The fuel filter is a small part in your car but plays an important role in helping the engine to work optimally. It makes sure that the fuel supplied to the engine is free from contaminants such as dirt and other debris. If this part is clogged or damaged, it affects the engine’s performance badly. It is, therefore, important to know the symptoms of a clogged or damaged fuel filter. In this article, we are going to discuss six symptoms.
1. Engine won’t start or hard start
Blocked by dirt, debris and other particles, the fuel filter obstructs the free flow of fuel to the engine. The engine starts when the air-fuel mixture is sent to the combustion chamber, but if it is not adequate for combustion (due to clogging up of the filter), the engine struggles to start. It may start after several attempts if it is partially clogged. The engine won’t start if it is clogged completely.
2. Unpleasant smell of oil or smoke at the exhaust pipe
The smoke emitted by the vehicle or the excess oil that drips at the exhaust pipe smells unpleasant. This is a symptom of a fuel filter clogged with dirt and debris.
3. Vehicle runs roughly
The engine runs roughly when there is no constant fuel supply by the injectors for combustion, or when it is less than sufficient. The main reason for this situations is a clogged fuel filter. Check for it when your vehicle sounds erratic or runs roughly.
4. Engine stops abruptly
As long as the engine gets fuel, it continues to operate. The engine stops abruptly if the supply stops suddenly. This occurs when the fuel filter gets clogged with debris or sediments of contaminants.
5. Power loss in Engine
The flow of fuel below the optimal level reduces the engine’s power. A clogged filter is likely to reduce the flow to the engine badly. If the vehicle’s speed does not increase when you accelerate, or if engine hesitates to start when you try to drive uphill or when you drive with high loads, it is a sign of clogged fuel filter. It blocks the fuel, and very little or none is injected into the engine to enable combustion and to produce power.
6. Engine misfires
Misfiring occurs when ignition of the fuel fails to happen properly. Its flow is blocked by the filter if it is clogged. This results in engine misfiring.
It is important that the fuel filter functions optimally. Its suboptimal performance adds to the work load on the fuel injection system and there are chances of engine failure. To ensure optimal performance, you should replace the filter yearly or as recommended by the manufacturer.