A fuel filter is a device that is responsible for removing contaminants from the fuel before it enters the engine. Those contaminants can originate as debris in the fuel tank, dust in the air, or leftover particulates and abrasives from the refinery process. If left unfiltered, these impurities can clog fuel injectors and damage engine components. Diesel fuel, in particular, is prone to contamination.
The filter itself is a small canister with ports on each end that connect to the fuel line coming from the tank. Inside is a pleated material formed into a matrix that captures unwanted particles from the fuel as it passes through.
A dirty or clogged diesel fuel filter will prevent adequate fuel from reaching the fuel injectors and could cause them to clog. You might suspect a bad filter if you notice one or more of the following signs:
In many cases, a technician must take care when servicing the fuel system to ensure that fuel pressure is relieved prior to disconnecting any fuel lines. Once the fuel pressure has been resolved (where applicable), a technician will take the following general steps to replace the fuel filter:
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