Harley Fuel Filter Symptoms

Harley Davidson Fuel Filter Symptoms

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How often have you thought your Harley Davidson fuel filter needs to be swapped? What Harley Davidson fuel filter failure symptoms should you look out for?

Most users of Harley Davidson motorcycles don’t even know what Harley Davidson fuel filter failure entails, let alone understand what to do when a blast of air oozes out of the air filter, and the engine starts to run rough and does a lot of spitting and sputtering.

In this short post, we’ll review important information about Harley Davidson fuel filter symptoms to look out for before your fuel filter fails.

What is a Harley Davidson Fuel Filter?

Just like asking: how is the function of the liver in Mr. A. and Miss X. Liver, whether in an adult or infant, female or male, ill or healthy person performs the same functions. 

Just as the name sounds, a Harley Davidson fuel filter serves as a middleman in your Harley Davidson motorcycle, helping to filter out any impurities, debris, and grit in the gasoline sent from your gas pump to your fuel injectors.

A healthy motorcycle has a properly functional inline fuel filter. Simply put you’re your Harley Davidson motorcycle receives a healthy injection of proper fuel, lacking any form of foreign substances (which are usually impurities), and your motorcycle runs smoothly.

Harley Fuel Filter Failure Symptoms

Your Harley Davidson motorcycle fuel filter may develop as a fault, a failure that often arises from a range of sources, including a spent and dirty fuel tank, clogged fuel lines, counterfeit filter elements, and impure or contaminated fuel.

Ironically, some of the external symptoms that manifest once your Harley Davidson fuel filter fails may however not suggest any of these causes. Yet, you must act fast. Even at that, there are obvious signs you must not ignore but should suspect that a fuel filter needs to be replaced or repaired. This is because changing a bad, faulty, or weak fuel filter keeps your motorcycle injectors clean, makes them last longer, and ensures more power and better gas mileage.

1. Motorcycle Engine fails Start

One obvious symptom to suspect that your Harley Davidson fuel filter is faulty is that your engine will fail to start. It is difficult for fuel pressure to overcome the amount of grit that fills your fuel filter. Impurities in gasoline prevent the fuel pressure to push things and make the engine work. Meanwhile, the engine may crack but won’t start once the fuel filter is dirty.

2. Random cylinder misfire

Another Harley Davidson fuel filter symptom that manifests due to fuel filter failure is that under a heavy load, the engine cylinder starts to misfire. Although this may indicate some error code, alternatively, the motorcycle might stutter or spit a bit going up a hill under load.

This is usually due to some amount of extra fuel that is getting to one or more of the injectors, causing the cylinder to misfire. Note that a clogged Harley Davidson motorcycle fuel filter would cause random engine misfire only when the engine is under load and not when it’s stationary.

3. Stuttering Engine Problem

If your Harley Davidson motorcycle starts normally and works for some time and intermittently stops when under load, it is an obvious sign that your fuel filter is dirty. It is possible that your motorcycle starts normally, and you can drive for some miles, but due to loss of power, the engine frequently stops along the way. The more often the engine stalls, the smaller the amount of gas being sent to the engine, and this is largely due to a large number of impurities in your fuel filter.

4. Erratic or abnormal RPM Reading

If your Harley Davidson motorcycle engine idles roughly, which often manifests in a drop from the normal revolution per minute (RPM), your fuel filter might need to be replaced. Typically, the normal RPM for a functional Harley Davidson motorcycle is between 400 and 800 RPM. Once you discover that your tachometer displays inconsistent readings for your engine speed, then there is a possible fault with your fuel filter.


Don’t wait until your Harley Davidson Motorcycle shuts down before you have regular mechanical and electrical checks. The fuel filter is a critical part of your engine, and you don’t have to wait until it is clogged with debris before you clean it.  As soon as you notice certain issues with your engine that are traceable to the fuel filter, try to replace the filter even if it has not spent the recommended number of years or months. This will save you unnecessary spending or a total breakdown of your engine. 

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Harley Davidson Fuel Filter Symptoms

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