Toyota-Lexus-Scion Fuel Filter
Toyota, Lexus, and Scion don’t have any written recommendations on when your fuel filter out to be replaced as an act of preventative maintenance.
A fairly common industry practice is to replace them every 30k. The Toyota dealerships that I’m familiar with used to go by this practice as well.
Sometime in the 90’s Toyota had a problem with their manufacturing plants over tightening the fuel lines to the fuel filters. The result was that when replacing the fuel filters, some of the fuel lines had threads that were damaged to the point that the entire fuel line had to be replaced.
For a couple of years Toyota Motor Corporation covered these fuel lines under warranty, and then one day they said “Hey, we never told you to change those filters in the first place-they’re lifetime fuel filters.” At that point, the dealers that I’m familiar with stopped replacing the filters as an act of routine maintenance. While it’s true that the fuel filters are in fact long-lived, it still stands to reason that anytime you have something that is constantly acting as a filter, eventually the filter will get clogged up.
Even if gas is always completely free of any contaminants that might need to be filtered out before they reach the injectors, even in this case the filter can become clogged. This is true because the same chemicals that come out of solution and eventually restrict the injectors can also come out of solution and eventually plug up the fuel filter. When that happens, you still end up having to pay to replace the fuel filter, but now you also have the added expense of diagnosing the problem, plus the added inconvenience of an unplanned for visit to the shop for the repair.
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