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How to check the fuel filter?

How to check the fuel filter?

The purpose of the fuel filter is to prevent dust, rust, and other contaminants in the fuel tank from entering the engine along with the fuel.  That's why it's important to check its condition regularly. It is prone to clogging, which can cause a variety of problems.  There are a few things you need to look for to determine if your fuel filter needs to be changed. MOSTPLUS will give you all the information you need.

Where do contaminants come from?

How do these particles get into the fuel tank and mix with the vehicle's fuel? There are several possible sources:

  • In the vehicle design phase,
  • Repairs to mechanical components,
  • leakage from the tank ventilation system,
  • oxidation of the tank or one of the pipes feeding it
  • Water condensation inside the tank.

How do I know when it's time to change my fuel filter?

In addition to the life of the fuel filter, and therefore the time specified in the maintenance logbook for changing the fuel filter, drivers can also tell when the filter needs to be changed by observing the behavior of the vehicle.

It's easy to tell that your fuel filter is in poor condition, clogged, or completely blocked when you start to notice the following small signs:

  • Difficulty starting the engine:A clogged or completely blocked fuel filter can prevent fuel from reaching the engine properly and starting the engine.
  • Unexpected engine stalling: If your vehicle stalls without explanation, a clogged fuel filter may be preventing your engine from getting enough fuel.
  • Poor acceleration: A clogged fuel filter prevents the extra flow of large amounts of fuel needed to accelerate the engine.
  • Malodorous exhaust: When the exhaust suddenly becomes malodorous.
  • Excessive fuel consumption: if you need to fill up more often without increasing your mileage.

If these signs appear, have your fuel filter checked and replaced if necessary to prevent damage to your engine. So don't wait to check your fuel filter regularly and change it if necessary.

Fuel Filter Maintenance

To find out exactly when a vehicle's fuel filter needs to be changed, simply consult the manufacturer's recommendations in the service manual. However, professional mechanics agree that it should be replaced every 2 years or every 40,000 miles for carburetor vehicles and approximately every 2 years for vehicles with fuel injection. The best way to check the condition of this filter is to change the engine oil. If the filter is found to be clogged, scaled, or contaminated with water, it should be replaced. Symptoms such as a "knocking" sound coming from the engine, difficulty starting, and idle abnormalities also indicate the need to replace the fuel filter.

Only mechanically minded drivers know this, but diesel fuel filters need to be replaced more often than gasoline fuel filters. This is because diesel fuel is a combination of various harmful substances, including water, which significantly increases the risk of corrosion. Add to this the mechanical complexity of this type of engine, and it's easy to see how all this leads to faster wear and tear.

How to change my fuel filter?

First, you need to prepare for the job. It's important to choose a good quality fuel filter and install a genuine part. It's best to spare no expense, even on older vehicles. To replace the fuel filter, place the vehicle on a lift or two jacks. Engage first gear or "P" on automatic vehicles.

Reduce the pressure in the fuel line before starting work. To do this, remove the fuel pump circuit breaker from the fuse box. Then start the vehicle for five to ten seconds and turn off the engine. There will still be fuel in the lines, but the over pressure will have been relieved. We recommend that you wear goggles to protect yourself from any fuel splashes before proceeding with the replacement. Use water pump pliers to remove the lines from the filter. Pour the fuel draining from the lines into a suitable container and dispose of it in an environmentally safe manner.

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