Your fuel filter is a self-explanatory part within the fuel system. It cleans your fuel supply on the way to the engine by allowing only pure gas through and catching particles of dirt and sediment in its accordion-shaped filter element. It works similarly to the air filter in your car but must allow for actual liquid to pass through while retaining all the gunk that sits inside your fuel tank. This small piece of machinery is vital to your car’s performance.
Detrimental Dirt: Your Engine’s Kryptonite
A dirty fuel filter is like eating the core of an apple. Over time, you’ll eat too many cyanide-rich apple seeds, leading to major health concerns. With a clogged fuel filter, dirt and debris will begin to build up in your engine, which will cause major damage to the engine and an expensive repair ticket. Any dirt is bad for your engine – cleaner fuel means your engine will run better.
Fuel gathers debris as it travels from the refinery to the gas pump, and finally to your fuel tank. This grit must be immediately filtered to protect your engine, but over time, your fuel filter becomes even more important. Sediment tends to settle inside your fuel tank, and would eventually circulate through the fuel system if not for the fuel filter.
Your fuel filter has a bypass valve to keep your vehicle running – but not efficiently. A clogged filter can only allow enough fuel through to tolerate low speeds. However, at faster highway speeds, your engine needs a higher flow of fuel to maintain acceleration, which is why you may notice performance issues. In addition to blocking the flow of fuel, a dirty fuel filter lets particles and dirt pass through to the engine. Gunk and sediment can also damage other parts of the fuel system, leading to costly repairs.
Symptoms of a Dirty Fuel Filter
If you’ve noticed that your car is losing power while driving uphill or sputtering at high speeds, it may be a sign that your fuel filter is clogged. Further, if you have problems starting the car, stalling out, and hear grinding noises, it’s likely that your fuel isn’t flowing through the system very well due to a dirty fuel filter. If you notice that your engine is having any hesitations with acceleration or keeping up speed, check your fuel filter. When the engine is receiving a restricted amount of gas, the internal combustion process doesn’t always work and can fire off wrong – causing much bigger engine problems.
In addition, check your manufacturer’s recommended intervals for changing the fuel filter, regardless of noticeable symptoms – as with anything car related, they may not show up until it’s too late.
Improve Your Fuel Efficiency & Protect Your Engine at Kennedy Transmission
A fuel filter replacement is the epitome of preventative maintenance. It’s a quick and easy service that prevents big issues down the road. Fuel filters are also very inexpensive and, when you think about the potential costs, definitely worth the upfront payment. Stop by your local Kennedy Transmission service center to have your fuel filter checked today.