Fuel Filter Flow Confusion

robs ss

Aug 16, 2016
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I just bought a bag of 10 fuel filters from China, as many do (even if they don't know it) and noticed something amiss.
I would buy from USA as the unit price isn't that much more - but the $25 shipping certainly is!
I noticed something strange on the chinese ones though - the flow indicating arrow is going the wrong way.
If you plumb it according to the chinese arrow, contaminants will be "inside" the sintered bronze filter, meaning you can't see how dirty it is.
It will also have less filtering surface ("outside" having larger diameter) so will block more rapidly.
I have looked at bikes parked locally and would say 70% are fitted as per chinese arrow - wrongly.
I wonder how many forum members have them fitted the wrong way?

The first 2 photos below are from a reputable US supplier - the last is from chinese ebay (you can see the arrows if you look carefully).
The chinese ones seem to all have the "wrong" arrow - well, I couldn't find a "right" one, anyway.
1.png 2.png 3.png
Last edited:


Aug 9, 2008
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I use this type of filter on my garden tractor. Had to run out to the shed and check. All ok.
Thanks. Good spot.
Apr 22, 2020
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Yep good catch before installing.

I've got a few of those although they are old. I had to get out the magnifying glass to read the fine print. Made in the USA. Could be collectables? he he The arrow is a much larger outline with the word FLOW in it and pointing in the correct direction.

I don't have external fuel filters on my Norton. It'll bite me in that arse one day once the ethanol melts the petcock filters. So far so good though.