Should a new fuel filter have a smell?

I bought a new Wix fuel filter online and again when smelling the inlet/outlet it smells like fuel or oil. I thought it was only paper media inside.

On my last fuel filter I bought one off eBay, a CarQuest store brand claiming to be new. It also had a smell to it and when I put a wet q-tip in it it came out smelling like a cleaning agent. I did get a refund and went and bought one directly from a store.

I couldn’t find any search results that addressed this issue.

When filters are made, a potting compound is use to seal the filter media to the filter housing and to any filter end caps.

The potting compound can out gas long after the filter is manufactured.



Thank you. This was from a reputable site, R…A…com though the smudge marks all over it had me in question. Thinking back to that one off eBay I began to feel bad about getting the refund on it, maybe it was new, though I didn’t want to take a chance of putting in a used filter.

On the eBay case, when I asked the guy about it he said he didn’t really know the history of it and obliged on his own free will to give me the refund though I still kind of feel bad about that.

It makes sense that there’s some sort of sealent and adhesives used inside. The filter companies should clarify about that because I can also see people trying to clean and then re-sell used filters.

I can’t imagine anyone trying to sell a used filter as new. It would reek of gas and they don’t cost a lot to begin with.

Unless you have smelled a filter you know to be brand new, that smell test seems to be of dubious value. You’re assuming a new filter will have no odor.

Good luck

I’m guessing it’s a hydrophobic (water repelling) solvent to keep the media from absorbing moisture.
In short, a preservative.