The purpose of the fuel filter should be self-explanatory. It basically filters the fuel by blocking all its impurities, debris, and dust particles from entering the internal combustion chamber of the engine. When you pump fuel into your fuel tank, there may be rust particles and other debris which currently exists in there. So, when your fuel enters the tank, it is going to get mixed with these particles of debris. This is going to cause a problem if the contaminated fuel were to enter the engine. It would reduce its performance and possibly shorten its lifespan too. Therefore, the fuel filter has a very important job to do in the fuel system so that the engine can stay strong and function well.
The Top 5 Symptoms
If you ever go to get your oil changed at a professional auto servicing location, the service person will periodically tell you that you need to change your fuel filter. The reason for this is that fuel filters do not last very long in a vehicle. You may be able to drive up to 30,000 miles before you need to change your fuel filter. For most people, this is like 2 years of driving. After that, your fuel filter will be too worn out to do its job properly. You will need to replace it right away or else suffer the consequences.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad or worn out fuel filter.
1) Bad Gas Mileage – Your gas mileage will get worse as your fuel filter gets worse. Perhaps you have a clogged fuel filter which is limiting the amount of fuel that can flow into your engine. If the engine doesn’t get enough fuel, it will require a faster flow of fuel to get pumped into it so that it can sustain the driving demands placed on it. This means more fuel consumed than normal.
2) Check Engine Warning Light – The engine control unit will be able to detect when there is a problem with the fuel system. Any kind of problem that affects the engine like this will cause the Check Engine warning light to activate on the dashboard. A bad fuel filter can cause this to happen too because it negatively affects the flow of fuel going into the engine.
3) Weak Engine Power – If you step on the gas pedal and the vehicle does not accelerate immediately or at all, then you may have a bad fuel filter. When the engine requires more fuel, a clogged or worn out fuel filter will prevent that fuel from getting there fast enough. This will limit the engine’s ability to accelerate your vehicle when you want it to.
4) Engine Won’t Start – Sometimes your engine will not start at all if you have a bad fuel filter. Perhaps there is not enough fuel entering the internal combustion chamber to make the engine functional. The problem may start out as hard starting but then turn into a problem where it doesn’t ever start.
5) Engine Stalling – You may be driving along on the road and then suddenly find that your engine is stalling. This is when the engine stops turning, or its RPM is greatly reduced without any just reason. This will stop the engine from functioning, which is the worst thing that can happen while you’re driving.
The replacement cost of a fuel filter is between $50 and $170. The fuel filter part will only be around $15 or $70 while the labor cost will be between $45 and $100. It is not a very expensive or difficult job to do at all. That is why most oil changing shops and businesses will offer to do this service because it can be done that quickly.