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Driving Economically

Apr 22, 2006 - 11:50:00 PM - Print

Fuel Filters and Gas Mileage

The current state of high gas prices has many drivers scrambling around for ways to improve their cars’ gas mileage. There is no simple fix for the outrageous fuel costs that are plaguing the automotive industry. However, simple as it may seem, the best way to get the most for your gas buck is to maintain the systems of the vehicle.

The better condition of the car, the better it will perform, and the better it will effectively use its fuel. Car owners often hear about how important proper maintenance is for their cars. Considering what a badly maintained car will cost in ineffectively used fuel, this is definitely the time to take care of the little things.

An often overlooked filter that needs to be replaced at appropriate intervals is the fuel filter. The fuel filter does exactly what its name implies. It filters the gas as it travels through the car to protect the engine and filter impurities that may damage the car’s systems. The problem with a dirty fuel filter is that it allows those impurities like dirt and rust, to enter into the fuel system.

This blocks the gas from doing its job correctly and it is easy to see how that can cost big bucks at the gas pumps. The engine is using more fuel than necessary to do the same job. Other issues that arise when dealing with a dirty fuel filter besides a decrease in fuel efficiency are problems with the engine stalling and refusing to restart, or a serious lack of power from the engine on the highway and a low idle that severely limits the vehicle’s pick up. It is a wise idea to change or have the fuel filter in your car changed once a year or every 30,000 miles.

As previously mentioned, a fuel filter change is an important maintenance process that will greatly improve your car’s performance and gas usage. On a lot of makes and models this process can be time consuming and frustrating, especially if you have never done it before. If you decide to take the plunge yourself, the vehicle owners’ manual will be a huge help in locating the filter and provide tips for the best method to change it. Read through the instructions first so you can have all of the necessary tools ready when you need them.

Many websites are helpful with this type of car maintenance project too. If you are short on time or just don’t want to be bothered with performing this service yourself, find a reputable mechanic or the resident motor head friend, and enlist their help. The money you spend to hire a professional is minimal compared to the money you will save in gas.

Taking care of having your car’s fuel filter changed and its fuel system properly cleaned will potentially save you a lot of hassle and a lot of money at the filling station. Besides those benefits, the car will run better and last longer.





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