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2006 Forester
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662 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So this morning I return to the local dealer’s parts department to return the wrong pre-filter I was given for my fuel filter replacement, and once again, like every time I’ve gone in there in the past, the lady behind the parts window gives me a hard time. She tried telling me that the intank Subaru fuel filters, like the spin on transmission filters, don’t ever need changed unless something breaks, or symptoms indicate they need replaced. When I told her I was following Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule that came with my car, she asked me if I was following THEIR (the dealer’s) maintenance schedule?!?! She said they never replace the filters, which I verified earlier from the maintenance department.

Before I went to return the wrong fuel pump pre-filter, I stopped at the maintenance department and showed them the fuel filter housing and the inside filter media and asked them if they replace the whole filter housing or just the inside filter media. They said when they do replace the fuel filters they replace the whole thing, but that they rarely replace these in tank filters.

Back at the parts window, when returning the pre-filter, the lady told me that if I want the correct pre-filter, I had to buy purchase the pump because the pre-filter is connected to and is sold with the pump. Is this true???

To make a long story short, I left the dealer frustrated after trying to reason with the parts lady that it is good preventive maintenance to replace simple filters on a regular basis. During that time, she was trying her best to make it sound like I replaced the fuel filter for nothing. I told her that I plan on having this car till it dies or I kill it. And that, if I followed their recommended maintenance schedule, my car would die much sooner.

So the bottom line is, as per the local Subaru dealer in Franklin, PA, you do NOT have to replace your Subaru’s in tank fuel filter EVER.

Let the discussion begin….
 
Joined
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370 Posts
Yeah she correct right up until the time it blocks and your stuck in Death Valley at 160 F!

Unfortunately in most cases the whole pump filter unit is one piece ( Range R, BMW, Merc, Lexus...) and just trying to replace the filter only will cost you more in time and probably be unreliable requiring a second job to fix it again.

It's cheaper in the long run to get the whole thing changed as a single unit!


:shake:
 

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Registered
2007 Forester XT Limited
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649 Posts
My local parts dealer said the same thing too, that the filter is part of the fuel pump assembly and they don't sell it separately.

If you are out of warranty and want to replace it, just get the Walbro "installation kit", it comes with a new filter.
 

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Don, King of the parts diagram
MY11 WRX STi Sedan 6MT
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5,794 Posts
To clarify this some what, your vehicle comes with both fuel filter and pump pre-filter in the fuel tank.

I would think the service schedule refers to the fuel filter.



The fuel Filter is Item 34

Filter-fuel pump, 42072FE020

and costs $80.00 MRP or there abouts

The "pre-filter" is the "bag" on the intake to the pump and does come with the pump assembly and very rarely needs changing. (Item 46)
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,583 Posts
They told me the same thing at the parts dept at my local subaru dealer. I think the schedule refers to the filter that used to be located under the hood. In '05 they did away with that filter, and went with one in the fuel tank. I'm not sure why the manual still says to replace the filter when all the parts people insist that you don't.
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
Time to get SOA official word... dealerships often clash with SOA on their info.
 

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01 Forester "S" (FS)
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518 Posts
I learned that unless you speak with the so-called "grunts" on the front lines - the real, tried and true, many-years-at-it-subaru-mechanic-guy, the dealership information mostly useless.

Anyone working for them at the front desk, unless it is a grisly guy with oil stains on their shirt, have a little "parrot" training, and would stick to it even if their life depended on it no matter how stupid it sounds. The idiocy of it all is not natural.
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
The pre-filter AFAIK is part of the sending unit assembly as she said, but she is a tool for saying it never needs replacement. At autozone we even have a diagram saying the reasons why fuel pumps fail, mainly its due to junk being run through because the pre-filter is clogged.

I have changed both my trans and fuel filter so I guess I am just another dummy according to your dealer lol.
 

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03X MT
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846 Posts
I'm glad my 03x filter is under the hood. < .5 hour task

Is there a reason the filter has been moved to the tank?
 

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02 Foz 4eat
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5,536 Posts
Takes longer which means it costs more to have the new filters changed, benefit dealers.

Also glad the '04 has the underhood filter too. A lot easier and cheaper to fix.
 

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2006 Forester
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662 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Earlier I pulled out the dealer's Service Menu I was given by the parts lady during one of my visits, I found it in my file with all my vehicle receipts. And under the 30K/60K/90K/120K mile service it states in plain English "Replace Fuel Filter (if applicable)". Oh, if I'd've only looked at one of those menus while at the dealer. Or maybe the intank filters aren't applicable.

So I wasn't necessarily given the wrong pre-filter afterall. My bad for not knowing this when ordering. I've gotten pre-pump strainer filters with every pump I've replaced, however, I've also purchased just the strainer but for other vehicles. It'd be nice if someone manufactured aftermarket pre-filters, and even just the filter media held within that $80 fuel filter housing. Seems a waste to purchase the filter housing when it it certainly made to be reusable, and the inner filter medial can be replaced so easily. I guess we're SOL.

And subieoutlaw, I agree. I've been going there since I purchased my car 3 years ago and the parts lady has always questioned with a condescending attitude why I need the parts. I've been very patient up until today.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,734 Posts
Takes longer which means it costs more to have the new filters changed, benefit dealers.
If this were true, why do the dealerships tell us that it never needs to be done?

My opinion.....having the fuel filter in the engine bay is convenient, yes. But it can also be considered a dangerous hazard. If the housing leaks, or the filter was changed incorrectly, it can certainly cause a fire/explosion.
 

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1999 Forester
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30 Posts
I agree with Blue Fox - if improperly installed, the filter could become a hazard.

I dont trust the rubber hoses too much - plus the increasing amount of GasAhol (ethanol blended gas) may have lead them to rethink rubber lines for fuel. Ethanol erodes rubber.
 

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2009 Forester XT 4EAT
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2,265 Posts
I can only speculate on the Subaru point since I am still somewhat new to Subies...but.... On my previous two Grand Cherokees, 1 Ford Explorer, 1 GMC Jimmy, 1 '98 Dodge Ram 1500 (with 325K miles and still going)...ALL of them state in the "Haynes" manual the little pre-filter is only to be replaced when the in-tank fuel pump is replaced. The Dodge had it's pump replaced at 275,000. One Grand Cherokee had it replaced at 25K under warranty and the Jimmy replaced due to a recall. My friend at our local shop said 99% of all multi-port injected engines use the pump-in-tank fuel injection.
Does the Subaru have the pump mounted in the tank? Maybe that's why it's so difficult to get your pre-filter?
 
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