Categorized | Dealer Service Academy

Fuel Filters and Injectors

Fuel Filters

Description: The typical fuel filter for most fuel-injected cars consists of a high-pressure canister filled with filtering media. Filters may have clamped, threaded or special fittings to ensure reliable connection to the fuel system. Filters for carbureted engines may be located at the inlet of the carburetor or inline. Filters for carbureted engines do not need to withstand the same pressures as those for fuel-injected engines.

Purpose: Fuel filters trap harmful contaminants that may cause problems with carburetors and intricate fuel injectors. Fuel filters for carbureted engines only clean the fuel before it enters the float bowl. Injection filters, on the other hand, clean the fuel whenever the fuel pump runs (unless the fuel injection system is a “returnless” design). Fuel moves continuously up the supply side, through the filter to the fuel rail or throttle body. The fuel that doesn’t make it into the engine returns to the tank and the whole process starts over again. With a full tank of gas, the filter may clean the volume of fuel in the tank many times before it’s all used.

When to replace: Fuel filters become clogged with dirt and debris during normal operation and should be replaced to increase performance, extend fuel pump life, and aid in fuel economy. Your fuel filter should be replaced at least every 30.000 miles or every 2 years.

Fuel Injection System

Description: Fuel injection consists of a throttle body to control airflow, the fuel injectors, various engine sensors, an electric fuel pump and a fuel filter. The system is controlled by the car’s powertrain control module (PCM), which makes all decisions for controlling the injection system. Most early fuel injection systems used a throttle-body design, where one or more injectors were mounted on a throttle body, resembling a carburetor. Use of the throttle body system faded away gradually as multi-port fuel injection became more prevalent. Multi-port uses a separate fuel injector for each cylinder, located near each cylinder’s intake valve port. Virtually all engines now use multi-port injection. Purpose: Fuel injection delivers fuel to the engine in exactly the right amount for all engine-operating conditions. Not only does the system provide better control for fuel economy, performance and emissions, it also does away with many of the maintenance requirements of a carburetor.

Maintaining fuel injection: The most important part of maintaining your fuel injection system is keeping it clean! Changing your fuel filter regularly will keep contaminants out of your fuel injectors. Using a good fuel injector cleaner that you can add to your fuel tank yourself works great. Most repair shops will sell you a fuel injection flush and it is a very good system and will clean your injection system very well, but using a fuel additive with injection cleaner in it will help eliminate the need for injection flush services.

Preventive Car Maintenance and Fuel Filter Replacement Tips
As with health care, preventive car maintenance is the best thing you can do for those dependable vehicles that get you where you want to go everyday. With preventive car maintenance you might invest a little here and there, but in the end, you will always save yourself time, money and the aggravation that comes with “break-down” surprises. Listed below are some additional reasons to get serious about preventive car care:

  1. Safety is the #1 reason to invest a little of your hard earned dough in preventive car maintenance. Vehicles that are poorly maintained make it that much easier for you or one of your family members to get in an accident.
  2. Increased performance. A well maintained car means improved fuel economy as well as a car that is easier to operate.
  3. A well maintained car will also improve the trade-in or resale value of your vehicle.
  4. Dependability and easy handling. A well maintained car means that you won’t have to worry about incorrect wheel alignment, worn tires and worn suspension components.
  5. Pride. Many people agree that your car definitely represents a certain extension of your own personality. Take car of your car!

Establish Car Maintenance HabitsIt is fairly simple to get into the habit of getting your oil changed every three months but it’s a bit more difficult to make those yearly check ups and replacements that every car needs. You should, on a regular basis, (meaning annually or at least every two years) ask your auto technician about the status of your air cleaner filter, oil filter, air filter and your fuel filter.

Common Complaints that can be solved with a Fuel Filter ReplacementThis article focuses on fuel filter replacement because experienced mechanics find that many people frequently complain that their vehicles are experiencing power loss, hard starting, or hesitation. These problems are in general due to clogged fuel filters and can easily be avoided with a simple fuel filter replacement.

How Often Should You Change Your Fuel Filter? As mentioned above, it is recommended that you change your fuel filter on a yearly basis. However, a yearly replacement only applies to high mileage vehicles. Those of you who use your vehicles only on occasion or only drive short distances on a daily basis, then you can probably get away with a filter replacement every two or even three years. If you have questions in regards to your vehicle, ask YourAutoAdvisor how often you should change your fuel filter.

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