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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Fuel filter, when to change?



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      08-13-2008, 12:25 AM   #1
e90will
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Fuel filter, when to change?

Hello~

Does anyone know the change interval for the fuel filter??

Owner's manual does not have info on this
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      08-13-2008, 03:11 AM   #2
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I would have the dealership replace it before the warranty goes up. It really depends on your habit of filling up your car. If you let the gas tank go to one or two gallons left before filling up....then you need to replace it more often than if you fill at a 1/4 of a tank. Running on an empty tank is not all that good on a fuel injected car compared to a carb...one.
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      08-13-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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there isnt exactly an interval for it being as its in the tank...and its stupid expensive...
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      01-26-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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I am interested in keeping my 325xi in top running order. It has 32k miles and is set to turn 4yrs in Nov 2009.

Bavauto recommends changing out the fuel filter every 3 years.

Is replacing the filter something that the average garage mechanic can do?

How much is the filter?

Roughly, how much does dealer charge for labor to replace the filter?

Is the fuel filter part of the fuel pump?

Thanks

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      02-01-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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iirc, the fuel filter is something like $180 USD. It isn't cheap, and there isn't a set interval on changing it. The filter is considered 'lifetime' by BMW, except that lifetime just means until the part fails.
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      04-27-2009, 03:27 AM   #6
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I'm sick of that BMW BS about "lifetime" fill or service. I'm changing the fuel filter every 2-3 years or 30k miles.
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      04-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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The fuel filter is in the tank and costs $180 for the part and probably 2 - 3 hours for labor to install. So you are going to change your fuel filter every 30K miles for $400? The filter won't fail. It would at worst case get clogged enough to make the engine starve of fuel and you would notice a lack of performance and it would go into limp home mode, but it wouldn't leave you on the side of the road.

Cars used to have hand cranks to start the engine until Cadillac introduced the electric starter. Why is it that people on this board can't get their head around that as technology progresses, things (like maintenance intervals) change. One of the reasons BMW's are expensive is becuase they are well (some times over) engineered. From that engineering comes things like lifetime fuel filters.
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      04-29-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
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Sad thing is that car technology hasn't changed that much since the electric starter. You still need oil, filters, belts, and spark plugs. Biggest changes are all the electronics. It's one thing to compare an electronic starter to a hand crank, it's another thing to say that transmission fluid or fuel filters last a "lifetime". A clogged fuel filter can cause internal engine damage if you're running too lean.

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...lter_Swap.aspx

I also don't believe in 17,000 mile oil changes. If BMW really believes in "lifetime" fluids and filters, then they should give me a lifetime warranty.
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      04-30-2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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The modern day engine has a computer controlled combustion process, with O2 sensors and knock sensors. If the engine were to start running lean the ECU would send it into limp mode to avoid internal damage because of a lean condition.

I was looking around on the BMW TIS site a few weeks ago and found a procedure to add an external fuel filter to the E90 fuel system. I haven't seen the part anywhere on any BMW parts websites, but the additional fuel filter is meant for places in the world where the fuel quality is questionable (the part may not be on the US parts list). If you are concerned about the fuel filtering process on the E90, you may want to look into adding the auxillary fuel filter to your car. The procedure was pretty straight forward. Remove the rear seat. Open the access cover to the fuel tank (it's there to facilitate a fuel pump replacement). Remove one fuel line and replace it with the auxillary fuel filter.
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      04-30-2009, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
The modern day engine has a computer controlled combustion process, with O2 sensors and knock sensors. If the engine were to start running lean the ECU would send it into limp mode to avoid internal damage because of a lean condition.

I was looking around on the BMW TIS site a few weeks ago and found a procedure to add an external fuel filter to the E90 fuel system. I haven't seen the part anywhere on any BMW parts websites, but the additional fuel filter is meant for places in the world where the fuel quality is questionable (the part may not be on the US parts list). If you are concerned about the fuel filtering process on the E90, you may want to look into adding the auxillary fuel filter to your car. The procedure was pretty straight forward. Remove the rear seat. Open the access cover to the fuel tank (it's there to facilitate a fuel pump replacement). Remove one fuel line and replace it with the auxillary fuel filter.
ENTITY, do you have access to instruction on how to replace fuel filter. I agreed with you on the BMW technology. I mean i have experienced this first hand when my water pump stop working. The car would not give me full access to power and I can only coast along while everyone zipped on by and giving me the ugly staring faces.

Nevermind, after looking at realoem, I now remember seeing the access cover to the fuel tank under the rear seat. I don't know how difficult it is to open the fuel tank access cover but it is good to know if I ever need to mes with fuel tank.
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Last edited by txusa03; 04-30-2009 at 02:46 PM.
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      04-30-2009, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
I was looking around on the BMW TIS site a few weeks ago and found a procedure to add an external fuel filter to the E90 fuel system. I haven't seen the part anywhere on any BMW parts websites, but the additional fuel filter is meant for places in the world where the fuel quality is questionable (the part may not be on the US parts list). If you are concerned about the fuel filtering process on the E90, you may want to look into adding the auxillary fuel filter to your car. The procedure was pretty straight forward. Remove the rear seat. Open the access cover to the fuel tank (it's there to facilitate a fuel pump replacement). Remove one fuel line and replace it with the auxillary fuel filter.
Thanks for the suggestion. US gas stations still have problems with sediment, so I may just do that if the price is reasonable and the part is available. Like I said, I distrust BMW's lifetime assertion on these parts. I think it's more marketing than fact. Mike Miller of Bimmer Mag thinks so too.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3804
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      05-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #12
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see attached

My '89 E30 (Mike Miller's favorite car) goes 12,000 miles between oil changes. It has 293,000 on it. You tell me.
Attached Files
File Type: doc E90 Fuel In-line filter Conversion.doc (334.5 KB, 2043 views)
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      05-02-2009, 12:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
see attached

My '89 E30 (Mike Miller's favorite car) goes 12,000 miles between oil changes. It has 293,000 on it. You tell me.
Thanks for the attachment.

