Fuel Filter Components

Summary:The fuel system is the heart of your vehicle, delivering the gasoline or diesel ...
The fuel system is the heart of your vehicle, delivering the gasoline or diesel fuel your engine needs to run. But like the vascular system in your body, it is vulnerable to clogs and blockages. This is why it is so important to maintain and replace your fuel filter. The fuel filter keeps dirt and debris from damaging sensitive components in the fuel line, ensuring your engine gets the clean, smooth flow of fuel it needs to perform at peak efficiency.

The Filter Components
The most important part of any fuel filter is the filtration media. This is either built into a filter cartridge and called a filter element or it is housed in its own metal housing and is called a spin-on type. Regardless of which design you have, the filtration media is capable of catching particles as small as one micron in size. This allows for optimum performance and extends the life of your fuel pump and injectors.

These filters are often installed in fuel pumps and carburetors as well as other locations in the gas tank and fuel lines, ensuring dirt is not being delivered to these critical areas of your engine. They are also a critical component in demanding Outdoor Power Equipment and power sports engines, as they need to capture fine levels of contamination to prevent damage to these delicate components.

There are two types of fuel filters: wire and paper. Wire filters use a metal wire mesh or woven monofilament plastic to remove solid contaminants from the fuel stream. Paper fuel filters, on the other hand, use a filter medium made of a nonwoven material such as polymer resin treated cellulose or polyester felt sheets. Both types of fuel filters have a similar end cap that supports the filter media, holds pressure inside, and ensures leak prevention.

Fuel filters can become plugged with organic waste, mixed dirt, and water particles, causing your fuel pump to malfunction and your engine to run poorly. To prevent this, the filtration media must have a pore structure designed to meet your engine specifics. A more open filter may extend the time before plugging, but will allow unwanted contaminants to pass downstream and impact other, more expensive fuel system components.

In addition to fuel filters, there are a number of additional fuel system components that are available to enhance performance. These include fuel additives that depress the pour point and cold filter plugging points of diesel fuels, as well as depress the cloud point of kerosene. These products keep wax crystals from forming in the fuel filter, and protect your engine from damage.