How to Tell If a Fuel Filter Is Bad

by Baptist Johnson

Fuel filters are a key component in the fuel delivery system. Filters help remove dirt from the fuel before it flows into the fuel injector or carburetors. When the fuel filter gets too dirty, dirty and rust particles are allowed to flow into your engine causing your fuel injector to get clogged. However, there is a simple way of finding out if your fuel filter is bad and needs to be replaced.

Find your fuel filter. Depending on what kind of car you have, your fuel filter is located either underneath the hood connected to the fuel delivery system or underneath your car along your fuel line. Read your car's owner manual to find out where it's located.

Remove your fuel filter. If the filter is underneath the hood of your car, you will likely need a wrench to disconnect it from the fuel delivery system. Find your filter and loosen the bolts that are securing it in place. If your fuel filter is underneath your car, you will likely need to use a quick release tool to disconnect it from your fuel line.

Inspect your fuel filter. Notice that there are holes at both sides of filter. Try to remove anything that you can see obstructing either hole.

Use a large straw or a small hose and apply it to one end of the fuel filter. Blow into the straw or hose. If your breath goes through with little resistance, your fuel filter is still in good condition. If you have a hard time blowing air through the fuel filter, then it is clogged and must be replaced.

Tips

  • check Wear gloves and protective eyewear while you are doing any maintenance to your car.
  • check If your car's engine is losing power, stalling or shutting off, these are all likely signs of a bad fuel filter.
  • check Replacing the fuel filter periodically (every year or so) for preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of filter-related drivebility problems

Items you will need

About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera red truck engine image by Christopher Nolan from Fotolia.com