5 Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Filter and Replacement Cost

(Updated on November 25, 2019)

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.

Top 5 Bad Fuel Filter 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 although the change interval may be longer for newer vehicles. After that, your fuel filter may become too clogged to do its job properly. You will need to replace it right away or else suffer the consequences.

Here are five of the most common signs you have a bad fuel filter in need of replacement.

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 among other things.

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 faulty 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.

Fuel Filter Replacement Cost

Looking for Replacement Parts?
We recommend Parts Geek or Advance Auto Parts for the best prices and selection.

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.

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