fuel-filterA fuel filter is found in-between your car’s fuel pump and fuel injectors. Essentially it helps screen out any debris in the gasoline that your fuel pump may be sending toward the engine. By acting as a barrier and removing this debris, the fuel filter protects your fuel injectors, your engine health, and your car’s overall performance.

Since you won’t always be checking directly at your fuel filter, knowing the signs of a dirty filter can help you figure out the best way to fix your car issues. Replacement of the fuel filter is an easy job, but you should first be sure that whatever trouble you’re experience is indeed related to a clogging in your filter.


If your engine keeps hesitating when you floor the gas, you probably have a dirty fuel filter has become clogged. A clog means the flow of gas to the engine is limited and this abnormal combustion completely reduces the car’s power and responsiveness. If the car or truck doesn’t respond when you accelerate or stumbles as it increases in speed, it could also be a symptom of a dirty fuel filter.


Your engine requires a constant supply of fuel if it’s going to operate properly and efficiently. A fuel filter that has become dirty will cut the flow of gas to the engine, so the vehicle supply is anything but constant. If the flow is excessively limited, the car engine will stall. The more often this happens, the more likely it is that your car has a dirty fuel filter that needs to be replaced.


Since your engine needs a mixture of gas and air in order to fire up, it won’t start at all if no gas is issuing through. Failure to start is a definite sign of a dirty fuel filter or one that is utterly clogged. It needs to be replaced before the vehicle will start properly.

Similarly, your car not starting at all can also be related to a dead battery or a bad igniton. If you have checked and it isn’t this, it’s definitely time to consider the fuel filter may be the cause.


If your fuel filter has dirts but  is not completely clogged, you’ll have hard starting with your car. It means that the supply of fuel to the engine is limited so starting will become a lot more difficult. However, be aware that a dirty fuel filter isn’t necessarily the only reason of hard starting in your car. The fault could also be with the plugs carburetor. Replacing the fuel filter would be a good first step toward knowing the problem.


If you have a dirty fuel filter, the gasoline that gets to your engine will have debris and your car won’t perform as efficiently. This particular symptom can be hard to recognize at first, since it’s quite possible that when pressing down hard on the gas pedal or cruising at highway speeds, you’ll get good performance. Even with a dirty fuel filter, gas can still get to the engine normally if the pressure is high. At higher speeds, the engine pressure would be providing ideal conditions for efficient motoring.

However, all that does is cover the reality. Real problems will be evident at slower speeds when the pressure is much lower, implying  that fuel isn’t pushed through to your car’s engine as forcefully and the performance will be nowhere near as good. The engine could idle and run roughly, or it could hesitate and cut out entirely when you have less power.