Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Filter (Auxiliary)

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Virtually all vehicles equipped with gasoline engines are equipped with fuel filters that are meant to filter out any dirt or debris that could contaminate the fuel system or damage the components, and possibly even the engine. Some vehicles will come equipped with a second fuel filter, known as the auxiliary fuel filter, that serves as an additional filter to further protect the fuel system components and engine. When the filter becomes excessively dirty or clogged, it can cause issues engine performance issues. As the auxiliary fuel filter functions in the same manner as the primary fuel filter, the symptoms associated with it when it fails are similar to that of a regular fuel filter. Usually a bad or failing fuel filter will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a problem.

1. Car is hard to start

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the auxiliary fuel filter is hard starting. If the filter becomes excessively dirty or clogged it may restrict fuel pressure or flow, which may cause the vehicle to experience difficulty starting. The problem may especially noticeable at cold starts, or after the vehicle has been allowed to sit for a while.

2. Engine misfires or decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency

Engine performance issues are another symptom of a problem with the auxiliary fuel filter. If the fuel filter becomes excessively dirty to the point of seriously restricting the flow of fuel, it may cause the vehicle to experience drivability issues such as misfires, a decrease in power and acceleration, poor fuel economy, and even stalling. The symptoms will usually continue to get worse until the vehicle can no longer run, or start.

2. Check Engine Light comes on

An illuminated Check Engine Light is another possible symptom of a faulty auxiliary fuel filter. Some vehicles come equipped with fuel pressure sensors that monitor the pressure and flow of the fuel system. If the fuel filter becomes excessively dirty and restricts the flow of fuel, and it is detected by the sensor, the computer will set off the Check Engine Light to alert the driver of a potential issue. The Check Engine Light can also be set off by a wide variety of other issues, so having the computer scanned for trouble codes is highly recommended.

While they are not found on all vehicles, auxiliary fuel filters are another important routine maintenance component that should be changed at the recommended intervals in order to keep the engine running in proper order. If you suspect that your auxiliary fuel filter may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the filter should be replaced.


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Number of Reviews

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Peter

23 years of experience
227 reviews
Peter
23 years of experience
Jeep CJ5 - Car is hard to start - Los Angeles, California
Peter is amazing. I just requested another appt and I want Peter to come Wednesday. I can’t imagine ever doing this any other way. You guys have amazing people working for you.
Audi A4 - Car is hard to start - Simi Valley, California
Peter was very friendly and knowledgable when he first arrived and gave me very informative details about my car that I didn't know existed. After diagnosing the car he was able to find the issues with the car and describe each issue with the car throughly. After today Peter gave me confidence in knowing there wasn't a major problem with my car like some mechanic shops and dealerships have said. I'd love to have him back with my car once iv had some time to figure the parts I will need to service the car.

Ben

39 years of experience
1113 reviews
Ben
39 years of experience
Infiniti JX35 - Car is hard to start - Houston, Texas
Ben is so great. He has been working on all our cars for over a year and we could not be happier. Today he came out on a Sunday to make sure that my car was running well for the beginning of the week, even though the earliest booking time was on Monday. He texted and asked if I would like him to come out on Sunday instead. When he was hear he quickly diagnosed the problem. Showed me what he found and how we could get me fixed up right away. He is always fair and looks for ways to save us time and money. Super honest, knowledgeably and always has a great attitude. We will continue to have Ben work on our cars from the regular oil change to the more complicated fixes. Thanks Ben!!

Eduardo

20 years of experience
60 reviews
Eduardo
20 years of experience
Ford F-250 - Car is hard to start - Richmond, Virginia
Came to do an inspection on an issue with the starting of the truck. Listen to everything I had to say and what has already been done to the truck. Was thoughtful courteous got right up there and check things out any issue is solved. Definitely use Eduardo again

Chris

20 years of experience
1612 reviews
Chris
20 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Car is hard to start Inspection - Anaheim, California
Chris was very thorough and completed everything quickly. He let me know everything that was wrong with my car and assisted in getting it running again in no time.

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