Wow, 293,000 miles on it? That's amazing. But I'm sure you replaced the fuel filter on that thing by now. I love E30s too. But I gotta say, all my friends with E46s have nothing but problems after the 100,000 mile mark. They followed the BMW maintenance routine.
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      05-02-2009, 08:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel L Jackson View Post
Thanks for the attachment.

Wow, 293,000 miles on it? That's amazing. But I'm sure you replaced the fuel filter on that thing by now. I love E30s too. But I gotta say, all my friends with E46s have nothing but problems after the 100,000 mile mark. They followed the BMW maintenance routine.
Mike Miller says the new BMWs aren't built like the old ones (cheap parts he says). I'm not so sure yet. We also have a '97 Z3 that at 132,000 is in pretty good shape too. The E30 was not flawless either. Common problems were Steering rack seals went at 120K. Theromstat housing cracked at 123K (only time the car left us stranded). The antenna mast always needs replacement every 60K miles. The gauges have failed a few times. Wheel bearings needed replacement at 200K. The bottle cap wheels bent pretty easy. All normal stuff to me. But easy to fix too. But the clutch went 180K with room to spare (and the car spent 2 years in NYC!). The motor and trans are original. I did change the fuel filter (and fuel hoses once) a few times in acordance with the schedule.

Having both since new, and doing all the maintenance myself (except the two oil changes and a brake flush I got from BMW for the E90) I'd say at 80,000 both cars are pretty equal in reliability to this point. I've changed the brakes, coolant and diff oil in the E90 at 75,000 and will do the trans oil as soon as I can get the right lube (MTF-LT-3)

In my opinion we've kept the car too long. I mean even a BMW can get a bit long in the tooth after 20 years of ownership.
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      05-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #15
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Lol, yeah. I would have to say any car after 10 years tend to become money pits. But the E30 is a classic. Even though it's an old car, I always stare when I see a good one on the road. I thought about buying a used one before.
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      05-03-2009, 08:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel L Jackson View Post
Lol, yeah. I would have to say any car after 10 years tend to become money pits. But the E30 is a classic. Even though it's an old car, I always stare when I see a good one on the road. I thought about buying a used one before.
If you do, try and get a '89. IMO it was the best year. The 325i had the '88 325is M20 engine, european-like bumpers (instead of those gaudy 5 MPH ones) and no air bag (changed in 1990).
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      05-06-2009, 11:18 AM   #17
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On the E90 the fuel filter is not in the fuel tank.
It's almost underneath the driver seat.
It's easy to change and it costs $ 59.00 at bav auto.
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      05-06-2009, 11:43 AM   #18
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Save your money, unless you plan to keep the car to 200K changing all the fluids and filters unnecessarily serves no purpose. Auto trans fluid changes are probably the biggest waste.... unless you drain the torque converter only about 40-50% of the fluid actually gets changed.
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      05-06-2009, 12:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB View Post
On the E90 the fuel filter is not in the fuel tank.
It's almost underneath the driver seat.
It's easy to change and it costs $ 59.00 at bav auto.
There is no procedure in the TIS to replace a E90 fuel filter other than the one in the tank. RealOEM doesn't show a P/N for a E90 fuel filter other than the one in the tank. The part you are talking about is for the 2006 E46 325iC which was the 2006 3 Series coupe. The E91 Coupe didn't come out until 2007 model year. Get your shit straight.
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      05-17-2009, 08:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
I've changed the brakes, coolant and diff oil in the E90 at 75,000 and will do the trans oil as soon as I can get the right lube (MTF-LT-3).
How did you change the diff oil, as I understand it they do not have a drain bolt? I have heard about possible sucking out the fluid but have not seen any details and would be interested in your procedure.
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      05-17-2009, 09:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
... I've changed the brakes, coolant and diff oil in the E90 at 75,000 and will do the trans oil as soon as I can get the right lube (MTF-LT-3)....
Bavarian Autosport carries it.

When I do it again I will also get a new drain plug. Both the drain and fill plugs have an attached seal that appears to be intended for one time use.

Edit: search for PN 83 22 7 533 818
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      05-24-2009, 07:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beef1020 View Post
How did you change the diff oil, as I understand it they do not have a drain bolt? I have heard about possible sucking out the fluid but have not seen any details and would be interested in your procedure.
Beef1020, sorry, I just saw your question this morning. The procedure is to remove the fill plug and suck the fluid out. To suck the fluid out, the cheap way is to get an automotive grade oil syringe that can pull the fluid out of the diff (it will take a long time and probably leave some old oil in the dif). Or you can get one of the hand-pump (Mity-Vac brand) oil extractors that meant to extract oil out of the dipstick tube on engines and pull brake fluid through the brake lines when flushing brakes.

I use a pneumatic powered oil evacuator I got from Harbor Freight. It comes with several lengths and diameter plastic tubes and brass straight tubes. I modded one of the brass pickup tubes to get all the oil out. I cut the tube to about 6 inches then bent it 90 degrees so it slides in the fill hole and sits at the bottom of the diff housing.

Pull all the oil fluid out then refill with new diff fluid till it dribbles out of the hole. Then re-install the fill plug.

Last edited by ENINTY; 05-24-2009 at 08:14 AM.
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