There are so many maintenance points of a car, and cleaning your fuel filter is just one of them. This is the part of the car that gets rid of gasoline impurities from the fuel pump before the fuel goes into the engine. Just how do you know if your fuel filter is clogged? Here are the common signs so you can get it cleaned before it causes a severe problem.

Car Stalls or Doesn't Start

The engine needs clean fuel at a constant flow. When the filter becomes clogged, it stops the fuel from getting past and into the engine. This leads to the car stalling or just not starting at all, because the engine doesn't have anything to power it. The stalling will start first, but can be easily overlooked in some cars—such as manuals if you think you may have mistimed the foot coming off the clutch. Not starting at all is a sign that the filter will need to be completely replaced immediately.

Struggling to Accelerate

Your car won't get the fuel that it needs when you put your foot on the gas pedal. Rather than speeding up consistently and easily, the car will shudder and suffer from what is known as "slowdown syndrome." It may struggle to get up to some speeds at all, because it's not getting the needed gas.

Sputtering While Driving

When you drive at slower speeds, you may notice your exhaust starts sputtering. Your car may jerk and struggle to keep moving. While idle, it may just cut out completely. This can all happen even when the filter is only slightly clogged, because the fuel quality and amount of it are being affected. You may find that cleaning the filter is enough to repair this problem. In more severe cases, you'll need to replace it.

The Check Engine Light Turns On

Watch out for lights on the dash. The check engine light can turn on for a variety of reasons, and a clogged fuel filter is one of those reasons. This is because your car just isn't getting enough power, and sends signals to the electronics that there is an issue.

If you allow the filter to remain clogged, you will get to the point where you can't start the car at all. You could even cause damage to the fuel tank. Maintain this part of your car to keep yourself moving at the speed you want.

Contact a diesel repair service for more help.