Hello, Minnesota drivers. Let’s talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.

Minnesota drivers don’t need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better an engine will run.

Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your car or truck ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.

The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your car or truck owner’s manual or Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service to find out how often it should be serviced and how long you can expect it to last. You should change it before it becomes clogged. Your Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service service advisor can help you with recommended replacement schedules.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged, your engine will sputter when you drive at North Dakota highway speeds or when you accelerate rapidly. A clogged filter allows enough fuel to run the car at low speeds around town in Minnesota, but when you need a higher flow of fuel for faster speeds, or if you need a sudden burst of fuel, you just won’t be able to get it through the filter.

A clogged filter is actually dangerous. If you need to accelerate suddenly out of the path of danger, you just won’t have the power to do it.

Fuel filters have a bypass valve. When the filter becomes clogged, the valve allows some fuel to bypass the filter so the engine can keep running – just not enough to be running well.

That means, though, that dirty, unfiltered fuel is entering your engine. Instead of clogging up your filter, that dirt is now getting into your fuel injectors, where it can cause serious damage. Fuel injectors are expensive; fuel filters are cheap. It doesn’t seem like a difficult choice for Minnesota auto owners.

Fuel filters are the epitome of preventive maintenance. They are cheap and easy to change, but neglecting them can lead to expensive repair bills. Some fuel filters are inside the fuel tank and cannot be routinely serviced – your kind and professional Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service technician will be able to tell you if this applies to your vehicle.

Good car care for Minnesota car owners means following recommended schedules for preventive maintenance, including changing your fuel filters. Take the auto advice offered at Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service and in every owner’s manual and have your vehicle regularly inspected. It may save you money by preventing costly repairs, but it will also repay you in improved gas mileage, safety and peace of mind.

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