The fuel filter helps to clean the fuel before entering the ignition engine. If you refuse to clean the fuel filter for too long, the engine can stop working due to contaminated fuel.
How does the fuel get contaminated? This happens when the fuel filter has dirt, rust, dust particles, and other impurities attached to it, which mix with the fuel and make it highly contaminated.
To clean the fuel filter, you must keep the lawnmower on a flat surface. Then disconnect the fuel pump fuse, negative battery terminal, and fuel lines, and remove the fuel filter. Once done, clean the blocked fuel filter with the help of a good fuel cleaner and reconnect everything to its place.
This article will tell you when the lawnmower’s fuel filter needs to be cleaned and provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean it.
Common signs of blocked fuel filters
If you are unaware of where the fuel filter is located in your lawnmower, you must check it in the fuel tank or on the fuel line pointing to the ignition chamber.
So how to know whether the fuel filter is blocked with dirt or not? You can find this out by looking for some signs.
1. Lawnmower’s engine stops while speeding up
When you speed up the engine, more fuel will require in the ignition chamber.
So if the fuel filter is blocked, the engine’s capacity can drop, and suddenly it can stop working while increasing the lawnmower’s speed.
If you notice such problems, it might be because of blocked fuel filters.
Due to a blocked filter, the fuel will not be able to pass sufficiently to the chamber, which can cause frequent stalling.
2. Misfire on the engine
When the fuel filter is blocked, you can see frequent misfires in the engine.
Misfiring occurs when the ignition chamber doesn’t receive sufficient fuel or receives poor fuel quality.
If you notice that the engine is misfiring quite frequently, then it can be because of a blocked filter and needs to be cleaned immediately.
3. Engine losing its strength
If the ignition chamber has no fuel, the lawnmower’s engine can lose its strength and may stop working.
If you notice the engine is suffering like this, immediately get ready with the tools to clean up the fuel filter.
In some lawnmowers, the dashboard shows an error code whenever the engine goes into a low powering mode.
However, the dashboard is only sometimes accurate.
So it can give incorrect signals too.
You must check the fuel filter if you are confused about why the engine is losing its power.
4. Engine not starting
When the engine doesn’t start for any reason, the first thing that comes to mind is something wrong with the injector or carburetor.
But it doesn’t help and wastes more time in inspecting that.
But a blocked fuel filter can be the reason why the engine is not starting.
Lack of fuel or poor fuel quality doesn’t let your lawnmower’s engine start.
So, check the fuel filters when the engine doesn’t work completely.
5. Foul smell from the fumes
If the bad smell comes from the engine, check whether the fuel filter is clogged or not.
A foul smell comes mostly when the engine runs with contaminated fuel.
The fuel with dirt, rust, and dust particles can be very harmful to the lawnmower, and due to this, the engine produces fumes and smells bad.
6. Identifying the fuel filter by checking
To check whether the filter is blocked, you can identify it yourself.
For identification, blow air on the fuel nozzle as much as possible.
The fuel filter is clean if the air leaks from the fuel nozzle.
But it’s blocked and needs immediate cleaning if it doesn’t leak.
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What type of fuel filter needs cleaning?
The type of fuel filter that needs cleaning depends on the material it is made of.
For example, Filters made up of metals are much easier to clean than other filters.
However, these filters can last up to one year or even more before it requires any cleaning.
But on the other hand, filters made up of nylon or paper cannot be cleaned, so it is best to replace them if it is blocked.
Even if you want to clean paper or nylon filters, you will face many difficulties, as you may change the shape of the filters while doing so, which becomes a waste later.
How do you clean lawnmower fuel filters?
Cleaning your lawnmower’s fuel filter is necessary as it increases the efficiency of filtering the fuel and passing it into the gas chamber.
Now, let’s discuss all the steps to clean the fuel filter:-
1. Place your lawnmower on a plain surface
Before starting the fuel filter cleaning process, you should keep the lawnmower on a plain surface and in an open and well-ventilated place.
Also, wear gloves and preservative clothing to avoid any injury.
2. Disconnect the fuse of the fuel pump
Find the fuse of the fuel pump by looking over the lawnmower’s instruction manual. After finding out, disconnect the fuse.
Then, you should reduce the fuel system pressure.
To reduce it, let the engine run for 1-2 minutes.
When the pressure is reduced, the machine will produce a spluttering sound, and you can turn the engine off.
3. Remove the negative terminal battery
After turning the engine off:
- Open the cover.
- Locate the negative terminal battery.
- Detach the cable using a wrench.
Place the cable on the battery side so that it doesn’t come across with the terminal.
Otherwise, the engine can accidentally start by itself, and the sparks can create gas fumes in the fuel system.
If you are having difficulty finding out which terminal is negative, you must check the mark on the terminals.
For negative, the mark will be (-), and for positive, the mark will be (+).
