Diesel fuel filters are an important part of your vehicle. They are all that stand between you and costly engine wear. Diesel fuel pumps, nozzles and injectors are all manufactured to extremely close tolerances that are often measured in just a few microns. In case abrasive particles get into the fuel, they can easily damage these components and others, something that can in turn lead to poor starting, reduced engine power, increased fuel consumption and ultimately, component failure.
The primary role of the diesel fuel filters is to clean the fuel and prevent this damage from happening. The fuel filters also have a secondary role, which is acting as a water separator. Water contamination in diesel fuel causes poor fuel burn, cold spots, reduced power as well as corrosion of sensitive components, including the fuel pumps and injections, and this negatively impacts the performance of the engine. Abrasive wear of the fuel injectors is actually the number one reason for premature replacement. The best way to prevent this wear is effective filtration.
A typical fuel system returns unused fuel back to the tank. This means that the fuel filter is constantly having fuel recycled through it, and a fuel filter can pass around 1.5 litres of fuel per minute, circulating approximately 45,000 litres of fuel every 500 hours of service life.
It is important to keep in mind that not all diesel fuel filters are created equal. Nobody knows best about your engine than the people who designed and built it. This is why virtually all OEMs recommend original fuel filters, and why it is a good idea to follow their recommendation. A non-genuine filter may not be developed and tested to meet OEM specifications, and as a result it can let you down.