A car consists of many parts, all working together so you can travel safely and efficiently. While many of these parts live through the lifespan of the car, there are consumable parts that need to be replaced regularly, and one of those is the fuel filter. Cars generally have four filters: air filter, oil filter, cabin filter, and fuel filter. To keep on top of your car’s maintenance and ensure everything works as it should, you need to know the signs of a bad filter in order to take appropriate measures when you notice them. In this article, I want to briefly discuss the signs of a bad filter that car owners should know.
1. Engine Misfires/Low Performance.
According to Mechanicbase.com, often, a weakened fuel filter will cause the engine to misfire. In such cases, a quick cleaning can help, but you might also need a full replacement. Also, if fuel efficiency starts to suffer or the engine behaves abnormally or erratically, you might need a new filter.
2. Power loss when under load.
Restricted fuel supply to the engine might allow for proper fuel pressure while the engine is idling. However, when you’re accelerating or pulling a load, the demand for fuel is much greater. A blocked fuel filter prevents the fuel rail from staying full of fuel, restricting the amount of power your engine can produce.
3. A Decrease In Performance.
Another notable sign of a bad or clogged fuel filter is a drop in engine performance. Similar to the last two symptoms, this is usually most noticeable while accelerating, hauling a load, or heading up a steep incline. This happens because the ECM restricts power to prevent any damage when it notices a lack of fuel being sent to the injectors.
4. Check engine light illuminating.
Your vehicle's internal computer uses the check engine light to indicate issues with your vehicle. While some of these issues can be easily fixed, others might be very complicated and could result in complete vehicle failure. A bad filter will not trigger the check engine light to illuminate. However, the issues resulting from a bad filter can trigger this check engine light.
5. Difficulty Starting Your Car.
If you had no idea your car even had a fuel filter until now, and you’re reasonably sure that you’ve never had it changed, then pay attention to how your car is starting. One of the first signs of a bad fuel filter is difficulty starting your car. A clogged fuel filter restricts the flow of fuel to your engine, which can make your engine run lean because of a lack of fuel.
6. Fuel Leaks.
Over time, the car’s fuel filter may develop leaks due to rust and corrosion. Such problems are most common in areas where there’s a lot of salt on the roads during the winter.
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