4. Find out the fuel filter
Then you must find out where the fuel filter locates in your lawnmower. The location is always different in every lawnmower’s model.
So, check the instruction manual of your model to find out.
Normally the fuel filter is located under the lawnmower between the gas tank and the engine, just near the fuel line.
5. Lift your lawnmower
Then use a jack to lift the mower. Jack is the equipment used for lifting the car.
Set the jack under the mower’s jack point, then turn the handle to lift the mower from the ground.
After the mower is lifted, keep the stand under the jack, then lower the machine to place it on the ground.
After setting up the jack on your mower, you should always use a stand for holding it because the jack can’t hold the weight all by itself.
Look at the lawnmower’s manual to find the jack points.
6. Keep a container below the filter to hold the fuel
Before removing the fuel lines from the filter, you should keep a container just below the filter, as the fuel can leak.
With the help of a container, you can store fuel without waste.
7. Remove the clips that hold the fuel line
You will see clips that are holding the fuel line from the filter.
Check the manual where the clips are located in the mower, then remove them.
You will need a screwdriver to pull the clips out from the filters.
So, do it slowly without any hurry.
8. Separate fuel lines from the filter
Separate the fuel lines from the filter by using a wrench.
As the fuel line is attached in a hole, you should slide it off.
When you detach the fuel lines, keep a container below the filter so that any fuel will get stored in that if spilled.
Always wear eyeglasses and gloves while doing this task; otherwise, the fuel can spill into your eyes.
9. Detach the filter
First, unbolt the screws, which help attach the filter from the bracket. After unscrewing, detach the filter.
But before removing it, ensure you remember the right position so that you will reinstall it correctly.
Most fuel filters have labeling attached to them, which helps indicate the correct installation position.
10. Drain the remaining fuel
If there is any remaining fuel left, you should drain it out.
Check for the nozzles, which are always located at the bottom of the filter.
Then, slowly open the nozzle and fill the remaining fuel into the container you used earlier.
11. Use carburetor cleaner and mist the filter
First, buy a spray container with a thin pipe attached to it.
Then fill the container with a carburetor cleaner.
Grab the filter, connect the pipe to the nozzle, and spray one by one slowly in each nozzle.
You can get pressurized carburetor cleaner from any local shop and choose a safe product for cleaning fuel filters.
12. Clean the debris
While spraying, keep a container at the bottom so that the loose debris will spill from each nozzle.
Then spray each nozzle again until and unless all the debris spills out from the filter.
Keep the filter outside in the open air for 1 to 2 hours to let it dry.
13. Reconnect the filter
After the filter dries out completely, observe the correct position and reconnect it back into the bracket.
If you have removed any bolts while removing the filter, then screw it back into the same place.
Then place the fuel lines into the nozzles. Make sure you tightly fix it to avoid fuel leakage.
Also, put the clips back into their place to hold the fuel lines properly.
14. Bring the lawnmower down to the ground and re-attach the battery
If you have used a jack to lift the height of your lawnmower, then first take away the stands and put the lawnmower down.
Then grab a wrench, re-attach the negative terminal battery, and reconnect the fuse of the fuel pump.
15. Restart the engine
After putting the fuse and battery back into the lawnmower, you must check whether the engine is running.
Try to turn the engine on; if it doesn’t, don’t worry because you may have to try it a few times until the engine starts.
Then keep the engine turned on for some minutes.
16. Throw away the unusable fuel
If the fuel is not badly contaminated with dirt and rust, you can put the gas back into the lawnmower’s gas chamber.
But when the fuel is filled with debris, you can fill it in a container and throw it away.
Tips for maintaining the lawnmower filter
- Always purchase bona fide fuel filter- Bona fide filter not only helps the machine perform efficiently but is also long-lasting. This filter doesn’t clog too frequently and helps keep the other parts of the machines healthy, for example- fuel lines, injectors, and carburetor.
Also, this filter always comes with a warranty, so you don’t have to worry about frequent maintenance.
- Use a correct cleaner: Cleaning a blocked filter is one of the common things, but you should ensure they always stay in a proper condition after cleaning it. The best cleaner for fuel filters is a pressurized carburetor cleaner.
- Change the damaged filter completely: If the filter is extremely damaged and you can’t fix it just by cleaning it. Then you should purchase a new one, especially when you notice frequent blockage.
- Frequent checking of the filter: You should check the filter condition frequently to avoid any future damage to the machine. You don’t have to check it after mowing each time, but you must include it when you do a maintenance check of your mower.
Maintaining a clean filter helps to keep the engine healthy.
Also, cleaning depends on the fuel filter you use in your lawnmower.
If the fuel filter is made up of metal, you can clean it without any hesitation, but if it’s made up of paper, replacement is the only option.
The best advice is to prefer replacing the filter than cleaning it as it doesn’t support longevity as the new filter does.
Also, ensure you inspect the fuel filter frequently, as engines need a clean and sufficient amount of fuel to run.