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Can Fuel Filter Cause Bad Gas Mileage? (Read This First!)

Some parts of the cars are so sensitive that if they are not maintained properly or for some reason quality deteriorates, it reduces the performance of the car. In this article, we will be discussing the facts that can cause the car to have bad mileage.

Can fuel filters cause bad gas mileage? 

A fuel filter is a very essential car part that helps filter the dirt and dust particles from the fuel. It’s made of cartridges along with filter paper in it. A fuel filter can cause bad gas milage if it has clogged particles in it. It lowers the fuel pressure and reduces the performance of any car. 

A bad or poorly functioning fuel filter causes a good amount of damage to your car as it works alongside the fuel supply system of your car. If the car does not get sufficient fuel supply, its performance starts degrading. 

The main functionality of a fuel filter is related to the fuel injector that sprays fuel into the engine cylinder. If the fuel filter fails to provide proper fuel supply it causes poor gas mileage to your car, resulting in uncertain engine failures.

Some other issues related to a fuel filter that causes bad milage are discussed below:

Dirty fuel filter:

Fuel filters are built to filter the fuels required to spray inside the engine cylinder in order to keep the car’s engine condition, performance, and balance efficiency. But if the fuel filter of the car is dirty, then it will not be of any use. 

It is highly recommended to check if the fuel filter is clean or not. Long-term use of fuel filters causes it to become dirty so you should replace them after a while. 

Clogged fuel filter:

Usually, the fuel filter protects the engine from heavy particles mixed with fuel in order to spray clean liquid in the engine. The blocked particles sometimes make the fuel filter clogged and damage the fuel injector and other parts.

Old fuel filter:

Old fuel filters need to be changed after a time or else they will start causing poor gas mileage to your car. It is recommended to change a fuel filter every 2 to 3 years or every 25000 miles.  

Older fuel filters are unsafe for your cars and might cause serious damage to your engine. So, keep replacing them after their service period is over.

How does fuel filter cause bad gas mileage?

There are two types of fuel filters found in most cars, one in the fuel tank and the other one at the fuel supply line. Both of the fuel filters are designed to prevent dirt, dust, or toxic particles from entering the engine, keeping the engine pressure optimized.

Due to an insufficient amount of fuel spray inside the cylinder of your car engine, the fuel supply system will be hampered and the car will be unable to accelerate properly.

This issue will also cause poor gas milage or lower fuel economy and will quickly reduce the engine efficiency and performance at the same time.

How much does fuel filter affect gas mileage?  

If your fuel filter is dirty, clogged, or even old, it will affect your gas mileage. A dirty fuel filter will provide less fuel to the engine, less fuel will generate less power. The gas mileage or the fuel consumption economy will fall. 

The poor condition of your fuel filter will affect your gas mileage as much as 10% of the entire engine output capacity, reducing the acceleration and overall performance.

Prolonged use makes car engine fuel injectors old and dirty, resulting in loss of efficiency and bad gas mileage.

How often to change the fuel filter? 

A fuel filter can serve for a certain period. It contains various particles which get stuck in it and at some point, the fuel filter loses its effectiveness. Therefore, each fuel filter should be replaced as soon as it expires. 

Based on the average driving miles per year by Americans, it is recommended to change or replace the fuel filter every 6 months to 2 years. Depending on the age a car is driven, a fuel filter must be replaced after every 25000 to 30000 miles of driving. 

Though modern cars can have fuel filters that last up to 60000 miles. But it is better to follow the standard lifespan of fuel filters and change it accordingly. 

How do you know when the fuel filter is bad?

There are some symptoms that can be noticed when the fuel filter is bad. The job of the fuel filter is to supply fuel to the car’s engine cylinder. So, whenever the fuel filter goes bad, your car will have engine-related faults. 

In most cases, the car’s engine shuts down. However, if the fuel filter of the car is bad, the car does not want to start or it takes a long time to start. Sometimes the car stops at a low speed. 

And in the worst cases, the engine suddenly stops on the way. The symptoms are discussed below: 

Failing to accelerate:

Mainly due to various particles stuck in the fuel filter it fails to supply fuel to the car engine and the engine loses its performance due to lack of adequate fuel, so it fails to accelerate the car. 

Moreover, as the engine does not get sufficient liquid, it struggles to keep on rolling at lower speeds. 

Car keeps shaking:

A kind of vibration is felt from the engine of the car due to the blockage of the fuel filter with particles. Another symptom of poor fuel filters is a feeling of vibration from the engine. If you keep your car on start and sit idle, you seem to feel a little bit shaky.  

The shaking mostly happens because some parts are preventing the fuel filter to spray fuel into the fuel injectors. 

Car won’t start:

The final and the biggest symptom of your car having a bad fuel filter is, your car won’t start. It means the blockage of the fuel filter is so dense that the engine is not getting any fuel at all and preventing your car from taking the start.

Does changing a fuel filter improve gas mileage? 

Changing a fuel filter causes improvement to gas mileage as the fresh fuel filters provide proper insulation of fuels into every compartment of your car engine and good performance. So, it is recommended to change the fuel filter after a while.

Besides, as a part of car maintenance, it is important to keep on checking the fuel filter regularly and inspect if it has any sort of toxic particles clogged in it or not. A fuel filter should not be very expensive. 

How much does a fuel filter cost? 

It can easily be found in an automobile parts shop and can be changed by a skilled mechanic. The fuel filter as a part will cost $15 to $70 and with servicing from a mechanic shop it should cost no more than $150. 

The fuel filter must be changed by a skilled automobile mechanic because the work of fuel insulation system is a very complicated part of work related to the engine of a car.

How to clean the fuel filter? 

Most of the fuel filters are made of nylon or paper, which requires replacement. But if your fuel filter is made of metal, there are some easy and simple steps you can follow to clean a fuel filter.

You should be very careful when cleaning the fuel filter because its mechanism is a bit complicated. Just simply follow the directions and you can inspect and clean the fuel filters on your own: 

Find out the filter:

Firstly, you need to find out where the fuel filter is. They usually are placed around your car’s fuel injector. Once you find out the fuel filter, carefully start by unscrewing it from the engine compartment. 

Start cleaning the fuel filter:

Once you take out the fuel filter, place an empty container under it and then open the cap of the clamp and attach the filter to the hose. By doing this process, you can take out the excess fuel inside it.

Now, hold the filtering part of your fuel filter and spray inside with a specific type of liquid. Do this procedure on both sides and you’ll see the dirt coming out. 

Keep it for drying: 

Once you are done with this cleaning, it will take around 2 to 3 hours to dry the fuel filter. Once it dries, place it back in its place. That’s it, you are done with the job. 

Final Thoughts 

Fuel filters are very essential and sensitive part of the car-related to its engine. If it gets dirty or clogged, it will be unable to spray the fuel in the cylinders. A defective fuel filter causes the car engine to misfire, be unable to accelerate, and end up damaging the fuel injector.