What is Fuel Filter? | Symptoms of Bad Fuel Filter

The contaminated free fuel is very important for the efficient working of the vehicle engine. The vehicle uses a fuel filter to remove the contamination from the fuel. With time, the fuel tank constantly attracts debris, dirt, and dust, and the accumulated particles can damage the fuel filter and adversely affect the fuel pump. Eventually, all these contaminations clog the fuel filter. This article mainly explains the signs of a bad fuel filter and some other aspects.

What is a fuel filter?

A fuel filter is part of the engine that eliminates dust and dirt particles from the fuel. It is an in-line filter. These filters are most commonly used in IC engines. The main function of the fuel filter is to remove contamination from the fuel and supply clean fuel to the engine.

Signs of Bad Fuel Filter

Following are the most common signs of a bad fuel filter:

1) Reduction in Fuel Economy

The reduction in fuel economy is one of the main symptoms of a bad fuel filter. For efficient working, the engine needs to burn the air-fuel mixture properly. As the filter clogs, it doesn’t properly deliver fuel to the engine. When the engine doesn’t receive sufficient fuel, you will see a reduction in the engine power.  

2) Strange Engine Noise

The strange engine noise is also a common sign of a bad fuel filter. As the filter goes bad, the engine doesn’t receive a proper supply of fuel due to, that different parts of the engine may go bad.  

3) Check engine light

The check engine light is located on the car dashboard. This light may illuminate due to various reasons, and a bad filter is one of them.  

This is common in vehicles equipped with fuel pressure sensors to monitor the amount of fuel flowing via the system.

As you scan the problem, the diagnostic trouble code car shows the sensor error. This is actually due to a bad fuel filter. In such a situation, you must contact a mechanic who may help you to identify the reason of Check Engine Light.

4) Hard Starting

As the fuel filters go bad, they don’t supply fuel according to the engine requirements. When the vehicle engine doesn’t receive fuel properly, then you may have engine starting issues. 

A dirty filter can lead to an unstable fuel flow, and it may take longer than normal to start the engine. Therefore, you must change your filters after a specific time interval given in the product manufacturer manual.

5) Engine Stalling

There are multiple reasons for engine stalling. The engine stalling may also cause due to a dirty fuel filter. According to the severity of the filter clog, the vehicle may be able to start immediately with no visible loss of power.

When the filter clogging converts into a worse condition, stalling also converts into excessive or worse during acceleration. When the engine stalling converts into a worse condition, you must immediately replace your bad filter.

6) Poor Acceleration

Poor acceleration is one of the main signs of a bad fuel filter. The vehicle acceleration may cause due to many other factors. If not enough fuel flows into the combustor, the computer of the vehicle will limit its output power to stop the engine damage.  

This is particularly noticeable when accelerating under high loads, for example, when driving downhill. In rare cases, the filter can be bad enough to put the car in slack mode.

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