The right amount of fuel has to be delivered to an automotive engine at a constant rate. This fuel has to be free of dirt and contaminants in order to provide the energy needed to fire each of the pistons. When passing through the fuel system, the gasoline or diesel mixture has to be clean and pure. Once the injectors on an engine are clogged with dirt and other foreign particulates, the performance will suffer, causing hesitation and stalling.
To combat this problem, automotive manufacturers placed fuel filters in the lines supplying the motor with gasoline. These help to capture minute specks of dirt and other matter than are not conducive to optimum performance of any motor. They have to be replaced on a regular schedule that has been established by the engineers at the auto companies in order to maintain the best fuel efficiency of the auto. T his small but vital components can mean the difference between cruising along the highway with a perfectly humming motor, and sitting stalled on the same roadway, awaiting a tow truck.
Fuel filters tend to get clogged over time as particulates are captured, leading to poor acceleration and declining performance. If they are in extremely poor condition, the car’s engine may not even start since it can’t get any fuel.
Auto buffs know that every vehicle has some type of filter used to remove dirt and other foreign matter. These devices actually date back to the Second World War, when gasoline storage containers used a filter system that was integrated into the unit to keep sand and other types of particles out of the fuel that was used for the heavy machines of the battle groups. Most fuel filters will be easy to locate on a vehicle, but if there is some confusion, or it is hard to determine which device is actually the filter, the dealership can be contacted, a local mechanic may be consulted or many times it will be indicated in the owner’s manual.
With a late model car, the location of the fuel filter is typically near the fuel tank since the vehicle will have fuel injectors installed instead of the old style carburetors. The device will typically feature either a screw on connection or be an in-line type.
On a classic automobile, the fuel is supplied to the aforementioned carburetor in lieu of the fuel injectors now used today. In most of these cases the fuel filter is typically found inside a special fitting near the carburetor unit underneath the hood. This is usually a small filter that fits inside the casing as opposed to the screw in variety that goes right into the carburetor. Occasionally another location will be found between the fuel pump and the carburetor, since some manufacturers tried this method for a few of their vehicles. It is relatively easy to spot this model because the container holding the filter will be larger than the fuel line itself and has connections made of short rubber hoses with clamps attached to them. This is also more common with the imported brands, which may actually have another hose that brings gasoline vapors right back to the gas tank.
A diesel engine has its own method and this is to have a housing somewhere under the engine compartment. Once found, this is easily changed over since the filter is simply a replacement part that can be found at most reputable auto supply shops. The filters for diesel motors also serve another purpose, and that is to trap water before it reaches the engine, so these containers have a small drain that can be used to let out the water that has built up.
It doesn’t matter the make or model of vehicle that is being driven, a new fuel filter can mean the difference between optimum engine performance and a sputtering, hesitant one. This should be obvious to anybody interested in maintaining their vehicle in a proper fashion. Proper auto care is simply a matter of following the manufacturer’s directions and following the maintenance schedule that has been established.