Genuine Peugeot Fuel Filter
Dirt is the deadly enemy of a diesel engine, and it comes in many forms. While nobody would deliberately put a handful of sand in an engine. The truth is that you could be doing something very similar every time you add or change lubricants, fill the fuel tank or just start the engine. That’s why there are an oil, fuel and air filter on every engine, and why using the right filter for each is critically important. And the job of a filter is more complicated than you might think.
What Happens to the Fuel Filter
Abrasive contaminants are literally everywhere in the environment. Some, like small metal particles, grinding swarf and paint residues may be introduced or left in the engine when it’s assembled. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask engine manufacturers about their assembly plant. And there contamination control programs when you’re comparing vendors.
Fuel and lubricants are another often overlooked source of contamination. Water, either dissolved or in solution, is a serious concern with stored diesel fuel. Dirt and other particulates from many sources, including airborne dirt and dust that enter tanks through vents and breathers. Are almost certainly present in any stored fuels and lubricants.
They may be clean when they leave the refinery. But it’s extremely likely that they aren’t clean at the point of use on industrial and construction sites. At that point, they have probably passed through pipelines, been delivered by trucks. Then stored in on-site tanks and flowed through pumps, hoses, nozzles, and any number of other devices before getting into the engine.
Of course, the air itself is far from clean in most of the places a diesel engine works. Dust and dirt are a commonplace on construction job sites, farms, and even stationary engine locations.
Even the engine itself is a source of contaminants. Bearings, crankshafts, pistons and other moving parts release microscopic metal particles as part of normal operating wear. Dust enters through worn seals and broken breathers. And, even maintenance parts like new filters can introduce contaminants. If they aren’t left in the original protective packaging until installed.
Diesel fuel pumps, injectors and nozzles all are manufactured to extremely close tolerances. Often measured in just a few microns. Abrasive particles in the fuel can easily damage these components and others leading to poor starting. Increased fuel consumption, reduced engine power and ultimately component failure.
The fuel filter’s main role is to clean the fuel to prevent this damage. But its secondary role as a water separator is almost as important. Water contamination in diesel fuel causes poor fuel burn, reduced power, and cold spots. In addition, as well as corrosion of sensitive components including injectors and fuel pumps that also impact engine performance. Abrasive wear of fuel injectors is the number one reason for premature replacement. Effective filtration is the best way to prevent wear.
A typical fuel system returns unused fuel back to the tank. After that, a fuel filter is constantly having fuel cycled through it. In addition, fuel filter passes around 1.5 litres of fuel per minute, circulating 45,000 litres of fuel every 500 hours of service life.
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