Síntomas de un filtro de combustible defectuoso
When you pull up to the pump and fill your car with gas, you probably never think about one of the critical parts of your fuel system – the fuel filter. These filters help to protect your car’s engine from debris that could cause damage to its inner-workings. Any small amount of particles and debris over time can result in unwanted wear and tear on your engine. Since the fuel filter is usually tucked away, not many people remember it’s there and is an important part of your vehicle’s health.
Fuel filters, just like any other filter, don’t last forever. Vacuum cleaners, forced air units, fish tanks – they all have filters that need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. It’s no different for the fuel filter in your car. It needs to be replaced in newer vehicles at around 50,000 miles, and every 50,000 thereafter, however, it doesn’t hurt to just replace them annually. (Note that you should always follow your vehicle’s owners manual for the recommended frequency as it could vary) If the vehicle is over seven years old, this is especially important because debris that has built up over time in the fuel tank could plug up the filter faster.
Who needs the cost of repairing or replacing expensive engine parts when you could just replace a fuel filter for the average cost of between $50 – $170 at the auto shop? Sounds like an important maintenance plan, right?
If you haven’t timed out your fuel filter maintenance just yet, do it! But in the meantime, knowing warning signs and symptoms of your filter needing replaced are a great skill to have. They could mean the difference between that high dollar engine repair and a planned out regular maintenance cost. Here are some things to look for that might indicate your filter has gone bad:
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- Su vehículo es difícil de arrancar.
Te subes a tu coche y le das la vuelta a la llave, y tu coche salta y chisporrotea hacia ti en lugar de voltearse. Esto puede suceder varias veces antes de que realmente comience. Este es uno de los primeros signos que experimentan las personas que pueden indicar problemas con el filtro de combustible. Las obstrucciones en su filtro bloquean el flujo de combustible a través de su sistema y pueden dificultar el arranque.
- Mal millaje de gasolina
Ever looked at that handy gas mileage indicator on your supposedly efficient car’s display and wondered what the heck happened? If your fuel filter is clogged, it causes the fuel pump to pump faster, therefore using a higher rate of fuel than it would with a clean and clear filter.
- Compruebe la luz del motor
Cars these days are so smart, aren’t they? Ding, that little check engine light just came on. Your car’s computer can detect when your engine is in distress and not working properly. One of the most common causes of a check engine light being activated is a bad fuel filter.
- Tu motor sigue atascado
Sentado en el tráfico de la interestatal y el motor se para. Logra reiniciar, pero vuelve a ocurrir tres veces en su viaje a casa. ¡Habla sobre algo que pueda hacer que tu nivel de estrés aumente al máximo! Si un filtro de combustible está extremadamente sucio, su motor tendrá hambre de combustible y, como resultado, podría detenerse.
- Fallos de encendido del motor
Si bien es más común en vehículos de modelos más antiguos, los fallos de encendido pueden ser el resultado de un filtro de combustible sucio. Estos ocurren con mayor frecuencia cuando el vehículo lleva una carga pesada o conduce cuesta arriba porque hay más tensión en el motor en esas situaciones. Otra cosa que puede notarse durante un fallo de encendido es la vacilación o sacudidas del vehículo, ya que la cantidad de combustible que se entrega al motor varía debido a la obstrucción.
- Pérdida de potencia
You should be familiar with the way your vehicle accelerates, or the amount of power it has. If you notice a loss in that acceleration power, it’s possible the fuel filter is the culprit.
- Ralentí duro
Your car’s engine seems to jerk, struggle, and stutter while you’re sitting at a stoplight. Geez, what’s the deal? You’re not even moving! A hard or erratic idle means your engine doesn’t have enough fuel for combustion and as a result, it jerks and shakes.
- La bomba de combustible está dañada
If your fuel pump is damaged, more often than not a clogged fuel filter has contributed to the problem. When a fuel filter isn’t working properly, the pump has to work overtime in order to get enough fuel to the engine. This often can result in damage to the pump. If you’re replacing your fuel pump, it’s a good rule of thumb to always replace the fuel filter as well.
- Olor a gas
While it usually accompanies another ailment your car has like a faulty gas tank, fuel line, or broken spark plug, a gas smell could also be an indicator that your fuel filter is bad. However, before you consider this, you’ll want to make sure your gas cap is properly tightened first.
So there you have it. You’ve now got the knowledge needed to be able to know when your fuel filter might need replaced.
Outside of regular maintenance, if you’ve identified there might be a problem, take your car to your favorite mechanic to check for need of replacement. If you’re mechanically inclined, this repair will cost you even less since the part alone should run between $15 and $70 depending on your vehicle. But be warned. Fuel filters are not the easiest part to replace if you’re not a mechanic.
While the repair is fast for a trained professional and is usually included in a classic oil change package, to a not so trained eye, it could turn into a mess. Replacement involves depressurizing the fuel system, and there could be several parts and cables that need to be disconnected and reconnected, then re-pressurizing the fuel system. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, just leave it to the pros. They’ll have you in and out in no time.