Fuel filters serve much the same purpose as oil and air filters, but they are specifically designed to protect your vehicle's gas tank, fuel lines and fuel injector or carburetor.
Fuel filters are installed on gas- or diesel-powered vehicles to protect the fuel system from becoming damaged by foreign pollutants such as dirt, water and rust, which can cause performance degradation and eventual engine failure.
An in-line filter is attached directly in the path of the fuel injection system.
An element/cartridge filter is attached to an external housing that allows fuel to divert from the fuel injection system, through the filter and back into the injection system.
Filters also can be located in the fuel tank itself. According to syntheticwarehouse.com, these filters do not need to be replaced as frequently as other types.
According to pickyguide.com, a primary filter does not come standard with new vehicles and must be purchased separately. This type of filter must be attached externally to the fuel injection system and comes with a variety of features, such as the ability to serve as a water separator as well as a filter.
A secondary filter is located directly in the intake of the carburetor system and can also be housed in a canister that is mounted externally to diesel engines.
Pre-tank filters are made of a funnel-shaped metal or plastic mesh and are located where fuel is poured into a vehicle. These are useful for catching large debris when fuel is poured, rather than pumped, into the vehicle.
Check and replace your fuel filters regularly to maximize your engine's life and performance.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Reg Mckenna
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