Diesel Fuel Filters Basics
The advancement of engine technology is often the determinant of filter design in vehicles.
Modern petrol and diesel fuel systems are manufactured to tolerances of less than two microns (μm) and perform under immense pressure. For the case of diesel engines, fuel does not just combust to create power; it also lubricates moving parts in high-pressure fuel pump and injectors. Fuel that is inadequately filtered of contaminants can cause catastrophic problems for the fuel system in the long run.
TINY PART OF A BIG PROBLEM
Impurities from service station refills and corrosion in metal fuel tanks are ever-present and can ruin a modern fuel system. With such tiny tolerances, even the smallest particle can cause damage to the injector pintle causing a distortion in spray pattern. This in turn affects combustion efficiency, fuel consumption, idle stability and emissions.
UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS
Diesel fuel systems need additional filtration on top of removing abrasive contaminants. As condensation can take place in the fuel tank, water molecules may be suspended in the diesel or form an emulsion which can be problematic for the system.
Without correct filtration, water can corrode components within the pump and injectors. Hence, Blue Print diesel fuel filters are made with a hydrophobic coalescing material which allows fuel to pass through whilst retaining the water. The separated water forms droplets that collect at the bottom of the filter canister which should be drained periodically as part of routine maintenance.
NOTHING FUN ABOUT THE FUNGI
Diesel is an organic liquid that provides nutrients for certain species of fungi. As fungal spores naturally occur in air, they can contaminate the diesel system if not properly filtered out.
Fungi tend to grow in warm and humid conditions and the modern fuel system provides optimum conditions for fungal growth. Many diesel systems today continually circulate and filter fuel between the tank and the engine, returning warm diesel to the tank and create a perfect environment for fungal bloom. This leads to fungal waste products that clog fuel lines. The best solution to this issue is regular maintenance using a quality filter that will remove water molecules from the fuel and prevent fungal formation in the long run.