Beware the dirty fuel filter

March 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Drivers might not know when to change their filters, but the one that cleanses fuel is especially important to keep aware of.

Yahoo! Autos says in its Auto Repair Tips & Advice section that drivers should replace their fuel filter every year if the car is driven around a lot and older than 6 years. Newer cars can come with a lifetime filter, but doesn't mean dust and debris can't get in there, causing plugs.

Even when drivers are careful about where they go and how much time they spend on the road, the fuel filter can get plugged by gasoline at the pump. It's supposed to be filtered, says the auto advisors, but sometimes it's not. Yahoo! also says gas can be diluted with dirty underground storage water by accident or even blended with water to "make a fast buck."

"Replacing the filter periodically for preventative maintenance is simply insurance that reduces the risk of it plugging up. Given enough time, every filter will eventually reach the end of its service life."

The best place to get a fuel filter checked out is a local auto repair shop, which can examine the part and clean it if needed.

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