The fuel filter is a very important piece of your car, as it prevents impurities in the gas from entering the engine. It is important to keep the fuel filter clean, as the smallest impurity can clog the fuel injector and put the engine at risk. A clean fuel filter ensures the correct functioning of the car, for this reason it is advisable to change it periodically. However, most car owners don't know when to change the fuel filters, as car manufacturers don't always include this information on the car's manual.
When fuel filters clean the fuel, a debris is created that can build up if the filters are not replaced. This can even damage the whole fuel system of the car, causing a greater problem. In this article you'll know when it is advised to change your fuel filters to keep your engine in the best conditions.
What are the symptoms of a restricted fuel filter?
The first symptom you'll notice when your fuel filter is restricted is that your car will lose power. This will happen mostly when you're driving up an incline, when the fuel demand increases. If the fuel filter is clogged less flow passes through it, and less fuel reaches the engine.
Other symptoms of a restricted fuel filter include:
- Hesitation in the engine during acceleration
- Different car performance at different speeds
A clogged fuel filter might not always be the cause of this problems, but if it hasn't been changed in a long time it is possible that it might be causing some of the issues mentioned above.
How to know when the fuel filter needs to be replaced
Most cars don't have a check-engine code when there is a problem in the fuel filter, so it won't show specifically on your car's panel. However, it may cause other problems that will switch on a warning light on your car.
When does the fuel filter need to be changed?
You should read the owner's manual of your car to be sure of the correct time to change it according to your model. However, it is recommended to change the fuel filter every 30,000 miles.
Depending on the miles you drive on average, you will need to replace the fuel filter every 2 or 3 years. The cost of the replacement will vary depending on the model of your car, but a new filter shouldn't cost more than $200 - with mecahnic costs included.
Some cars come with a non-serviceable filter which is located inside the fuel tank. These cars don't need fuel filter replacing as the fuel pump comes with a fuel strainer. This type only needs replacing when the entire fuel pump fails. Check your car's manual to find out which type of filter it has.
The replacement of the fuel filter might seem as something not important, but the truth is that if it's not kept clean, it might end up plugging up the injectors, which would turn into a more expensive reparation.
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