I'm pretty sure I need to replace my fuel filter as I've seen some fuel dripping from it, but my question is that I noticed fuel puddled on top of my filter housing, could that just be from my filter and being pushed up there by air, or something?
Not having any info as to the truck model, year or engine size it's hard to say. But if you're seeing fuel dripping AND/OR on top of the unit, I think you better see if the seal and cap is worn / cracked. Diesel, you have a problem. Gas, you have a potential safety issue for you and/or the truck at a minimum.
There are ways to extend oil changes, but fuel is another animal all together. For either gassers or diesel fuel, it is very important to change the filter when it's due. If at the very least, if your mileage says it's time since the last change out, 'change it'.
I had a similar problem on an 1989 F350 w/7.3 N/A IDI. Fuel ON TOP of the filter header. secondary fault was hard starting. The fuel heater is the first element mounted to the header. The electical heater protrudes through the header via a hard rubber extension which contains the electical lead connector. The rubber deteriorated and under pressure from the lift pump allowed fuel to escape. during periods of standing idle it allowed air to enter the system causing the hard start.
The original post stated that fuel was on top of the filter, not dripping off of it. The fuel heater electrical probe is on top and consists of a rubber seal pressed into the header allowing the electrical connection on TOP of the filter header. If the rubber seal leaks, then the fuel is on top and can be observed with the engine running because this area is under pressure while the engine is operating. Once the engine is shut down, fuel trying to drain back to the fuel tank eventually causes the pressure area to become a suction area and breaks the prime to the filter. Once air finds a way to the pressure site of the system with the engine stopped, the siphon action starts it can drain about one third of the fuel from the filter. On the next start the engine will fire, run for a few seconds then stall for lack of fuel. After several start attempts the lift pump will once again fill the filter and the injector pump will purge the air in the injector lines for the engine to start. The fuel/air leak will still exist at the top of the fuel filter for fuel to collect on top while running, and air to enter will not running.
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