Signs of a Clogged Fuel Filter

Could Your Vehicle’s Fuel Filter be Clogged? — Jeff’s Auto Repair

When you hear the term “fuel filter,” it’s likely self-explanatory. The fuel filter’s job is to catch debris and impurities that might otherwise enter the fuel system and engine, causing damage. While this is clearly necessary, at what point do enough particles collect such that fuel flow is restricted? If you’re worried that your vehicle’s fuel filter might be clogged, bring your car to Jeff’s Auto Repair in Sandpoint Seattle, Washington.

Recognizing the Signs

If you pay attention to your auto’s typical performance, you’ll develop a strong sense of what’s normal for your car. This will give the ability to discern when something isn’t quite right. Although you’ll want one of our technicians to make a definitive diagnosis of your car trouble, there are some tell-tale signs that may point to a clogged fuel filter.

Sign #1: Poor gas mileage. If you notice a reduction in the miles you can drive per gallon or an increase in fuel consumption, a clogged fuel filter may be the culprit. This occurs because the engine can’t get enough fuel. It requires a greater flow to get the power it needs to maintain the car’s speed, yet only a portion of the gasoline is consumed and the rest is wasted.

Sign #2: Difficult starts. Perhaps the most frequently reported symptom is trouble starting the car. When the filter is clogged, there is a lack of fuel entering the combustion chamber. Sometimes the amount is too small to enable the auto to start.

Sign #3: Engine stall. Sudden losses of power or stalling for no apparent reason when you’re driving may signal a bad filter that is starving your vehicle for the fuel it needs to operate.

Sign #4: Decreased power. Likewise, an auto that is slow to accelerate even though you’re pressing the accelerator may be suffering from the effects of a clogged fuel filter.

Sign #5: Check engine light. Not surprisingly, if your vehicle is struggling to get fuel, the check engine light is likely to illuminate.

Sign #6: Strong smell. A pungent odor with strong fumes can indicate several potential problems. One of those is a blocked filter.

Sign #7: Engine misfire or sputtering. Inadequate fuel flow caused by a clogged filter can lead to the engine running roughly by misfiring or sputtering.

Help with Fuel Filter Changes

Although you should check your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations for scheduled fuel filter changes, the average filter life is approximately 5 years or 50,000 miles. However, if you notice any of the warning signs, you’ll likely need to change it sooner. Regardless of which make or model you drive, Jeff’s Auto Repair can help you with fuel filter changes and all your repair needs.

Written by Jeff's Auto Repair

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