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5 Bad Fuel Filter Symptoms To Look Out For

August 1, 2022

Your car’s fuel filter is one of the smallest parts in your vehicle, and it’s also one of the most vital. We know how easy it is to let maintenance tasks slip under the radar. However, fuel filters can impact your engine’s efficiency and function, so it’s important to notice bad fuel filter symptoms right away. You should also not let it go too long without inspection and review. 

Read on to learn more about the top five symptoms to watch for. 

What do fuel filters do? 

Fuel filters work as guards and protect your engine from impurities found in fuel, such as rust and dirt. The filters feature holes with diameters smaller than the human hair, allowing you to effortlessly strain and purify your fuel before it hits your fuel system. 

If you’re looking for affordable fuel filter replacement near you, be sure to request a  simple web search should help. You can opt to take your car to a shop or have a mobile mechanic come to you. 

Worried about a bad fuel filter? Keep an eye out for these symptoms: 

1. Codes & p0171 error messages 

If you notice error codes present on your vehicle, you should consider servicing it as soon as possible. The error message that most commonly points to fuel filter issues is known as the p0171 error, which indicates a lean fuel mixture in your engine. Lean, in this case, means that the fuel’s balance has more air than actual fuel in it–which can severely impact your engine’s performance. 

2. Fuel inefficiency 

Your fuel filter issues could lead to fuel inefficiency, as blockages on old filters can prevent your engine from getting the amount of fuel it needs. If you’re noticing a severe hit to your MPG, it may be time to check your fuel filter. 

3. Stalled engines 

If a fuel filter is too clogged by debris, it could lead to total engine failure or stalls. This can be risky, especially if you’re in more desolate or rural environments that require your vehicle to have proper function. 

4. Rough idling 

If you notice a rough idle, it may be a sign that your engine can’t access the right level or mixture of the fuel that it needs to properly function. 

Signs of a “rough idle” include noticeable noises, shaking, or an inconsistent RPM rate as you drive the car. It will be obvious, and signals trouble in the engine or fuel system. 

5. Check engine lights 

Check engine lights are often the first symptom of fuel filter issues that you’ll see–and they’re often ignored until the situation progresses. If you notice a check engine light pop on, consider getting your vehicle serviced to avoid further fuel system damage or engine malfunction. 

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