubber isolators on a black plastic line next to the fuel filter. I slid them out of the way and put them back. Moving them allows the filter to slide up easily.

A small dental pick type tool will slip under the rubber hoses and break the bond for easy removal. Use some common sense here.

The hose clamp tool has a removal position and installation position.

One side has a sharp jaw and the other side is more flat with a notch. The notched side fits over the nub on the clamp to unlock the clamp. You have to roll the latching side of the clamp slightly into the fixed portion of the clamp to unlock it.

To install, reverse the jaw position. The sharp side must fit into the nub on the fixed side of the clamp. This provides clearance to roll the locking tang over the fixed portion.

I turned the key 3 times to the run position to prime the new filter.

I set the airbox in place and connected the wires. Leaving the lower cover off temporarily made it easy to look for leaks.

The van started right up.

Lower cover and airbox properly installed.

Total time: about 30 minutes.

Diesel spillage: None.

If you can change your own oil, you can do this. Difficulty scale 1 to 10, with 10 being impossible: 3 - only because care must be given to some of the plastic parts.

Have fun.

Neither my new filter or the old one had a water drain. Is it somewhere else, or just something that was eliminated?

:bounce:
 

KimolosMike

New member
You NA Sprinter owners complain (with some justification) about options and models that aren't available to you, but after changing the fuel filter on my 4 cyl 2150cc yesterday I'd gladly swap for the ease of doing the same job on your 3.0litre models.
On the 4 cyl the filter is back near the firewall and down low where you can't get at it properly. I found it easier to undo the clamp first so I could move the filter a little to where I could at least half see what I was doing. The white clip released the two black tabs almost far enough, but not quite, and of course my subsequent efforts resulted in a broken black tab. Even with the tabs out of the way it took a lot of persuasion to extract that part (it had been in there for four years). Now held in by cable tie.
I'd order the part from Chris in the UK but I have a long trip next weekend, so am forced to part with $93 to the local MB stealer. And that's trade price!!!!
But I'm still well in front having done the service myself.
Rant over.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...
Now held in by cable tie.
...
Rant over.
Thanks for the info.

Many of the plastic clips employed OEM are for manufacturing or convenience sake.

One place which I recall is the fuel line clips which break on the NAFTA models. I secured my fuel lines back up into the remnants of the OEM clips. I see no reason to replace the OEM clips like for like because the lines are now held better than the original design.

If the cable tie is securely fastened and doing the job it may not be worth going back to OEM. The replacement may just break again anyway. FWIW. vic
 

KimolosMike

New member
I see no reason to replace the OEM clips like for like because the lines are now held better than the original design.
Vic you make a valid point. Now, my family will be surprised that I haven't tried to fix it with roofing silicone, but I figure that I could put a short stainless strap under each of the 2 screws that hold the WIF sensor in the filter. A strap with a hole at the outer end sufficient to take a small cable tie that will secure the hose fitting. If fuel filters needed changing more often I'd also consider finding somewhere more convenient to mount the filter. The wiring to the sensor adds a level of complexity that makes this not worthwhile for a job that only needs to be done every two or three years.
If MB had used a banjo and bolt to hold this stuff in the top of the filter we'd all be better off, except for the 92 cents added to the cost of a new Sprinter.
 

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
I'll stay with the Tin Cans cause they are so dam easy to get at:hugs:
Whichard
 

danski0224

Active member
You NA Sprinter owners complain (with some justification) about options and models that aren't available to you, but after changing the fuel filter on my 4 cyl 2150cc yesterday I'd gladly swap for the ease of doing the same job on your 3.0litre models.
On the 4 cyl the filter is back near the firewall and down low where you can't get at it properly. I found it easier to undo the clamp first so I could move the filter a little to where I could at least half see what I was doing. The white clip released the two black tabs almost far enough, but not quite, and of course my subsequent efforts resulted in a broken black tab. Even with the tabs out of the way it took a lot of persuasion to extract that part (it had been in there for four years). Now held in by cable tie.
I'd order the part from Chris in the UK but I have a long trip next weekend, so am forced to part with $93 to the local MB stealer. And that's trade price!!!!
But I'm still well in front having done the service myself.
Rant over.
I would rather have the 4cyl available in the USA. :bounce:

I had to squeeze the white piece pretty hard to get the black clip far enough apart, and a slight twisting motion to pull the line out. I did it with the engine compartment warm, figuring that may help the plastic be more pliable. I did not resort to a small pair of Channel Lock pliers, but the thought did cross my mind.

I am no weakling in the hand strength department, so I can see how this clip release process can cause problems for those that do not work with their hands for a living. I was pretty nervous, and would have been stuck until a weekday to get a new part... so I proceeded with caution.

I also feel that the design is not user friendly. My 98 VW diesel had a banjo bolt and the 05 has a special metal clip that is easily removed. Either is better than this Sprinter fuel filter design. At the very least, Mercedes could have put some extra on that fuel line so the clip doesn't have to be messed with and you don't spill diesel changing the damn filter... although I didn't try it, it appears that removing the WIF with the line attached misses by only an inch or so. Is a little extra fuel line that expensive?

It is probably in my best interest to buy a new line with the clip on it just to have it onhand. I see it breaking at an inopportune time.
 

slowstride

New member
Fuel filter bleeding

My 2008 NCV3 with 7,000 miles has the WIF light up. Reading the manual it appears that when the WIF light comes up, you should bleed the water from the fuel filter by turning the drain valve 'one turn'. This does nothing, and it's not until I have turned the valve about 4-5 rotations, then a fluid that appears to be diesel comes squirting out. Am I doing something wrong? Why is the drain not working? Does the WIF light coming up indicate some other problem with the fuel filter?

Paul :thinking:
 

kmessinger

Active member
I have never gotten anything to come out even diesel.
 

slowstride

New member
My problem, according to the MB dealer, was a faulty WIF sensor. I had to almost completely unscrew the bleed valve before the diesel came out. Apparently no water in my filter, yet, but worthwhile to know where the bleed valve is, and how to bleed it.
 

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