Fuel filters, found in most internal combustion engines, play a simple but vital role in your car by protecting the delicate parts of your engine. They are one of those car parts that can be replaced inexpensively, but can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage when they don’t do their job properly.
What is a Fuel Filter?
A fuel filter is a cartridge that works to keep contaminants from entering your fuel system and, eventually, your engine. Without a fuel filter, these contaminants can play havoc with the fuel pump and injectors. A properly working filter can also improve the vehicle’s performance, as less contaminated fuel burns more efficiently.
A properly functioning fuel filter is important to the general running of your car. When the filter becomes clogged or blocked, the result is a restriction to the fuel flow to the engine. When the engine doesn’t receive an adequate fuel supply it will run less effectively, leading to a decrease in performance.
Symptoms of a Clogged Fuel Filter
Since a clogged or blocked filter causes an abnormal or inadequate fuel flow, this can lead to problems such as:
- Reduced performance at low speeds. Fuel may still pass through a partially clogged filter when the car is running at high speeds as the fuel pressure forces the fuel through. At lower speeds, you may experience reduced engine performance such as sputtering and engine stoppage
- Engine stalling. The disruption of fuel to the engine can cause a car to stall frequently.
- Difficulty starting your car. Fuel flow is also required to start a car’s engine. A clogged filter hinders this flow, making it difficult to start the engine.\
- The vehicle not starting at all. In the worst cases, the fuel filter becomes completely blocked, which prevents any fuel from reaching the engine. When this happens, the car in unable to start.
An easy way to check your fuel filter is to remove it and blow on it. If it is clean, you will be able to blow right through it. If you are unable to do this, it is too dirty and will need to be replaced. Replacing your fuel filter in an inexpensive task and can prevent expensive damage in the future.
Fuel filter maintenance will differ between makes and models of vehicles, but as a general rule of thumb, you should check you fuel filter at least once a year. You can ask your mechanic to take a look at it when it is getting serviced.
JA Toft and Co. endeavours to offer Bundaberg’s best range of car parts so if you need a new filter, give us a call today.