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Actual necessary time: fuel filter + power steering fluid?

2000 Silverado ~177,000

What is the realistic mileage for changing the fuel filter and power steering fluid for this vehicle?

Mark

Now. I have a 1997 Silverado. I change the fuel filter every 25,000 miles. 30000 - 50000 would work for the power steering. Don’t for get the trans do that every 30,000. For the trans that means drop the pan a put in a new filter. Also remember to JUST SAY NO TO THE TRANS FLUSH!

Fuel filter - That varies greatly. The last vehicle I owned that you could service the filter …the manual said to change it every 60k miles…but I changed it every between 35k and 40k (once a year for me)…and it was FILTHY.

I change fuel filters about every 15-20k miles and their condition varies. Some are still clean and some are filthy; it all depends because one tank of contaminated gasoline can clog or partially clog a filter.
More than one vehicle with extremely low miles has been towed in because of a clogged filter issue. Several examples would be a car with a shade over 1000 miles on it and another being a dealer demonstrator which was towed in. The latter only had 400 miles total on the car.

With the PS I’d agree with the 30-50k miles interval. If these services have never been done after that kind of mileage then I would only add that if problems do surface later on do not blame any problems on the filter change or PS fluid change.

Why change the PS fluid so rarely? :slight_smile:

My method is as follows: Once a year, suck out all the fluid I can from the PS reservoir using my fluid pump. Refill with fresh fluid.

Based on how much fluid I have to add and what the listed capacity of my cars is, that generally replaces about half the fluid (or more) each time I do it. Takes me under 5 minutes, and I generally have to add less than half a quart of trans fluid to top off the system. Total cost is under $2.

Sure, you don’t end up getting ALL of the old fluid out, but you get nearly all of it. When the car is 10 years old, that would give it about:

50% fresh fluid
25% 1 year old
12.5% 2 years old
6.25% 3 years old
3.13% 4 years old
1.57% 5 years old
0.78% 6 years old
0.39% 7 years old
0.20% 8 years old
0.1% 9 years old
0.1% 10 years old

Those small percentages of older fluid are nothing to worry about, IMO. On average, as the car ages, I’m running on fluid about 1.5 years old (averaging 1 year old by weighted volume right after a change and 2 years right before one). Given my driving habits, that’s like driving with fluid averaging 12,000 miles of wear. For most people that would be well under the equivalent of 30-50k intervals, and you can’t argue with a $2/yr cost.

@eraser1998 - sounds like a good system for the PS fluid. New fluid is mostly needed to replace additives, it’s not necessary to get out all the ‘old’ fluid.

Good god people. You must love spending your weekend snuggled under your cars!!! I had a 1995 Toyota Previa. When I came up on 90,000 miles (I bought it with 36,000 miles) I asked the dealer to change the fuel filter. He looked me in the eye and said “I don’t recommend changing it until it gives you a problem”. He explained that changing the fuel filter frequently caused fuel line problems due to corrosion. I left the fuel filter in and sold it years later with over 220,000 miles with the original filter. Four years later I still see the darned thing running around town. If you have a pressurized, fuel injected system I just can’t see changing fuel filters all the time.

I did make sure all my fluids were changed regularly and always said no to “the flush”.

I cannot believe I am the first to say read the manual!

Bloody_knuckles, are you actually buying that load of crap the dealer gave you about fuel line corrosion being caused by frequent changing of the fuel filter? Seriously?

When I came up on 90,000 miles (I bought it with 36,000 miles) I asked the dealer to change the fuel filter. He looked me in the eye and said “I don’t recommend changing it until it gives you a problem”.

You’re kidding right??? Having problems means dirty fuel lines, clogged injectors. If you wait til that happens you’ll be spending a LOT MORE MONEY fixing those things then replacing the fuel filter every 40-50k miles. One fuel injector in your car costs more then 10 fuel filters…not to mention the labor to change it out.

@bloody_knuckles -

Do you really think 5 minutes a year is “spending your weekend snuggled under your cars”? I can do most maintenance myself faster than most people can drive to their mechanic and back, even at accelerated maintenance schedules.

@eraser1998 - I can do the same thing as you and frequently do (my own maintenance). Regardless of who does the maintenance, it takes time. Time better spent with my kids.

@bloody_knuckles

Yes, it takes time… but for most of what I do in terms of normal preventative work, it takes me longer to drive to the shop and get it done than it takes me to do it myself. In other words, that’s more time with the kids and less $$$ out the door. :slight_smile: