Fuel filters play an important role in keeping your engine running smoothly, which is why it is important to make sure the filter always functions properly. Even the tiniest particles in the fuel can clog an injection system and cause engine strain. Fuel filters prevent this from happening by blocking particles as small as 10 to 40 microns. Once you determine you need a new fuel filter, it is also critical to purchase one that is compatible with your vehicle.
Signs of a Clogged Fuel Filter
Before going through the hassle of changing a fuel filter, make sure it requires replacement. An engine could develop several symptoms that indicate filter clogs. It may have trouble starting because the fuel cannot get to the motor. It may stutter or completely die when the vehicle comes to a stop. Basically, the engine may feel as though you are out of petrol, even though you have plenty of fuel in the tank. Accelerating may also feel sluggish, and the exhaust may smell as particles burn up in the combustion process.
Locate the Old Fuel Filter
To replace a clogged filter, you first need to find it and remove it. In most cases, the fuel filter is between the fuel tank and the fuel pump, underneath the car or toward the front. These filters are in-line fuel filters, which are usually clear with visible filters inside. Some other types of fuel filters are under the bonnet near the engine. Diesel fuel filters sometimes look similar to oil filters, or they have large glass bowls housing the filters. When looking for the filter and fuel pump, keep in mind that some vehicles have filters and pumps inside the fuel tanks. If that is the case, you should have a professional check the filter. If the filter is accessible, uninstall it carefully and blow into the end that receives the fuel. If the air passes through to the other side, the filter is probably okay, but if it looks really dirty, it is wise to go ahead and replace it. This is also an opportune time to inspect the fuel line for signs of leaks or damage.
Types of Fuel Filters
Owners' manuals for vehicles should contain all the necessary information on the types of fuel filters required. If that information is not available, most types of fuel filters are easily recognisable. Carefully examine the old filter and make sure the new filter purchased exactly matches the old filter. The fuel filter must be compatible with your vehicle's make, model, and year.