Signs You Have A Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter plays a very important role in your car’s fuel supply system. It prevents impurities, dirt, particles, dust, rust, and objects from getting into the fuel and combustion chamber by filtering out these contaminants. Therefore, it’s important you change this filter on a regular basis..

As the fuel filter can have problems earlier than anyone expects, it’s important you know all the signs associated with a clogged or damaged fuel filter.

The most common sign you have a clogged or damaged fuel filter, you are having difficulty starting your car or are experiencing poor engine performance.

The leading causes you have a clogged or damaged filter include:

You have problems starting your car
Your engine misfires
You get poor performance from your car
The Check Engine Light comes on
Your engine stalls

While this list covers some of the most common signs, it does not cover all possibilities.

Problem Starting Car

Problems Starting Your Car

This is probably the biggest reason why your filter is either clogged or bad. Having problems starting your car When you turn the car over, it should start right away. Also, it takes a lot of fuel to turn the engine over.

If the filter is clogged you may have problems starting your car, especially if the fuel pressure is seriously low.

Your Engine Misfires

Engine Misfire

If your engine only gets fuel once in a while, it will lead to low fuel pressure which will lead to misfiring. You will also feel the engine misfire with small jerks when you are accelerating or even when idling. If your engine misfires under these circumstances, it’s time to check how long it has been since you changed the filter.

Poor Performance From Your Car

A clogged filter will only give you low fuel pressure. Your engine needs a lot of fuel for maximum performance. You will discover your car is running way too slow if the fuel pressure is low.

The Check Engine Light Comes On

Check Engine Light

Today’s modern cars have sensors placed all over the engine that send out signals to the car’s computer telling it something is wrong. In turn, the computer will illuminate the “Check Engine” light on the dashboard and ask if you have had your car checked.

If the fuel filter is bad, the fuel’s pressure entering the system will drop then the fuel pressure sensor is alerted and the “Check Engine” light will come on.

Your Engine Stalls

Your car might stall when you try to accelerate or even when idling. This is caused when the fuel pressure drops so low that the engine is out of fuel and will die.

How Often Should You Change The Fuel Filter?

Old Fuel Filter

When the filter should be changed will vary from one model of car to another and the type of fuel you are using. In all reality, the fuel filter should be replaced every 37,000 miles (60,000 km) every 4 years.

Cars running on petrol will have a longer replacement time and will not get clogged as often as diesel filters.

While some models of cars have to replace the filter more often than others. Most cars have a replacement interval of up to 75,000 miles (121,000 km) before having to change the filter.

This also depends on the type of fuel you are using. Some countries have really bad fuel quality which means you will have to change the filter more often.

Fuel Filter Locations

The fuel filter is usually located near the fuel tank under the car. It can be located under the hood or somewhere behind the plastic covers under the car.

Its location can differ so your best bet is to check your owner’s manual. You can also check in the engine bay near the fuel tank under the car. If all else fails, consult your local garage.

Have Regular Maintenance

Car Service

Although some people will clean the filter using compressed air or water, it is not recommended. These filters are very inexpensive so trying to save a few coins can only lead to more problems. Even if you have the filter changed during regular maintenance, it’s a good idea to just go ahead and change it again.

Can I drive with a clogged filter?

Do not drive with a clogged fuel filter. Your car’s fuel filter is in place to keep contaminants out of the fuel system. If the filter is clogged, fuel cannot flow through the system. You could create all sorts of issues from decreased performance to higher emissions. If you have a clogged filter, replace it before causing complete engine failure.

A clogged fuel filter will cause error codes. The ECM will throw a lean air-fuel mixture or misfire according to the trouble codes.

Changing The Filter

You can change the filter yourself with just some basic knowledge. However, some car models can be tricky and you will have to rely on a repair manual. Make sure you use safety equipment as fuel can be very dangerous.

If you believe you may have a problem with a clogged fuel filter you can have it checked by Servicing Master if you are in and around Manchester city centre and North Manchester, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Rochdale, Stalybridge etc. You can get a quick repair or service quote by using our simple car service quote form. We also offer a collection and drop off service. A convenient, friendly and affordable service, try Servicing Master once and you’ll never go back. Give us a call now on 0161 302 0201. Or simply book your car service now.

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