Signs That a Fuel Filter Needs to be Replaced
- Loss in power while driving uphill or under a heavy load
- Engine hesitates or when the accelerator is pressed
- Exhaust smell inside the cabin
- Check engine light is on
- Engine sputtering at idle
- Difficulty starting the engine
What is a Fuel Filter?
Fuel filters are responsible for keeping a vehicle’s fuel clean, preventing any dirt, debris, or other particles from entering the fuel system. Like many types of filters, fuel filters can become clogged over time, sometimes to the point of restricting fuel flow. If this happens, the engine may not be receiving the correct amount of fuel, leading to difficulty starting or accelerating. This problem tends to be especially noticeable when driving uphill or under a heavy load.
Fuel filters are a maintenance item that need to be changed at regular service intervals, just like oil filters, air filters, and cabin air filters. Refer to the vehicle’s service manual for maintenance intervals. If left for too long, or not replaced frequently enough, a dirty fuel filter can begin to let particles into the fuel system, potentially damaging the engine, fuel pump, fuel injectors, or other components. If you notice any of the symptoms above, it may be time to replace the vehicle’s fuel filter.