Automotive Maintenance And Detailing


Automotive Maintenance And Detailing

What is Engine fuel filter and How is important to your car?.

The fuel filter of the car is a common and necessary part that protects your car engine. The main purpose is to protect the fuel injectors from damaging by the particles in the fuel. A fuel filter is not a lifetime auto part. Every car owner needs to understand its functionality and have it changed on a specific period. Otherwise, the filter will be clogged up by the dirt and particles from dirty fuel, both gasoline and diesel. The dirt may pass through the filter and fill up the fuel injectors nozzles. The car runs with the dirty injectors will cause the problems to the engine. The obvious problems you can find are something like lose power, uneven idling speed, darker fume, engine stalling, shaking, and so on.

It is not a part you can overlook. This cheap part can lead to different symptoms of engine failure. You or the mechanic guy may pay a lot of time and resources to find the cause. We are sure that it is a pain to pay for the expensive fuel injectors despite we can protect them with only a few bucks of the fuel filter.


Types of fuel filters

The filter has a different design between gasoline and diesel engine.   The gasoline filter is just a normal steel barrel or case with an inlet and an outlet tubes, the filter medium is permanently install inside.   The diesel filter is another more complicated design as diesel fuel tank has the water condensation when the tank cool at night.   It is because it has no vapour pressure to displace air .  The water will mix with the fuel.  The filter then need to have water drain valve at the bottom of its case.

The filter medium of diesel filter is not too much difference from the gasoline’s.  The below pictures show you the differences.

The fuel filter, gasoline type
The fuel filter, diesel type

The location of fuel filter.

The vehicle both gasoline and diesel are installing the fuel filter between a fuel line from the fuel tank to the engine injectors. Some car model installs this filter inside the fuel tank which you may find difficulty to replace it with a DIY job. The experienced mechanic and tools are needed to use in this job. They will have to remove and lower the tank from the car then access to the internal fuel system to remove the filter. However, in some cars, you could access the internal part inside the tank by taking off the rear seat and open the tank cap from the car floor.

Some car model installs a filter in the engine bay on the fuel pipe to the injectors.  For a DIY job, you might not find the information in the car’s owner manual since this is a maintenance job that needs the mechanic guy to do. Nevertheless, as we explained, it is easy to locate the filter.

The fuel flow direction on a fuel filter barrel

how often do we change a filter?.

The carmakers have a schedule to change this filter, maybe every 30,000 – 50,000 miles of a maintenance interval, depending on car model or engine type. You could find a maintenance schedule in the car service book. The table will show how many mileages of a car needs to replace or just check the part. For the used car without a service book, you could check from the internet or the car forum, which always has all the information about car models from the guru.


how to replace it by yourselves?.

We will talk about the filter installed on the fuel line as we believe you will not lower the tank at home if you are not an advanced DIY guy.   And you may not access the tank from the back seat without a technical sheet shows how the find and remove filter installed in the dark and narrow fuel tank. The filter outside the fuel tank is something like a transparent plastic or aluminum barrel with the tubes on both sides or two tubes on one side. It has a printed arrow on the barrel to show the direction of fuel flow.  You need to keep the head of an arrow point to the engine and the tank on the other side. It is the right flow direction. 

The modern vehicle has the couplings to connect a filter to the fuel pipes or rubber hoses. It is easy to install, just push it in and securely hold in place. However, uninstalling is something more difficult, you may need a little plier to ply the coupling off or you can buy the coupling removal set if you want to invest with it and for the next replacement. Meanwhile, a lot of filters have a more easy installation by using the clamps to hold the rubber hoses to the filter tubes. You can screw in and out with a screwdriver. 

The car fuel tank removal for changing fuel filter
The plastic car fuel filter with the rubber fuel hoses.

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