Changing the fuel filter is an important part of a standard car service. Fuel filters are a major part of a car’s fuel supply system and should be changed annually. Some fuel filters come with a lifetime guarantee. While a fuel filter may still be working for the lifetime of the car, it will decrease in effectiveness over time, and it is best for the car’s efficiency and also safer to replace the fuel filters regularly. This is especially true of diesel cars and other vehicles, fitted with a diesel fuel filter.
The first reason to change your fuel filter is as a preventative measure. To avoid damage and reduce wear on other parts of the engine, replacing the fuel filter is vital. It also helps to avoid plugging up. Being in regular contact with moisture causes corrosion and the debris from the corrosion can flow into the fuel tank when refuelling. In vehicles with a high mileage the fuel filter should be replaced at least every year.
Petrol or diesel can sometimes be contaminated with alcohol blends. Your fuel filter prevents this contamination from getting into the fuel tank, but if the filter is old and worn it won’t work correctly, and can let other substances into your tank, which will reduce the performance of your car.
It can be tricky to know when to change your fuel filter. Following the service schedule is a popular and highly recommended method, but there are other ways to check if the filter needs changed. For example, a DIY method involves removing the filter and blowing through it. If the air doesn’t flow through, then you might need a replacement. Keep your lips well clear of the filter though, you don’t want to get petrol in your mouth!
If your engine sometimes starts running, and then dies, it is possibly due to a choked filter. The filter is restricting the flow of fuel to engine parts like the fuel injectors or the carburettor, and the motor cannot keep running without fuel.