What Is A Fuel Filter And Why Is It Important?

The fuel filter is one of the most important components of your vehicle’s fuel system. If you’re wondering what a fuel filter is, you came to the right place. We’ll discuss what a fuel filter is and why it’s important.

What Does A Fuel Filter Look Like?

OEM fuel filter

Depending on your Mazda model, you would find the fuel filter in one of the following places:

  • In the fuel pump
  • In the fuel line near the engine
  • Under the vehicle near the fuel tank

For example, the fuel filter for 1999-2005 Miata models is under the vehicle near the fuel tank. If you’re not sure where the fuel filter is on your car, check your owner’s manual.

The fuel filter resembles a small soup can. Some fuel filter housings are black, while others are silver (bare metal). Inside the fuel filter housing is a filter that uses paper media. A fuel filter comes with two openings:

  1. One opening that allows fuel to enter
  2. One opening that allows fuel to exit

The fuel filter is a simple and straightforward part.

How A Fuel Filter Works

The fuel filter keeps impurities from reaching the fuel injectors. Fuel can have many different impurities, including:

  • Dirt
  • Debris
  • Rust particles

The fuel injectors need to stay clean in order to work properly. That means they need to get pure gasoline. That’s where the fuel filter comes in. The fuel filter is somewhere between the fuel tank and the engine. It’s set up so that all the fuel runs through the filter before making it to the engine. The process is quite simple:

  1. The fuel pump draws the fuel out of the fuel tank.
  2. The fuel flows through the fuel filter.
  3. The fuel filter media traps impurities in the fuel.
  4. Now clean, the fuel leaves the filter and flows into the engine.

Why A Failing Fuel Filter Is A Big Deal

When a fuel filter fails, the fuel injectors gets dirty fuel. The fuel pump also has to work extra hard to overcome the dirty filter. When your injectors are dirty, your engine won't be able to run well. Also, if the fuel filter begins clogging up, it will restrict fuel flow to the engine. This causes engine performance problems.

Signs Of A Failing Fuel Filter

If you have an older car, you should replace the fuel filter every 2 years (or 30K miles). If you have a newer car, you can wait longer to replace the fuel filter. Most people just wait until they experience the symptoms of a failing fuel filter to replace it. The symptoms include:

  • Hard starts
  • Rough idling
  • Loss of power while driving
  • Poor fuel economy

Replacing Your Fuel Filter

Mazda fuel filter

Image Credit: RX7Club

If you’ve determined that your fuel filter has gone bad, it’s time to figure out how to replace it. Some fuel filters are easy to get at and replace, and others are difficult to replace. It's best to search online for help on how replace a fuel filter for your specific vehicle.

Before you can roll up your sleeves and replace the fuel filter, you need to get a new fuel filter. We offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM Mazda fuel filters. Look up your Mazda in our catalog to see how much money you can save on a replacement fuel filter!