Fuel Filter

Fuel Filter

Auto Repair Fuel Filter

Fuel Filter

Filters are an integral part of your vehicle as they perform important jobs that keep your vehicle running smoothly. However, changing the fuel filter might not be something you think about on a regular basis. While many people schedule routine maintenance like tire rotations and oil changes, the fuel filter isn’t always on that list. It should be, though.

What Does the Fuel Filter Do?

The fuel filter is designed in a way where it can catch any debris, particles, or impurities in the gas tank before the fuel makes it to the pump. This means that only clean gasoline is introduced to your engine. Many people forget that this needs to be changed out, but it’s best to check out your owner’s manual to determine when and if it should be. In some modern vehicles, the filter is actually in the tank and is not capable of being replaced.

Why Should I Replace the Fuel Filter?

Debris in the fuel filter will start to clog it up over time. That means that the fuel pump has to work harder and can lead to it needing a repair. In addition to that, contaminated fuel can cause damage to your engine, which is a much more costly and time-consuming repair to deal with. 

What Are Signs the Fuel Filter Needs to Be Replaced?

Changing out the fuel filter should be a basic maintenance task that is done on a regular basis. However, there are a few symptoms you can look for that speak toward needing a fuel filter change sooner rather than later. 

  • Shaky Engine Idling – If you notice that you stop at a stop light and immediately feel a sort of shaking from the engine, this can be a sign that fuel is not flowing properly. This is often due to a clogged filter and should be handled as soon as possible.
  • Engine Not Starting – There are dozens of reasons that your engine might not start, but one of them is if the engine is unable to draw from the fuel. If you have noticed other symptoms of a dirty fuel filter, this is likely the cause of the engine refusing to start, as well.
  • Trouble Starting – Sometimes your car may start, but it requires a lot of work to get it to do so. This often happens when the fuel filter isn’t entirely blocking fuel, but is having an adverse effect on the amount of fuel reaching the engine. If this is a sign you are experiencing, you should get it looked at before the car stops starting altogether.
  • Dying Engine – If you have noticed any of the other symptoms noted here, and you then find yourself on the road, but your car stops – this can be related to the fuel filter. It has likely become clogged to the point where no fuel is making it through to the engine.
  • Trouble at Low Speeds – If your car seems to be running great on the highway, but is shakier when at slow speeds, this is another sign that the fuel filter may need to be changed out. 

If you are noticing any of these problems, it’s a good idea to have your fuel filter checked and potentially replaced. Kwik Kar in Richardson can do both for you quickly and at an affordable price.

When Should I Replace the Filter?

You will want to pull out the owner’s manual to determine how often the manufacturer suggests that the filter is replaced. In many cases, this will be somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 miles. If you have no time frame listed in your manual, going with 30,000 miles before replacement is a fairly safe bet.

How Is a Fuel Filter Replaced?

The first step will be to make sure your car is parked somewhere ventilated and level while the engine cools off. At this time, the technician will depressurize the fuel system. This involves opening the fuel cap and loosening it until there is a hiss. This will be followed by locating and then removing your fuel pump relay or fuse in the fuse box. After this, the hood will be opened and the negative battery terminal will be disconnected so avoid any sparks that might catch gas fumes on fire.

At this point, the fuel filter will be noted, along with its position. There are fasteners that bring the fuel line to the filter. These will be detached and the fuel line plugged. After that is completed, the fuel filter will be removed by unscrewing the bolts. The fuel line will also be disconnected from the other side. In addition, a technician will inspect the lines and see if they need replacement.

The new, clean fuel filter will then be installed in the opposite order as it was taken apart. The negative terminal will then be reattached, along with the fuel pump relay or fuse. The technician will then start the engine and make sure there are no leaks from the fuel system.

More About Fuel Filter Services

Kwik Kar in Richardson can provide a number of services related to your car fuel system. If you believe you need a fuel filter replaced, we can take a look at the situation and get it done for you. 

You can reach us at 972-644-1851 or email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions or set up an appointment with a skilled technician.