Watch out for 5 signs of a bad fuel filter so that you won't end up out of no where!


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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A bad fuel filter can lead to a reduction in the overall lifespan of a car engine. Check out these 5 signs of a bad fuel filter that show when a new one is needed!

The fuel filter is probably one of the least things that most new car owners will get excited about due to the fact that it is not commonly spoken about by experts.

Unfortunately, it is one small but crucial part of a car that can actually affect the overall lifespan of the vehicle’s engine. In this article, we have taken time to highlight and discuss the top 5 signs of a bad fuel filter. Read on!


A bad fuel filter gives way for all sort of dirt and unwanted crud to get into a car engine and later causes a huge problem

1. Top 5 signs of a bad fuel filter

Over the years, it has been generally observed that quite a lot of car owners and drivers easily forget to regularly check the condition of their vehicle’s fuel filter. This is probably due to the fact that only a few people get to understand or remember its importance until a bad fuel filter starts to give them unnecessary “headache”.

As a quick note, the fuel filter does not only help protect the injectors and fuel pump of a car from dirt but it also helps achieve a high level of fuel efficiency. So, if you have a vehicle that has been acting up lately and you are unsure exactly what component to suspect, below are the top 5 signs of a bad fuel filter.

1.1. Engine completely refuses to start

Don’t be shocked if you suddenly wake up one lovely morning to go out but your car completely refuses to startup. Yes, a small component like the fuel filter can cause such a big problem for real.

Now, we will not deny that there are many other faults that can also lead to such a problem but if your vehicle’s fuel filter is bad and clogged up, then expect such a scenario. It is a component that is meant to filter out debris (dirt) and crude from getting into the engine through the fuel you buy at different filling stations.

So, you can imagine how clogged up it would be especially after being left unchecked for a long period of time.


The engine of a car might eventually refuse to start if it has a totally clogged up fuel filter

>>> Read also: 9 warning signs of a faulty fuel injector explained

1.2. Difficulties starting the engine smoothly

This symptom is quite similar to number 1 above. It’s one that usually occurs when the fuel filter of a car is not totally clogged up but rather partially blocked.

In such cases, you might notice that your vehicle is becoming really difficult to start up after every engine shutdown for a while.

This is still a “better” symptom because it is given you early warning to address the issue before the fuel filter eventually gets totally blocked and probably leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

1.3. Engine keeps dying on the road

Are you noticing frequent engine misfire lately? This is could be a sign for you to check your vehicle’s fuel filter because a bad or clogged one could be the affecting fuel distribution to the engine thereby causing a misfire.

It is even possible that you just filled up your tank at a fueling station only to drive a 1km distance and then your car dies in the middle of the road as if it is on an empty tank. This could be a clear indication that something is wrong with its fuel filter and it needs urgent attention.


If you notice that your vehicle keeps dying on the road lately; you should probably suspect and check the fuel filter

1.4. Shaky and Jerky engine idling

A clogged or bad fuel filter can also make you notice jerky and shaky engine idling scenarios in your car anytime you are sitting at a traffic stoplight or simply trying to idle your car engine in the morning.

This is also one of the signs that could be hinting you of a possible fuel flow hindrance which can be a result of a bad fuel filter.

1.5. Engine struggles at very low speeds

This particular symptom is one that will be easily noticed by very observant motorists, especially those who love driving at low speeds. You might notice that the car becomes all shaky and somewhat seems to be struggling whenever you hit the gas pedal to a green traffic light or just driving it out gently from your driveway.

This problem can be caused by some other components of a car but you should probably suspect the vehicle’s fuel filter first.


When a car feels shaky at low speeds, it could be a sign that the fuel filter is in a bad condition

Whether it is a bad fuel filter or some other causes, there shouldn’t be any reason for a car to be all shaky and unpleasurable to drive at low speeds except if something is obviously wrong somewhere.

If you are still curious about knowing some of the bad effects of not changing the fuel filter of a car in long periods of time, watch this video below to find out.

Video: Here’s What Happens if You Don’t Change the Fuel Filter in Your Car


There are probably other symptoms that a bad fuel filter could cause a car to give at some point but for now; the above-listed points are the basic 5 signs of a bad fuel filter.

Once your car starts giving you any of the signs then, please do not hesitate to get the fuel filter checked as soon as you can. Meanwhile, you should keep in mind that fuel filters are not that expensive which is another reason why they should be replaced quickly once they go bad.

>>> Keep visiting daily to read up useful Car tips and advice

Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)


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