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The fuel filter is made of cellulose or synthetic-based filter media that traps extremely tiny contaminants, such as rust particles and dirt, present in the fuel as it flows from the fuel tank to the fuel injectors. The filter media is sealed within a cylindrical shaped housing that looks like a tiny soda can. You will most often find the fuel filter plumbed into the high-pressure fuel supply line beneath the car, right next to a sturdy frame rail. Some fuel filters, particularly on diesel-powered vehicles, have water traps as well. Some newer cars do not have serviceable fuel filters as the filter is built into the fuel pump located in the fuel tank.
Yes, so long as the fuel filter is not leaking. If there is a leak, have it repaired before driving the car. If clogging is suspected and potentially causing engine operating problems, have the cause investigated and resolved at your earliest convenience. In extreme cases, a very old filter that may be plugged could disintegrate, allowing what were trapped contaminants to reach the fuel injectors and causing additional problems.
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