Best Duramax Fuel Filter

Off-Road Bandit TeamMar 18, '21

The Duramax is more than just a solid V-8 engine for your truck or SUV. It’s an engineering marvel, supplying the torque and horsepower you need no matter what your driving style. But without a quality fuel filter, you’re leaving valuable performance on the table.

So whether you want to upgrade your fuel filter or you just need a replacement, here’s everything you need to know about Duramax fuel filters.

What to Know About Fuel Filters: Microns, Efficiency, and Beta Ratios

Fuel filters are relatively simplistic devices that filter dirt and rust out of the fuel line and keep it from entering the engine. By doing so, fuel filters maintain the health and integrity of your engine. But as straightforward as that sounds, fuel filters have plenty of terms and ratios that first-time buyers may find confusing.

So to put your mind at ease, let’s discuss the various terminology and ratios and what they mean for your fuel filter and vehicle.

Micron Rating

Every fuel filter comes with a micron rating. A micron (one-millionth of a meter) is a unit of measurement that describes the size of particles flowing through the filter.

To put this in perspective, the human eye can only detect particles 40 microns or bigger. Typically, fuel filters can prevent particles the size of 10 microns or less. The lower the micron rating, the more efficient and fine the filter is.

Efficiency Rating

The efficiency rating of a fuel filter is expressed as a percentage but also correlates to the micron rating. For example, let’s say a 5-micron fuel filter has an efficiency rating of 95%. This means that it will filter out 95% of particles that are 5 microns or larger.

The higher the efficiency rating, the better the filter is at its job, but keep in mind that the micron rating also plays a pivotal role in the overall performance of the fuel filter.

Beta Ratio

To provide a more accurate reading, fuel filter manufacturers have also developed a beta ratio. An example of this would be a filter with a beta ratio, or beta rating, of two. This means that one out of every two particles passes through the filter. If a beta ratio is 100, that expresses that just one out of every 100 particles passes through.

Keep in mind that this is all done during laboratory testing and is just another ratio to consider, but not a be-all, end-all of choosing a filter.

Review of the Best Duramax Fuel Filters

So with micron ratings, efficiency ratings, and beta ratios, you might be more confused than ever about which Duramax fuel filter is best for your truck or SUV. To get you started on your research, here are some of the best Duramax fuel filters and what they offer.

Best Overall: ACDelco / OEM GM Kit w/ O Ring


  • Comes with o-rings
  • Can last up to 10,000 or more miles
  • Affordable pricing
  • Excellent at trapping even small particles
  • Quick, easy installation process thanks to detailed instructions


  • Some report it doesn’t seat properly for them

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, recent buyers report that the ACDelco / OEM GM Kit w/ O Ring is every bit as good as OEM filters, providing a boost to performance and fuel economy. In limited instances, buyers also report that this filter can cause significant leaks, although it’s unknown whether this is due to faulty installation.

Why It Stands Out to Us

ACDelco has delivered quality parts to Americans since 1899. As such, you know you’re always getting a quality part or fuel filter when you go with the ACDelco brand name. And with an easy installation process, affordable pricing, and excellent quality you get the best features any other fuel filter can offer.

Bottom Line

If you’re searching for an affordable Duramax fuel filter, few other options check all the boxes like the ACDelco / OEM GM Kit w/ O Ring fuel filter. However, those that want a genuine OEM part may want to go straight to GM for their purchase.

Runner-up: CAT Filter & Adapter Kit


  • No modifications required for installation
  • Some experienced improvement of up to 2 mpg in fuel economy
  • Easy-to-follow instructions included
  • Heavy-duty metal construction
  • Better filtration than similarly priced fuel filters


  • Some buyers report problems with the threading

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that the CAT Filter & Adapter Kit is an excellent choice for a Duramax fuel filter replacement. These buyers point to a noticeable improvement in fuel economy, easy-to-follow directions, and durable metal housing as the top aspects of this product. However, some buyers report that it’s far more expensive and doesn’t contain a water separator, meaning that you’ll have to use an additive or fuel stabilizer.

Why It Stands Out to Us

If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your fuel filter, this might be one of the top products on the market thanks to a mix of high-quality construction and excellent filtration. But more than anything, this stands out because it gets results. With improved fuel economy and better overall performance, this product does everything it claims and more.

Bottom Line

Although far more expensive than the ACDelco and some other options, this fuel filter delivers. But those concerned about the lack of a water separator or who want a genuine OEM part may want to shop around.

Best for the Money: Donaldson P553203


  • Super affordable
  • Contains a water separator
  • Lightweight plastic design
  • Disposable after use
  • Easy drainage feature on the bottom to remove excess water


  • Can develop an air leak that requires users to consistently open and close the drain to fix
  • Doesn’t last as long as other fuel filters

What Recent Buyers Report

For the price, recent buyers report that the Donaldson P553203 fuel filter is a steal. Not only is it easy to install, but it also has a water separator and a drainage feature that are usually only found in far more expensive options. However, the short life span and rare air leaks are off-putting to other buyers.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Skimping on aftermarket parts isn’t always a good idea. But with everything you get from this fuel filter, you might rethink that strategy. And with a water separator and designed for easy installation, this fuel filter is about as good as money can buy.

