How To Replace The Fuel Filter Or Fuel Filter Housing In A Chevy Silverado Or GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD

Do you have a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra with the Duramax 6.6L diesel? Diesel engine fuel injectors have very close tolerances. Contaminated fuel can wear injectors out rapidly. Replacing your fuel filter on schedule is important to get the full life out of your injectors, and to keep your truck running well.

Sometimes drivability problems are caused by leaking seals in the fuel filter head. You can rebuild the head, but it's much simpler and faster to replace the entire fuel filter housing, which includes the head, filter, and water in the fuel sensor.

Is it time to change your fuel filter or fuel filter housing? You can save some money by replacing either of these yourself. They are both pretty easy jobs. This guide offers step-by-step instructions on replacing the fuel filter or fuel filter housing on your Silverado or Sierra 2500/3500 HD.

Need A Replacement Fuel Filter Or Fuel Filter Housing Right Away?

Filter and housing

The most logical solution is to pick up a replacement at your nearest GM dealership. But it’s not a financially wise decision. Dealerships impose a hefty markup on all their parts, including fuel filters.

There’s a better solution: order your replacement fuel filter or fuel filter housing from us. We carry genuine OEM GM parts, including fuel filters. Since our overhead costs are low, we’re able to offer much better prices than your local dealerships. Even better, we also offer a price match guarantee. It’s pretty hard to beat that.

When you order from us, you’ll enjoy fast, same-day shipping. So you’ll get your replacement part in no time. Once you have your replacement part, you can roll up your sleeves and start the replacement process.

Replacing The Fuel Filter In A Silverado Or Sierra 2500/3500 HD

Silverado 2500

On a 2001-2016 Silverado or Sierra HD, you’ll find the fuel filter on the passenger side of the Duramax, below the air intake tube. For tools, you'll need:

  • Trim fastener removal tool, or a flathead screwdriver
  • 10mm socket and socket wrench
  • Medium size channel lock style pliers

Take the following steps to replace the fuel filter:

  1. Remove the center air intake tube between the air filter housing and the turbocharger.
  2. Remove the passenger side inner fender. Plastic body clips and two 10mm bolts are holding it in place.
  3. Find the water-fuel separator drain valve at the bottom of the fuel filter. Open the bleed screw at the top of the fuel filter housing, and then open the water separator drain valve. Drain the water/fuel into a container and then properly dispose of it.
  4. Disconnect the water-in-fuel sensor electrical connector.
  5. Rotate the fuel filter counter-clockwise (from the bottom) and then remove it.
    1. Keep the filter positioned upright to avoid spilling any remaining fuel.
  6. Drain the remaining fuel out of the fuel filter and then dispose of the fuel.
    1. Make sure that the old gasket isn’t stuck to the fuel filter head.
  7. With a wrench, deep socket, or pliers, remove the water-in-fuel sensor assembly from the bottom of the filter.
  8. Does the new fuel filter come with an o-ring for the water-in-fuel sensor assembly? If so, replace the o-ring with the new one.
    1. If the water in the fuel sensor assembly has any damage, replace it with a new one. You can’t reuse it.
    2. Lubricate the new o-ring with clean engine oil before installing it.
  9. Does the new fuel filter come with a new gasket? If so, replace the old gasket with the new one.
    1. Lubricate the new gasket with clean engine oil before installing it.
  10. Install the new fuel filter in the reverse order of removal.
    1. Don’t fill the new filter with fuel. You will prime it after installation.
    2. Make sure that the water-in-fuel sensor wire doesn’t get tangled up in the process.
    3. Install by hand only. Don’t tighten with tools.
  11. Open the bleed valve fuel filter head.
  12. Pump the plunger on top of the fuel filter housing. Keep going until all the air escapes and the fuel starts to flow out of the bleed valve. When that happens, close the bleed valve. Be careful not to over-tighten it.
  13. Reinstall the inner fender and intake tube.
  14. Start the engine. Slide underneath your truck to check for leaks.
    1. The engine will run rough for the first 30 seconds. If it doesn’t smooth out after about a minute, re-bleed the system and repeat the pumping process.

Replacing A Duramax 6.6L Fuel Filter Housing

6.6 Liter diesel

It's easiest to replace the whole fuel filter housing as a unit, so you don't have to remove the filter first. In addition to the tools mentioned above, you'll also need:

  • Small angled pliers
  • Pick tool or a small flathead screwdriver
  • 12mm socket

Replacing the fuel filter housing has some overlapping steps with the process for replacing the fuel filter. We'll refer to those steps above rather than repeat them all. To replace the fuel filter housing:

  1. Do steps 1-4 from above.
  2. Disconnect the fuel heater wiring harness.
  3. Disconnect the fuel lines from the filter head.
    1. Use a small angled pliers to release the spring clips. Slide them onto the hose.
    2. Use a pick tool or small flathead screwdriver to break the fuel hose free from the filter head fuel inlet and outlet.
    3. Inspect the fuel lines at this point. If they show spiderweb cracks or flat spots, they should be replaced. You can use a standard fuel hose. (You don't need a pre-bent hose.)
  4. Remove the 12mm bolts that attach to the filter head, and remove the fuel filter housing assembly.
  5. Install the new fuel filter housing in the reverse order of removal.
    1. When reinstalling the fuel line, it is a good idea to replace the spring clips with stainless steel hose clamps.
    2. Don’t fill the new filter with fuel. You will prime it after installation.
    3. Check to make sure the fuel filter is snug in the filter head (Do this by hand.)
  6. Do steps 11-14 from above.

If You Have Questions About The Duramax Fuel Filter Or Fuel Filter Housing, Call Us!

Do you have any questions about the replacement process? We’re happy to help. Just contact us here and someone will be happy to help you out!

And if you drive a Silverado and want to up your part and accessory game, take a look at these posts, too.