BMW Fuel Filters
Lately i’ve noticed a trend in the vehicles that have been coming in for service – dirty fuel filters. Now, when I say “dirty” I don’t mean a “Hmm, that fuel is slightly discolored” kind of dirty. I mean an “I can’t believe this car made it to the shop without breaking down” kind of dirty.
Check out this short video clip that we made here at German Auto Tech. As you can see, the fuel is coming out almost completely black. Had this been left unchecked, the owner could have damaged the car’s engine or ended up stranded on the side of the road.
Whether you drive a Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, or a car of another make, you will eventually have to change the filter. So what are the risks that come with dirty fuel filters?
The first and most immediate effect is increased strain on your engine. Before the fuel can go from your gas tank to your spark plugs, it has to pass through the fuel filter. The dirtier your filter is, the harder it will be for the fuel to pass through. This means that you will have to press harder on the gas pedal in order to accelerate, but because the fuel filter is so dirty, your injection pump will have to strain to push the fuel through, which creates excess engine wear and tear.
A secondary effect is decreased gas mileage. As your filter gets older and dirtier, it becomes less efficient at keeping dirty fuel out of your engine. Dirty fuel will not combust as efficiently, meaning that you’re now getting less miles per gallon.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about fuel filters, you’re probably wondering if you should change your own. In this case, I hesitate to tell you how often to change your fuel filter because there are so many variables that come into play.
- Do you use fuel cleaners / additives to clean your tank?
- Do you use the lowest octane fuel available or the highest?
- Do you regularly run your car to almost empty, which lets in more grit from your gas tank?
As you can see, there are too many factors for me to be able to give you a one size fits all, “Change your fuel filter after XX,000 miles.”
The rule of thumb that I will give you is this: If you’ve never thought about your fuel filter until now, then it’s probably time to change it.
If you’ve noticed that your car doesn’t seem to be running as strong and would like German Auto Tech inspect your fuel filter, or anything else for that matter, then you can schedule an appointment or call us at 901-492-1095. If you found this article helpful, then please consider subscribing to our newsletter.