How To Diagnose Fuel Filter Problems
Hello there! Everyone knows that car troubles are a common occurrence for at least some period of your car’s lifespan. From radiator leaks to squeaky brakes, there are a plethora of reasons why your vehicle may be giving you trouble. In this article, we will discover how to identify and diagnose fuel filter problems.
First off, let’s talk about how the fuel system functions before we get into fuel filter problems. The fuel system in your vehicle is responsible for storing gasoline and providing that fuel to the combustion chamber where it is mixed with air from outside the vehicle and burned to produce the kinetic energy to propel your vehicle into motion. End to end, this system comprises of fuel filters, fuel injectors, a fuel pump and the carburetor. Fuel stored into the tank is pumped through a tank filter, which prevents solid materials like rocks from clogging the fuel lines, before it works its way to the carburetor. Before it reaches the carburetor, it will pass through another fuel filter that prevents smaller solid particles from passing further into the system. The gasoline finally reaches the carburetor where it is mixed with air before moving into the engine for combustion.
So, how can you tell if you are having fuel filter problems?
Problem: My car consistently dies out when I drive at high speeds
Potential Issue: Your fuel filter may be partially clogged, which means it is still allowing enough fuel to come through the system to keep the engine on at low speeds but not enough fuel to keep it running at high speeds.
Solution: Remove your fuel filter and blow through it to see if the air will pass through. If it appears like it is not passing through, you will want to replace it. If everything seems normal, you may be experiencing another issue.
Problem: My car won’t start but my battery is and other car systems are fine.
Potential Issue: Your fuel filter is probably completely clogged as it isn’t passing enough fuel to even get the car started.
Solution: Like above, check the fuel filter and if it is clogged, simply replace it.
Problem: I changed my fuel filter but I am still having issues with getting my car started or keeping it one when I drive.
Potential Issue: There is another blockage of fuel in the system which is probably in the fuel tank. The fuel tank filter is probably clogged and isn’t allowing fuel into the system.
Solution: Take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to have him diagnose the problem. Replacing a fuel tank filter requires much more work than the fuel filter (the tank must be drained and removed) which you should not perform yourself unless you’re a pretty knowledgeable mechanic.
These days, more and more car manufacturers claim that you should never have to replace the fuel filter for the duration of your car’s life. Many mechanics disagree with this statement and recommend you change your fuel filter every year or so as routine preventative maintenance to avoid any fuel filter problems.
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