Duramax Fuel Filters – Buyer’s Guide!

Written by James Smith

Fuel filters are designed to prevent particulates from entering the combustion system. Particulates may include anything that is “solid” and can damage or clog up the system. As such, most Duramax engines come with more than one filter to manage the different sizes of particulates and ensure that only fuel reaches the engine.

List of Top-Rated Duramax Fuel Filters Comparison Table:

Product ImageProduct NameYearModelMore Information
1. ACDelco TP1015 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals1. ACDelco TP1015 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals2017Sierra, 250, 350More Information
2. GM Fuel Filter 126426232. GM Fuel Filter 126426232004-2012VariousMore Information
3. ACDelco TP3012F Professional Durapack Fuel Filter3. ACDelco TP3012F Professional Durapack Fuel Filter2010-2017VariousMore Information
4. ACDelco TP3018 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals4. ACDelco TP3018 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals2001-2016VariousMore Information
5. Sinister Diesel CAT Filter Adapter for 2001-2016 Duramax5. Sinister Diesel CAT Filter Adapter for 2001-2016 Duramax2001-2016DuramaxMore Information

Here is the list of the top-rated Duramax Fuel Filters.

The Best Duramax Fuel Filters Reviews & Buyer’s Guide:

1. ACDelco TP1015 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals

This is the ACDelco® TP1015 Professional™ Fuel Filter Kit.


ACDelco is an aftermarket leader for many components. Among their catalog of products is their line of fuel filters. The TP1015 is designed as a push on the filter with a width of 3 9/16”

This is a standard replacement filter to maintain your fuel properties and is easy to push on in the holding canister.


2017 GMC Sierra, 250, 350


This filter is designed specifically for the 2017 models.

2. GM Fuel Filter 12642623

This is the GM part 12642623 factory replacement filter.


When replacing a fuel filter, it is sometimes best to just take the factory replacement part, this is the GM original replacement filter part for a wide range of applications


  • 2004-2005 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2004-2005 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2004-2012 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2004-2005 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2004-2012 GMC Sierra
  • 2004-2012 GMC Yukon


This filter has a wide range of applications and is an OEM part from the factory.

3. ACDelco TP3012F Professional Durapack Fuel Filter

This is the ACDelco® TP3012F Professional™ Diesel Fuel Filter Durapack.


This is a 7 micron rated filter that is threaded wa ith spin on and spin the off installation, it’s a primary filter and replaces a variety of vehicle fitments.


  • 2012-2017 Chevy Express
  • 2001-2014 GMC Silverado 2500
  • 2001-2014 GMC Silverado 3500
  • 2012-2016 GMC Savannah
  • 2001-2015 GMC Sierra 2500


This is a standard filter, reasonable price and performs well.

4. ACDelco TP3018 Professional Fuel Filter with Seals

This is the ACDelco® TP3018 Professional™ Diesel Fuel Filter.


This is a secondary filter that comes with an outside diameter of 4.02” and has a length of 6.386”. The micron level is rated 4 and it has a threaded installation.


  • 2001-2016 GMC Silverado 2500
  • 2001-2016 GMC Silverado 3500
  • 2012-2016 GMC Savannah
  • 2012-2016 GMC Sierra 2500


A great secondary fuel filter for a variety of applications.

5. Sinister Diesel CAT Filter Adapter for 2001-2016 Duramax

Cat® Advanced Efficiency Fuel Filter 1R-0750.


The CAT line of filters is ,a strong dependable component that comes with a very wide range of applications. This model comes with a unique filter media that provides excellent protection, and prevents acrylic bead bunching. The center tube is made from nylon and it comes with molded end caps to prevent leaks. This model uses a roving spiral for greater pleat stability.


  • 2001-2016 All Duramax Models


This is one of the best models on the market, and is worth every cent. Not only does it perform well, it outlasts most of the other models including the factory OEM part.

How to replace a Duramax Fuel Filter

Here is a quick step by step explanation how to change a Duramax Fuel Filter.

You should change the fuel filter between 25,000 and 35,000 miles as recommended by GM.

