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 through under pressure, but blocks dirt particles. It's important that the fuel filter is changed regularly. Most manufacturers will recommend that it is changed every 30,000 Miles.
Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Filter
Check Engine Light Comes On:
Fuel filter problems can also cause the Check Engine Light to come on. Some vehicles come equipped with fuel pressure sensors that monitor the pressure of the overall fuel system. A clogged fuel filter may cause low pressure, which will set off the Check Engine Light to alert the driver - if detected by the sensor.
Car is hard to start:
One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a bad or failing fuel filter is hard starting. A dirty fuel filter may restrict the fuel system flow, or at least make it inconsistent, which can cause the vehicle to experience hard starting. This is more likely if the filter on the vehicle has never been changed.
Engine Performance Problems:
Other symptoms of a bad fuel filter fall under the category of engine performance issues. Sometimes the fuel filter can become clogged to the point where it negatively affects engine performance.
Damaged Fuel Pump:
If you notice damage to your fuel pump, it may be caused by a restricted fuel filter. The clogged fuel filter puts too much pressure on the fuel pump and prevents the proper amount of fuel in the fuel tank from reaching the engine.