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Take care when installing spin-on fuel filters

Never run a diesel vehicle out of fuel. That is why it is imperative to follow the proper procedures for spin-on fuel filter installation.

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According to John Gaither, director of heavy-duty product engineering for Luber-finer, part of FRAM Filtration, “When the time comes to change the spin-on fuel filter on your heavy-duty diesel vehicle, there is one extremely important thing to remember: the absolute worst thing you can do is run a diesel vehicle out of fuel. That is why it is imperative that you follow the proper procedures for spin-on fuel filter installation.”

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There are six steps to follow:
1. Remove the old filter
2. Clean the base
3. Lubricate the new filter gasket
4. Pre-fill the new filter with clean diesel fuel
5. Install the new filter
6. Tighten the new filter per the proper amount of turns that are noted on the label, taking care not to over-tighten. If the filter is unable to be tightened by hand, use an appropriate wrench.

The trickiest step is No. 4, filling the new filter. With a diesel vehicle, the fuel filter needs to be filled with diesel fuel before it is installed; if it isn’t, the vehicle will not start, Gaither said. It is recommended that the center of the filter be plugged before diesel fuel is poured into the inlet holes. Only then should the filter be installed on the vehicle. Some newer models of diesel fuel filters feature a plastic plug that helps simplify the filling process.

Gaither also cautions it is important that only clean diesel fuel be poured into the new filter. In conjunction with this step, all air must be bled from the fueling system; this is usually accomplished via a vent plug or valve located above the fuel filter, or with an electric fuel pump. 

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One other area of concern is the presence of water; if allowed to enter the fueling system on diesel vehicles, water can cause many problems, such as lower power output, engine shutdown, and fuel pump and injector wear and/or damage, Gaither added.

For many applications, Luber-finer addresses the strict requirements of spin-on fuel filter changeouts with its TotalTec Heavy-Duty Fuel Filters, which feature an advanced design that eliminates the need for a plastic bowl add-on, along with the worry of fuel/water separation and fuel-filter maintenance, Gaither said.

TotalTec filters have a larger filtering area for more efficient, longer-lasting filtration, along with durable, leak-proof, all-metal housing construction that withstands high pulse fatigue and reduces the risk of leakage due to cracks and breakage.  

For additional information, visit www.luberfiner.com.  

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