Most drivers are familiar with the cabin filter and the engine filter, but what about the fuel filter? Despite its essential function, the fuel filter is often forgotten and even neglected. The fuel filter protects the engine from harmful dirt, debris, and pollutants. If pollutants enter the fuel, it can wreak havoc for the engine and cause unnecessary wear and tear. This makes it essential for the fuel filter to be inspected and changed in order to keep your vehicle running at peak performance. For most vehicles, the fuel filter should be replaced roughly every 30,000 miles. If you don’t remember the last time the fuel filter was inspected, below are five helpful signs that it’s time to have it changed.
Bad Gas Mileage
A dirty fuel filter restricts the amount of fuel that flows to the engine. If the engine isn’t getting an adequate amount of fuel, it will work harder and struggle to move the car. The vehicle ends up burning more fuel to operate.
The check engine light has come on.
If there’s a problem with the fuel system, a vehicle’s computer system will detect it, and the check engine light will illuminate. The check engine light can indicate that the fuel filter is clogged and the engine is starved of fuel.
The vehicle is hard to start.
If the flow of fuel is inconsistent with the engine, it will struggle to start the vehicle. A vehicle struggling to start can indicate a dead battery or a faulty starter. It’s crucial to get an inspection to identify the cause accurately.
The engine misfires.
If dirt or debris enters the engine, this can cause a misfire. If there is a clog, you may notice the vehicle shaking and stuttering when driving at various speeds. Misfiring is more common in older vehicles than newer; however any misfiring should be taken in for an inspection.
Decrease engine power.
A loss in engine power may not come as a surprise. A vehicle that’s struggling to move or can’t muster enough power to drive up the hill may indicate there’s a fuel system problem. A bad fuel filter will struggle to supply enough fuel to meet the demands of the engine.
It’s important to stay on top of your fuel filter maintenance before your vehicle starts showing indications of problems. While changing a bad fuel filter is quick and inexpensive, neglect can result in dangerous vehicle performance and costly repairs. If you need a fuel system service in Queens Creek, AZ, Stamps Auto has expert automotive specialists who can help. Click here to schedule an appointment or give us a call at 480-651-8040.