Do You Need A New Fuel Filter?

Your gasoline powered vehicle has a fuel filter, and its job is to stop debris from getting into your vehicle's fuel injector. It's located on the fuel line between the fuel pump and fuel injector, and all fuel needs to pass through the fuel filter. However, you may be wondering how you know it is time to replace your fuel filter. Here are a few things to look out for.

You've Exceeded The Recommended Mileage

Fuel filters are rated to be used for a specific amount of miles before replacement is recommended. This typically falls somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. Every vehicle is different, so it is best to look at your owner's manual to learn what the recommendation is. You'll then need to make a reminder to change the fuel filter once you reach that mileage.

 Your Check Engine Light Turns On

The fuel filter is not a part that will send an electrical signal when it is time to change it. However, it is still possible that a dirty fuel filter triggers a problem that turns on the check engine light. You'll likely get a code that indicates there are lean engine conditions, which means that it is not getting enough fuel that the engine needs. You can also get error codes related to engine misfiring.

Your Engine Cranks But Doesn't Start

Did you notice that your engine has been having trouble with starting recently? If the engine cranks and does not start, then it could be an issue with the engine not getting enough fuel to start the combustion process. While this could be due to many reasons, it's possible that a dirty fuel filter is the cause. This will typically happen in an extreme situation where the filter is very clogged, and won't start happening suddenly. 

Your Engine Idles Roughly 

Another problem related to a clogged fuel filter is that the vehicle has a rough idle. This is all due to the engine not having that perfectly balanced fuel to air ratio, which can cause the vehicle to vibrate while it is idling. Replacing the fuel filter will cause the engine to run much smoother as a result, and you'll notice less shaking while at a red light. 

Not sure if it is your fuel filter that is giving you issues with your vehicle? Take your car to a local mechanic to have them look at this important auto part.