What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Filter?
Every car has a fuel filter, not just diesel cars or trucks!
The reason we tend to forget about it is because, it is often hidden away under the car or even in the fuel tank. It may not be top of the list when it comes to car servicing, but a bad fuel filter can lead to a whole host of problems. In fact, the symptoms of a clogged up fuel filter are often overlooked when trying to diagnose problems with a car.
All of the fuel used by the engine goes through the fuel filter. It’s main purpose is to protect the fuel injection system from dirt that may have found its way into the fuel.
Over time, the filter will become less porous, and will need to be changed. Sometimes it will get clogged up so badly it will start to affect the running of the engine. A dirty fuel filter can even stop your car from starting.
How Does A Fuel Filter Work?
A fuel filter removes any dirt or debris from the fuel before it can get to the fuel injection system. It is usually fitted somewhere along the fuel line, although on some cars it is situated in the fuel tank.
The fuel is pumped through the filter using the pressure generated by the fuel pump. Inside of the filter is made up of a pleated, permeable material. It allows the fuel.
Over time, the filter material will become dirty, and less permeable. This will restrict the amount of fuel that can get through it, and to the engine.
It’s important that the fuel filter is changed regularly. Most manufacturers will recommend that it is changed every 30,000 Miles ( 50,000 Km). This may vary if the car has a diesel engine, or if it is driven under extreme conditions.
Many passenger cars now come with a fuel filter located in the fuel tank. These are not easily changed, and are supposed to last the life-time of the car. In reality, these filters are usually much larger than the serviceable kind, so they may last around 100,000 Miles.
Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Filter
A clogged fuel filter will often be mistaken as another more serious problem. Before you start pulling apart the engine, it’s usually a good idea to take a look at the service logs to see what the maintenance history of the car is like. If a car has been neglected, the fuel, air or oil filter could be to blame.
It’s also a good idea to run a diagnostic to see if there are any error codes logged. These can often point to a specific engine system, and help with diagnosis.
Most vehicles don’t have specific sensors to determine the condition of it’s engine filters. If there is a problem caused by a clogged fuel filter, then it will show up as a fuel injection system error. Sometimes these errors can be caused by old or damaged spark plugs. But more often than not, fuel pressure and fuel pump errors can commonly be attributed to a bad fuel filter.