all you have to know

all you have to know

You’ll be tired of hearing that maintenance It is essential to preserve the useful life of the vehicle. Changing the oil, checking the spark plugs or checking the tires are the most common tasks. While it is true that most owners follow the manufacturer’s inspection guidelines, some components such as the fuel filter can be overlooked.

The gasoline filter it fulfills an essential function in a car engine. We have talked to you about the oil filter, the air filter and even the particle filter, so this time we will deal with questions related to the gasoline filter. Do you know what its function is? Are you clear when to replace it? Would you know where to place it in a vehicle.

Don’t worry, here we explain all the keys.

What is the function of the gasoline filter?

Gasoline is a type of fuel that, as you know, can contain impurities. These impurities accumulate in the tank and are even introduced through the dispenser at the time of refueling. It is said that dust, resins or debris accumulated in gasoline are one of the main enemies of a car engine, especially for injectors.

Fuel filter

The function of the fuel filter is retain fuel impurities, in order to preserve the integrity of the engine. The gasoline filter decants the unwanted particles through a sieve, which is made up of a treated cellulose. The filter is housed inside a plastic casing, although for engines with high injection pressures it is usually a metal casing.

Where is this filter located?

The location of the fuel filter may vary depending on the manufacturer’s preferences. In general, these are usually located in the engine compartment, in the car underbody or, in some specific cases, in the fuel tank. Finding them is easy, since, as we have mentioned, they are usually found in a cylindrical metal or plastic casing.

If you have doubts about how to find it, the ideal is to look at the user manual. It must be taken into account that vehicles that have a submerged fuel pump have other special filter in the warehouse. This, whose sieve is less thick, performs the function of settling the thickest impurities, in addition to working together with the main gasoline filter.

How often do you have to change the gasoline filter?

The fuel filter replacement interval will always be stipulated in the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines. These are usually indicated in the user manual, along with oil changes, air filters or spark plugs, for example. The general rule of thumb is that the fuel filter should be replaced approximately every 60,000 km or four years.

all you have to know

If you have questions about when your vehicle will turn, contact a qualified professional. The fuel filter that is located in the tank, together with the fuel pump, does not usually require maintenance. In fact, he is thinking so last the life of the vehicle, unless the mechanic deems it convenient to replace it.

How to know if the filter is in bad condition?

If you’ve lost count of when you last changed your fuel filter, there are some clues to whether it is already needed. If the fuel filter is clogged, not enough fuel reaches the engine, so we will notice that it does not behave as it should.

To help you, Common symptoms of a bad fuel filter are:

  • Engine won’t start or is hard to start: if the filter becomes clogged, the fuel flow is limited, so not enough gasoline reaches the combustion chamber. Difficulty starting will be one of the main symptoms, in addition to noticing a strong smell of gasoline and black smoke in the exhaust.
  • Tremors at idle: it is likely that with the engine running and the vehicle stopped you will notice some spasms. This is due to the intermittent interruption of the fuel flow, as the filter is clogged.
  • Power loss: If the fuel supply is cut, it also reduces the engine power. You will notice it especially in overtaking or in high power demands. Keep in mind that the lack of benefits at times when it is required can be a serious risk of accident.
  • High fuel consumption: if the consumption figure is higher than usual, it is likely that the filter is in poor condition. Due to low pressure in the combustion chamber, gasoline does not burn properly. As a result, the driver notices a lack of power, so he presses more on the accelerator pedal. In this case, the engine receives more gasoline that does not burn and that ends up being expelled through the exhaust.

all you have to know

How to change the gas filter?

Replacing the fuel filter can be a delicate job. If an item is not positioned correctly, it could lead to a fuel leak. This leak could end up setting the vehicle on fire, so it is best to contact a qualified professional.

If despite this you are a complete handyman, the steps to change the gasoline filter are:

  1. De-prime the fuel circuit. To do this, you can disconnect the pump, if it is easily accessible, or disconnect the fuse from the circuit. Right afterwards you try to start the vehicle, in such a way that the fuel in the lines is consumed. When after starting the vehicle it has stopped, it means that we have lowered the fuel circuit.
  2. Prepare a tray to avoid leaving stains. Keep in mind that when you remove the filter, the lines will have gasoline residue on them, so there may be leaking. Carry out the work in an area free of sun and with moderate temperatures, in addition to always having the engine cold. Remember that if fuel comes into contact with a hot part, combustion can start.
  3. Locate the fuel filter. As we have said, it is usually located in the engine compartment or under the vehicle. Once found, disassemble its clamping mechanism. In many cases it is fixed by a clamp, which has a screw that adjusts it. In other cases it is located in a container, so you will have to loosen its screws. Once we have it disassembled, remove the old filter and always store it in the appropriate container.
  4. Now it’s time to prepare the new filter. To do this, remove the packaging from it and examine that it has no damage. The vast majority are protected by safety clips, which do not allow their fastening elements to deform. Remove the clips and check what position it should be placed in. Normally, the mounting direction is indicated by arrows, so there is usually no loss. Make no mistake, because if it is mounted upside down you can end up with a serious breakdown.
  5. Mount the new filter in the proper position. In many cases it can have special gaskets, which must be lubricated with a little fuel. Right after, place the elements that hold it and tighten the screws. Make sure everything is properly assembled and that there are no elements that hang down.
  6. Start the vehicle again to re-prime the fuel circuit. In engines with an electric pump, by switching on and off the circuit receives fuel. Keep in mind that it will take a bit to start, but it is normal in these cases. Once we have the engine running, for safety, check that there are no fuel leaks.

Why is it important to change the gasoline filter?

Changing the fuel filter, per the manufacturer’s guideline, is essential for three reasons:

  • Extend the service life of the engine– A clogged fuel filter can damage not only the injection system, but other important components. Keep in mind that a properly maintained engine is an engine with less chance of breakage.
  • Efficient combustion and optimal performance: If the fuel filter is in good condition, the fuel system provides efficient combustion. And efficient combustion achieves maximum engine performance. Otherwise, a clogged filter does not allow a correct passage of fuel, a fact that translates into poorer performance and efficiency values.
  • Reduction of polluting gases: incomplete combustion causes the emission of more toxic gases into the atmosphere. In this case, the gasoline in the combustion chambers is not burned correctly, since the combustion is inefficient. This is freely expelled by the exhaust and creating a risk to public health.

Article of Joan Bassa Moragues

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