Is It Time To Replace Your Fuel Filter?

By bsozak | September 24, 2013

English: Yanmar_Fuel_Filter

Post provided by Recco Filters.

Unfortunately you can’t simply look at your fuel filter and know whether it needs to be replaced. You need to know if there’s a blockage in your filter and the easiest way to do that is to take some type of tubing and blow through it and see how it responds. If there’s noticeable blockage you’re going to want to replace the filter.

If your filter becomes completely plugged you’re going to have major problems, so if you have even the slightest inkling that the filter might have a blockage your’e going to want to test it. Otherwise your engine’s fuel flow can be cut off and you’ll either be unable to start it or it may just stop the engine once you’ve gotten it running.

What are the signs your fuel filter might be clogged?

If you’ve noticed a lack of “pep” as my grandmother would call it when pushing your engine to high speeds there’s a chance your filter might have a blockage. You can also get signs of this while the engine is idling or running at slow speeds as you can hear or sometimes feel the engine starving for fuel. For a full list of symptoms, this one from Buzzle is quite good.

It’s not my fuel filter, what else can it be?

The fuel filter is designed to block out finer particulates from your engine, but the tank filter can sometimes cause the same sorts of issue leading to a false diagnosis of a clogged fuel filter. The tank filter is designed to stop big hunks of dirt, rust and other larger items from finding their way into your fuel pump. If this gets clogged you’ll basically have the same symptoms, so if your fuel filter is fine, this may be the next best place to look and something you have to replace.

How often should I replace it?

Most manufacturers don’t put much stock in changing your fuel filter. If they recommend making a change at all it’s usually after some incredibly long interval like 50,000 miles or five years. Considering the importance of this item to your engine’s well being, it makes sense to change your filter with much greater frequency, at least once every year or two. Definitely err on the side of caution if your vehicle runs in particularly muddy or dirty areas, as these are more susceptible to getting particulates in the engine putting more strain on both your tank filter as well as your fuel filter.

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