What are the symptoms of a dirty fuel filter?

Written by rachael gerkensmeyer
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What are the symptoms of a dirty fuel filter?
When your vehicle doesn't run properly, the fix might be as simple as the fuel filter. (driver in broken car image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com)

When a dirty duel filter is left for too long without cleaning or replacement, there is a good chance it will become clogged, which can affect engine performance. The easiest way to tell if your fuel filter is clean enough to work properly is to take it out and blow through it. If no air is able to travel through the filter, it is too dirty and should be replaced. However, there are other symptoms that can indicate a dirty fuel filter without it having to be removed for inspection.

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Engine Troubles

If you can’t start your vehicle or it seems to work extra hard to start, chances are that the fuel filter is too dirty to work properly. Insufficient fuel to the engine can keep it from starting. Alternatively, if the engine is running but not getting enough fuel, it can suddenly stall out at stoplights or while you are travelling up steep hills.

Acceleration Issues

Another good sign that your fuel filter needs to be cleaned or replaced is poor acceleration. Your vehicle may behave normally up to a certain speed but lack the fuel supply to go any faster or speed up briskly.

Additional Dirty Fuel Filter Clues

If your vehicle backfires or exhibits jerky movement while misfiring, you should check the fuel filter to see if it is clogged. Another symptom is a foul odour coming from the exhaust..

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