Question by: Keith Teubes Answer by: Arnold VenterWe bought our ‘09 Hummer H3 primarily for off-road and overland use. The vehicle has since done 30 000 km, of which 20 000 km has been off-road. We’re planning another trip (12 000 km) in the not too distant future, so with this in mind I set about ordering extra air, fuel and oil filters from the dealer.
Much to my surprise I was informed that the Hummer doesn’t have an external/serviceable fuel filter, but rather a strainer within the fuel tank. Unconvinced that this could be the case, I contacted GM head office for some clarity, they confirmed that this is the fuel-filtering setup on the Hummer V8. I was then told that if I attempted to fit an aftermarket external fuel filter it would void my vehicle’s warranty.
Having owned some 30 vehicles over the years this is the first time I’ve ever encountered a vehicle without a serviceable fuel filter. My question: Is this the norm for modern engines and should I leave it so?
THE EXPERT’S OPINION:
Vehicle manufacturers often design vehicles primarily for urban use, with the occasional off-road jaunt in mind. Unfortunately, few manufacturers take into consideration the conditions facing a vehicle that operates in Africa.
Just about every fuel tank ingests some dust through the tank’s breather system. This dust eventually forms a layer of sludge within the fuel tank. As mentioned in your email, the fuel pump is protected by a thin strainer located by the fuel pick-up pipe, once this filter is clogged it has to be removed and cleaned.
Having driven the Hummer for 20 000 km off-road I would suggest you have the strainer cleaned, and then install a Racor aftermarket filter. Personally, I’d rather worry about my vehicle’s longevity and wouldn’t be too concerned about the factory warranty; especially when one can purchase similar warranties from other sources.
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