The fuel filter is typically located between the fuel tank and the fuel pump and is tasked with removing any impurities in the fuel that could clog your fuel injectors or otherwise damage your engine. Often sporadic shudders in your car or problems starting your car are symptoms of clogged fuel filters. Replacing the fuel filter often requires specialized tools and involves disabling the fuel pump to relieve the pressurized fuel in the lines. Driving your car with a clogged fuel filter forces your fuel pump to work harder to get fuel to the engine, which can result in untimely fuel pump failure.
There are a couple of easy steps to prolong the life of your fuel filter: use quality fuel and keep your fuel tank full. Quality fuel has fewer impediments that end up clogging your fuel filter. Keeping your fuel tank full limits moisture from the air from condensing on the sides of the fuel tank on cold mornings. Condensed moisture rusts the fuel tank from the inside out and causes rust sediments to collect at the bottom of the fuel tank. These sediments can end up in the fuel filter.