Fuel filters are an essential part of any combustion engine. They protect the engine from any contaminants that might make their way into the fuel system. But what is a fuel filter, and how exactly does it work?
The fuel filter is a simple piece of engineering, relative to the rest of your engine. The filter itself is generally made out of filter paper, which is porous enough to allow fuel to pass through the fuel line but dense enough to block particles. Particles — such as paint chips, dust, dirt, etc. — can accelerate the corrosion or wear of pumps and injectors. Filters collect these particles and protect your engine. Filters are produced by hundreds of manufacturers, such as Air Dog fuel filters, and for thousands of engine types. Ensure that you get the right replacement filter for your engine and fuel type.
Automotive filters are recommended to be replaced every 15,000 miles, or approximately once per year. Most fuel filters are disposable, not reusable. Check the user manual for your engine to make sure that you need to replace the fuel filter and not just clean it. Some fuel filters, especially those found in diesel engines, require more regular maintenance. This could entail things like drainage of a water collection reservoir, which is typically indicated by a sensor.
Because of the disposable nature of the fuel filter, it is tempting to purchase a low-quality fuel filter. However, fuel filters are the first line of defense for protecting the long-term life of your engine. Getting a cheap fuel filter can severely reduce the life of your engine. A high-quality fuel filter will typically last longer.
Your fuel filter protects the highly sensitive components of your engine from abrasive and harsh particles. Understanding and maintaining a quality fuel filter will help your engine live a long and happy life.