You fill up your gas tank, but then what happens? The gas in your tank feeds a series of tiny explosions inside your engine to power your vehicle. But before it can do that, your fuel system not only has to move the gasoline from point A (the tank) to point B (the engine), it also has to clean it, pressurize it and serve it up in specific doses delivered as a mist to be efficiently sparked and burned by the engine to move your day forward.
Your gas tank is part of what is known as your fuel system. That system is made up of:
- The gas tank or fuel storage reservoir;
- Fuel lines or hoses to carry fuel from the gas tank to the engine;
- Fuel filters to capture any dirt or grit that may be in the fuel to prevent the fuel injectors from clogging;
- Fuel pumps that push the fuel past the filters and through the injectors;
- Fuel injectors with tiny nozzles to shoot a metered fine spray of fuel into the cylinder;
- A spark plug that ignites the fuel, causing a tiny explosion to power the crankshaft to turn the engine.
According to the Car Care Council, the fuel system not only transports the fuel and strains out the bad stuff, it also has a pressure regulator to controls the fuel
How Often Should I Replace My Fuel Filter?
Check your vehicle owner’s manual. Older vehicles once recommended every 20-40,000 miles but today can vary based on year, make and model. With the cleaner fuels today, fuel filters last longer, with replacement required when mileage is upwards of 60,000 plus. Though there’s no engine code or light to notify you about a clogged fuel filter, it can be the reason your “check engine” light starts to glow.