Thousands of cars set to suffer breakdowns this winter due to clogged fuel filters

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Fuel filter pumps can become damaged if drivers consistently make errors when filling up their vehicles which can cause the parts to fail at any time. Some road users have been caught out while driving 70mph on some of the fastest roads in the UK leading to a major safety risk.

An Express.co.uk reader fell foul of the issues after admitting to never topping up their fuel tank to the very top.

Instead, the driver simply topped up £20 when they could afford to, which can lead to dangerous consequences.

The damage caused their car to cut out on the motorway, with the driver forced to guide their car onto the hard shoulder.

Although the driver managed to avoid all the other vehicles and road hazards, some motorists may not be so fortunate in a similar situation.

Experts at AutoProtect have revealed that running a car on an almost empty tank can lead to “internal issues”.

They warn that petrol can collect debris which can then “clog up” components when it is pumped around the vehicle.

This could cause issues for key parts such as your fuel pump which can eventually cause the car to seize.

Drivers may need to replace the fuel pump if it becomes damaged which can cost road user sup to £200.

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AutoProtect said: “Consistently driving your car on low fuel can cause a number of internal issues for your vehicle over time,” the site explains.

“Petrol in an empty fuel tank can collect debris that has built up over time and when this is pumped through your vehicle it can clog up various components such as your fuel pump and filter.

“A low tank can also lead to the vehicle pumping air, which may also cause issues for your fuel pump and other components that require fuel to function.”

The RAC has revealed they attend around 800 diesel fuel filter breakdowns every month.

However, they warn this can increase to around £1,500 a month during the winter months when cars are under more strain.

Drivers may be able to diagnose their fuel filter problem through a series of common symptoms and warning signs.

Having trouble starting a car engine is the most common sign of a clogged fuel filter alongside issues accelerating.

Frequent idling and sputtering are also common issues alongside a strong smell.

If your engine is regularly misfiring or is not performing to its usual standard, drivers should get the car checked for a potential fuel filter issue.

Auto Protect adds: “The consequences of running out of fuel are a sudden loss of power to your engine, potentially on a busy road.

“This in itself is dangerous. Now consider having to pull over without the use of your engine, if you’re on a hill or in the middle lane with no hard shoulder it’s impossible.

“Being stranded in your car is always a potentially dangerous situation to be in and not one worth risking.”

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