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Let’s talk heavy-duty truck diesel engine health and fuel filtration

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

Tougher emissions regulations have led to engines with high-pressure fuel systems, which require extremely clean diesel fuel and also increase demands on the engine components like fuel filters.

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Fully synthetic, multilayered media is a big step forward in terms of being able to remove the smallest particles of contamination with high efficiency. For example, consider 4-micron particles. To give you an idea of how small that is, particles this size can’t typically been seen with your eye. The diameter of a strand of hair is 40 to 50 microns.

If 100,000 particles enter the filter and 1,333 make it through, then the filter’s efficiency is 98.7 percent—it removes 4-micron-size particles 98.7% of the time. Today’s advanced filtration media pushes that to 99.9 percent of the time.

Clogged filters can reduce fuel flow. If your fuel filters are failing before scheduled preventative maintenance check ups first verify that the filter being used is of the correct micron rating for the application and then analyze any “plugged” filters to determine the type of contaminant such as microbial growth or particulate such as rust, scale, etc.

Additionally, regularly draining the primary separation chambers in filter assemblies to remove accumulated water and contaminants, and double-checking that the element micron rating meets the engine manufacturer’s specifications, is recommended.

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