Bottom Line

Although the Donaldson P553203 fuel filter doesn’t last as long as some of the other options on this list, for the price, it’s a bargain buy. The only real concern is the lifespan, but with rock-bottom pricing, this may offset the issue.

Editor's Pick: Airdog II-4G DF-100 Lift Pump Kit


  • Contains lift pump, fuel filter, and water separator
  • Improved power output over OEM parts
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Smoother acceleration and idling
  • Dual-feed pump


  • Pricey to some buyers or potential buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that the Airdog II-4G DF-100 Lift Pump Kit is perhaps one of the best all-in-one fuel filtration kits available on the market. With improved fuel economy, a better overall power output, and smoother idling and acceleration, this kit has it all. However, some users also report that it’s far too pricey to justify the purchase, even with all of its components.

Why It Stands Out to Us

If you’re searching for an all-in-one solution to your fuel filtration system, look no further than this product. With the fuel filter, water separator, and lift pump together, you only have to complete one installation to upgrade your entire system. And backed by a limited lifetime warranty, you

Bottom Line

With all of the features, it has to offer an unmatched durability, the Airdog II-4G DF-100 Lift Pump Kit is an excellent choice for your fuel filter needs. But some thrifty buyers may find it far too expensive to fit their budget.

Honorable Mention: CAT 1R-0750


  • Two-micron filter for better filtration
  • Excellent price
  • Can last over 15,000 miles
  • Easy installation process
  • Smoother idle and shut down


  • Others report problems with sealing

What Recent Buyers Report

The CAT 1R-0750 stands out as one of the top filters due to a two-micron filtration that keeps particulates out of the engine. Besides, the vehicle seems to run smoother overall from idling to turning off the engine. However, rusting and problems with the seal have caused other buyers to opt for a different brand than CAT.

Why It Stands Out to Us

If you’re in the market for a super-fine filter, you won’t find much better than this CAT product. And with a life span of 15,000 miles or more, you won’t have to rush out to find a new filter any time soon.

Bottom Line

For a low price, the CAT 1R-0750 fuel filter is a value buy that Duramax owners on a budget may want to consider. But those that want a full-on upgrade, including a water separator or a new lift pump, may want to consider other options. Still, this filter is one of the top options, providing a better ride and more filtration than far more expensive fuel filters.

Should You Delete Your OEM Duramax Fuel Filter?

Duramax engines use a lift pump system designed to provide advanced filtration in the fuel line. These come with an OEM Duramax fuel filter also designed for the system. However, a debate rages on whether you should delete, or remove, the factory fuel filter and housing. So if you’re thinking about deleting your stock fuel filter, make sure to weigh the pros and cons.

Why You Should Delete Your OEM Duramax Fuel Filter

The most outspoken reason for deleting your OEM Duramax fuel filter is that you’ll get better filtration and more flow compared to the original fuel filter and lift pump.

This can increase your engine performance, improve horsepower, and enhance fuel economy, but there’s still a risk that replacing the fuel filter will cause other problems. However, those that have completed this task also report that the incidence of leaks or a dirty engine compartment lessens considerably.

Why You Shouldn’t Delete Your OME Duramax Fuel Filter

The overall consensus from Duramax truck owners is that deleting the fuel filter provides little upside. Why? Because removing the OEM Duramax filter or the housing can cause problems with the lift pump and other components, which seems like very little upside just for a new fuel filter. Furthermore, you risk the chance of voiding your warranty, especially for novice DIYers that aren’t quite sure what they’re doing.

How To Change Fuel Filter On 6.6 Duramax

If you want to change a fuel filter on your 6.6 Duramax, it’s a fairly simple process, even for DIYers and novice mechanics. But if you need some additional help outside of the directions included with the product, follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Choose whether to access the fuel filter from under the fender well or from the engine compartment (fender well might provide easier access).
  2. Disconnect the sensor.
  3. Use an oil wrench to remove the filter.
  4. Drain the diesel fuel in the filter.
  5. Remove the part that had the sensor connected.
  6. Follow the instructions on how to put the fuel filter back together, including proper installation of both o-rings (properly lubed) and putting the sensor back on.
  7. Install the new filter back in place.
  8. Bleed the fuel filter using the bleeding screw. Retighten.
  9. Press the fuel pump button to repressurize the system.

If you’re more of a visual learner, make sure to check out this video:


Get Maximum Performance With a Duramax Fuel Filter

With a plethora of benefits, a Duramax fuel filter is one part you’ll want to keep an eye on. Keep up with proper maintenance and replace the fuel filter when necessary to enjoy the premium performance and improved fuel economy.

People Also Ask

Even if you understand the basics of a fuel filter, you still might have a few questions regarding the installation process and other concerns. Here are just a few more questions people also ask regarding Duramax fuel filters.

How Often Do You Change Fuel Filter On Duramax?

Typically, you should change your fuel filter once a year or about every 10,000 miles.

Where Is The Fuel Filter On A 6.6 Duramax?

The fuel filter on a 6.6 Duramax is located on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, right below the air intake tube and near the firewall.

How To Reset Fuel Filter Life On A Duramax?

To reset fuel filter life on a Duramax, start by turning the key to the “on” position without pressing any pedals or starting the engine. Then, wait five seconds. After that, hold the brake and accelerator to the floorboard for 10 seconds, and the system will reset.