Grand Rapids Ford & Mazda Dealer News

At the Borgman Service Center, we sometimes hear our Grand Rapids customers ask us about car myths out of concern for their vehicle. A common one is that you're not supposed to buy fuel while the delivery truck is refilling the gas station's supply tank. To put the matter to rest for our West Michigan readers, people think this is because it "stirs up sediment" that will end up in your engine. It simply isn't true.

Your vehicle comes equipped with fuel filters to prevent dust, dirt, rust, sediments, and other impurities before they reach the engine. Today, there are also filters at the refinery, in the delivery truck, and in the gas pump itself, so the chances of this being an issue are near zero.

However, like most other filters in your vehicle, fuel filters can compromise your engine when they fail. We'll explain how fuel filters work, where they're usually located, and when it's time to replace them.

How Do Fuel Filters Work? What Are They Made Of?

Like most filters, fuel filters consist of two parts: a cartridge, and media. In the case of fuel filters, the outside is usually a metal tube that's filled with special paper media or another synthetic, permeable membrane. When under pressure, the fuel is squeezed through these membranes (think high-tech coffee filter) which traps dust, dirt, sand, rust, pollen, or any other contaminants from the fuel before they enter the engine.

It's also important to note that modern fuel contains detergents to dislodge anything too small to be caught by the fuel filters.

Where Can I Find My Vehicle's Fuel Filters?

Vehicles typically have two fuel filters. The first is more of a mesh screen and is attached directly to the fuel pump. While this makes it inaccessible, it does not typically need servicing for the life of the fuel pump. The second fuel filter is located on the main fuel line itself, and if you look beneath your vehicle you should be able to see it. We don't recommend attempting to replace it yourself* but if you suspect you have a fuel leak, this is a good place to check. Simply follow the lines from the gas tank along the bottom toward the engine.

*Replacing fuel filters involves the risk of fire from spilled gasoline coming into contact with hot vehicle parts, fuel leaks while driving, and other potentially dangerous scenarios. Let the pros at the Borgman Service Center perform this task and save yourself the risks and frustrations.

How Do You Know When Your Fuel Filter Needs To Be Replaced?

Even without overt symptoms, we recommend replacing your fuel filter every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, many people only turn their attention to their fuel filters when there's an issue. This often results in costlier repairs.

When your fuel filter needs replacing, there are usually some tell-tale signs. Here are some of them, but if you notice your vehicle acting strange and don't see the last time your fuel filter was replaced, schedule an appointment with the Borgman Service Center right away.
  • Engine Feels Sluggish: This is the most tell-tale sign that your fuel filter needs replacing. It might be subtle at first, but you'll notice this when climbing hills, and then when starting from a complete stop. This is because your engine is running lean - without enough gasoline.
  • Trouble Starting Your Vehicle: If you're having trouble starting your engine in the morning, but you hear the starter motor running at normal speed, you might not be getting enough fuel, like what we described above.
  • Rough Idle or Stalling: This is a more progressed symptom of the first problem we've listed. Here, the problem is so severe that your engine behaves like you're pressing the throttle and releasing it, but at idle. If the engine gets too little fuel, it stalls out altogether - a dangerous (and embarrassing) situation on the road!
  • Other Parts Failing: If your fuel filter is saturated with junk, your fuel pump has to work harder to deliver fuel to your engine. This causes the issues described above, but also will prematurely wear out your fuel pump - a costly repair. If enough pressure builds up in the fuel filter, it can allow contaminants through and clog fuel injectors too, which can present as a misfire.

Vehicle Feeling Sluggish? Visit the Borgman Service Center!

If you've been noticing that your vehicle doesn't quite have the pep that it used to, or if you're not sure when your fuel filter was last replaced, schedule an appointment with the Borgman Service Center!

Our experts will check your vehicle for issues, and make recommendations based on our findings. However, if a repair is not critical, we will make this clear to you during your appointment so you can make informed, yet pragmatic decisions about your vehicle.

?To get started, use our easy Online Scheduler to make your appointment, and then check out our latest Service Coupons for savings on the services you need. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact Us. Come see why we're the Best in the West!
Categories: News, Service, Parts