The Fuel Filter
A fuel filter is a filter in the fuel line that screens out dirt and rust particles from the fuel, normally made into cartridges containing a filter paper. They are found in most car engines.
Fuel filters serve a very important role in today’s modern, tight-tolerance engine fuel systems. Unfiltered fuel can contain several kinds of contamination, for example paint chips and dirt that has been knocked into the tank while filling, or rust caused by moisture in a steel tank. If these contaminations are not removed before the fuel enters the system, they can cause accelerated wear and failure of the fuel pump and injectors, due to the abrasive action of the particles on the high-precision components used in modern injection systems. Fuel filters also improve performance, as the fewer contaminants present in the fuel, the more efficiently it can be burnt.
Fuel filters need to be maintained at regular intervals. This is usually a case of simply disconnecting the filter from the fuel line and replacing it with a new one, although some specially designed filters can be cleaned and reused many times. If a filter is not replaced regularly it may become clogged with contaminants and can cause a restriction in the fuel flow, causing a decrease in engine performance as the engine struggles to draw enough fuel to continue running normally.