Changing the fuel filter in your diesel engine is a common activity in routine diesel engine maintenance. While you should have access to a vehicle owner’s manual that will explain how to change a fuel filter, some neglect to mention what to do after the fuel filter has been changed. If not done properly, some individuals have reported a diesel engine not starting after a fuel filter change. Hopefully, we can provide you with the necessary information needed to ensure your engine is running smoothly after changing the fuel filter.

Priming the Fuel Filter Manually

When changing out a fuel filter, it becomes necessary to remove any air bubbles that have been introduced into your fuel system. Additionally, you need to prime the fuel filter to ensure fuel is circulating in your fuel system once again. Individuals often make the mistake of cranking the engine in an attempt to prime the pump, which can wear down your battery and, in some cases, fail to recirculate your fuel. The majority of diesel engines these days have a manual primer pump, as well as an air-bleed screw that you can use to bleed the air and prime the pump. To operate these manual features, you pump the primer handle (this can take as many as 50-500 pumps) while turning this screw until the hissing noise of escaping air dissipates. Once this occurs, you can tighten the screw and try to turn the engine.

Priming using Ignition

In some diesel engines, priming the fuel pump can be as simple as turning the ignition key to “run” for several seconds, turning off, and then repeating up to four times. This restart procedure will most likely be recommended by your manufacturer and allow you to restart the engine after a few minutes. On the fourth or fifth turn, go ahead and crank the engine, which should start. Make sure that you let the engine run for 30 seconds before turning off the engine and inspecting the fuel filter itself for any leaking.

Find Nearby Diesel Mechanic in Knoxville, TN

When priming a diesel engine, you will ensure that your engine starts up because the fuel filter has diesel available and that all air is removed from the fuel system. This may be necessary if you are changing the fuel filter, or if your diesel engine runs out of fuel. If you’re engine still won’t crank it may be the sign of a more serious problem that you should have examined by a certified diesel mechanic.

Contact Certified Diesel Solutions online or at 865-964-6598 to schedule your next fuel filter change or for assistance with a host of additional diesel engine maintenance and repair services including electronic, suspension, drive train  and preventative maintenance.