  1. Park your vehicle in a well ventilated area.
  2. Turn the steering wheel clockwise until it stops.
  3. Turn off the engine and pop the hood.
  4. Using a screwdriver to pry off the clips from the plastic cover, reach through the front passenger side wheel well and remove the plastic guard.
  5. Locate the water sensor, this is on bottom of the fuel filter.
  6. Follow the wires to the plug near the passenger side valve cover and unplug the sensor. Hang the sensor and wires below the fuel filter.
  7. Position a drip pan under the fuel filter.
  8. Slide the fuel filter strap wrench about halfway up the fuel filter and turn it counter clockwise.
  9. Unscrew the fuel filter with your hands.
  10. Now go-to the top of the engine and pull or twist out the fuel filter.
  11. Pour the excess diesel into the drip pan.
  12. Remove the water sensor using pliers.
  13. Screw the water sensor onto the new Duramax fuel filter and tighten it with pliers
  14. Fill the new filter with fresh diesel.
  15. Lower the new fuel filter through the engine compartment down to the passenger side frame rail.
  16. From the front passenger side wheel well screw the filter onto the housing.
  17. Turn the fuel filter clockwise to tighten and tighten with the strap wrench.
  18. Turn the fuel filter one-half turn to properly seat it.
  19. Turn the relief valve counterclockwise, on the top side of the fuel filter housing from the top of the engine.
  20. Push in on the black primer cap on top of the fuel filter until the diesel starts to run out of the relief valve.
  21. Close the relief valve.
  22. Turn the ignition to the accessory position for about 15 seconds.
  23. Crank the engine.
  24. Check the new fuel filter for any diesel leaks.
  25. Turn the engine off.
  26. Reinstall the plastic guard.
  27. Remove the drip pan and shut the hood.

Duramax Fuel Filter 101

Understanding Size

A filter is used to stop particulates from entering the engine, as such, there are different sizes to these particulates and some are microscopic. Here are a definition and a comparison of different particulate sizes so you can fully understand the differences in sizes.

In the automotive filter industry, the common unit of measurement is the micron or micrometer.

One micron is equal to 40 millionths of an inch (0.00004″).

A primary fuel filter must remove sizes ranging from 10 to 15 microns (0.0004″ to 0.0006″).

A secondary or final fuel filter must remove sizes ranging between 3 to 5 microns (0.00008″ to 0.0001″).

The human eye cannot see particles smaller than 40 micrometers (0.0016″).

A grain of salt is around 100 micrometers.

A human hair is around 70 micrometers in diameter.

A single grain of talcum powder is about 10 micrometers.

As you can see, particulates that the filters deal with are extremely small, as such, you might not see the buildup initially, but over time you will see a steady buildup on the filter. This build up is called plugging and comes from the fuel used, not just from external contaminants that night invade the system. Here is what this build up is primarily made of:


All diesel fuels contain Asphaltene. The word “asphaltene” was coined by Boussingault in 1837 when he observed that the distillation residue of some bitumens had asphalt-like properties. Their size ranges between ½ to 2 microns, and these particles do not affect the engine or the injection system, they do however stick to the filter and over time plug it up. As such, Asphaltene, which is not harmful, and is part of the diesel fuel ecology, act as unnecessary filter plugs. The Asphaltene residue accumulation looks and feels like a black tarry coating.

Diesel Paraffin Wax

Another substance that is found in all diesel fuels is Paraffin wax. This is a harmful substance but is also part of the diesel ecology. When the diesel temperature falls to what is termed the cloud point, the wax form into crystals that precipitate out of the liquid and form a “cloudy” appearance. The more wax in the filter, the less the filter can contain, and this residue passes into the fuel line and accumulates. It’s just like cholesterol in an artery. The fuel line is coated with a solid wax surface that slowly builds up restricting the flow of diesel to the engine, eventually choking the engine. You can see this accumulation rise in the form of a yellow waxy substance that covers the filter.

Clean versus Dirty Filters

You need to pay close attention to your fuel filter at all times. Especially if you are a long route driver that performs hours of on-road and off-road driving. Also, if you drive in colder climates, the possibility of paraffin wax cloud is greater than in hotter climates. As such, you need to check your filter frequently and replace it when you start to see a black and yellow coating form over a large area of the filter.

Another issue with filters is their location, where certain filters are exposed to rougher environmental conditions when they are placed under the chassis or in certain engine bay areas. A sealed filter unit is great, but contaminants will find a way in if the seals are not exceptionally perfect.


Most vehicles come with a diesel pre-warming device, however, don’t expect this to prevent your fuel from freezing in colder locations, consider living in the North or Alaska where cold weather is standard, and in winter it goes into the double-figure minuses. Add to this wind chill and you will have frozen fuel lines, and the cloudy wax will appear daily.

Other attributes of cold weather are water condensation; this can be prevented when using certain additives. Consider that most diesel sources provide you with summer grade diesel, unless you live in Alaska, and there you get winter grade all year round.

For warmer climates and in the summer, never add a performance enhancement product to your fuel, this could be detrimental to your engine, and you need to consult with your manufacturer before you add any kind of aftermarket additive.

Final rule; only buy fuel from a recognized source. Otherwise you risk destroying your engine from bad fuel.

About the author

James Smith

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