Symptoms of a clogged fuel filter include engine stalling, hard engine start, no engine start, reduced fuel flow, erratic engine performance and decreased fuel consumption. A clogged fuel filter does not properly prevent dirt and debris from entering the fuel delivery system. Dirt and debris can significantly disrupt engine performance.
A common symptom of a clogged fuel filter is difficulty starting the engine. When a fuel filter is blocked completely or partially clogged, the fuel does not flow properly to the engine. A combination of fuel and air is required to start the engine, and a clogged fuel filter is unable to supply enough fuel to start the engine. Hard engine start is also a symptom of a clogged fuel filter. An inadequate fuel flow can start the engine; however, the probability of the engine starting is reduced. Regular engine stalling occurs as a result of a clogged fuel filter. Engines require a steady flow of fuel to run efficiently and a disruption in the flow causes the engine to stall frequently. Decreased engine performance is the result of a clogged fuel filter. The clogged filter causes abnormal or irregular patterns of fuel entering the engine. During increased acceleration, the fuel flow can bypass a partially clogged filter. However, during reduced speeds, the restricted flow leads to reduced engine power and performance.