Fuel Filter

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Fuel Filter
Fuel Filter

Fuel filters are designed to screen out contaminants, which may be floating in the fuel such as dirt, paint chips, rust, and water in the fuel. These contaminants can damage the fuel lines, carburetor, fuel injector, and engine. Most of these pollutants enter the fuel when gas is being put into the vehicle and the cap is off. Things such as rust or chips of metal can come off of the gas tank or metal contacts, which the fuel flows past. Fuel filters are commonly made out of paper, nylon, plastic, and steel mesh.

Most fuel filters are placed directly in the path of the fuel injection system. Filters that are placed directly in the fuel line are typically a small metal container. This small metal container houses the filter and does not allow fuel to flow past, until it has been through the filter. Having a filter that comes in its own housing allows for easy installation. Some vehicles use a fuel filter which is located inside the fuel tank. These filters are harder to remove and install, which is why they are designed to last longer and store more pollutants.

Fuel filters should be replaced regularly, depending on the type of system installed on the vehicle. Some filters are designed to be washed and reused many times. If a fuel filter is not changed regularly, it can become clogged with contaminants, and can cause a restriction in fuel flow. A restriction in fuel flow can cause a drop in engine performance, because the engine would have a hard time maintaining enough fuel to run normally.

Some fuel filters are better designed than others to collect water, that may be lingering or built up in the fuel line. These filters are usually a bowl shape,in order for the water to be collected at the bottom, where it is released, using a valve. Most vehicles have sensors to detect dangerous amounts of water in the fuel because of its harmful effects on an engine. Keeping water out of the engine is especially important on diesel engines, because they use the diesel fuel to lubricate all of the internal parts.

Some vehicles use a pre-tank filter, which is located near the gas cap on the vehicle. This filter is typically funnel shaped, and is made out of metal or plastic mesh. This mesh is designed to catch larger particles when the cap is open. Blocking larger particles from being pumped into the system prevents clogging and ripping of the fuel lines.

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