Fuel systems are to automobiles what water is to wet. A properly functioning fuel system stores the fuel, of course, and provides the "get up and go" for the automobile.
Our cars give us the ability to do the things we need to do: work, shop, and arrive safely home. But cars do not maintain themselves. By some estimates, 77% of automobiles on the road are in need of repair. It’s important to keep our cars working and part of that is process is educating ourselves on the systems that make our cars run. One of the primary systems is the fuel system.
A car’s fuel system consists of the gas tank, fuel pump and filter, hoses and lines, and fuel injector. Forty plus years ago, carburetors were the norm instead of the newer technology of fuel injection. Unleaded, diesel, or bio fuel mixes with the air, is atomized and turns into vapor. Compression occurs in the engine which is the source of ignition and thus powers the vehicle. The fuel injector delivers the precise amount of fuel at the precise moment so that the car can start, idle, and accelerate properly. The principle of fuel combustion is the same no matter the type of gas engine.
Diesel Fuel Systems
Diesel fuel systems are similar to other types of gas powered engines, but there are some peculiarities as well.
- Diesel fuel has a cooling effect. The friction in an operating engine produces heat. Diesel fuel that flows through the fuel system absorbs some of the excess heat thus providing a cooling effect. The absorption and dissipation of heat that a diesel fueled system provides is similar to that of antifreeze/coolant in the radiator.
- Diesel gas lubricates the fuel system. There are lubricating properties to diesel fuel which affects the transfer pump and fuel injection assemblies. Lubrication helps guard against the effects of wear and tear on the fuel system. This is what engine oil does for a car’s cylinders. Lubrication keeps fuel and engine parts working longer and more efficiently.
- Diesel fuel cleans as it powers. Gas picks up impurities as it traverses the fuel system. The fuel “picks up” some of the unwanted debris where it is captured in the fuel filter. A clean fuel system burns cleaner and will get better gas mileage.
Diesel fuel does more than powers the engine, it helps clean, lubricate and cool the fuel system as well. Whether your car uses diesel, bio, or unleaded gas, fuel filters are a vital component of the fuel system and proper operation of the car.
Fuel filters filter out dust, dirt and other impurities from getting into the injectors and thus the engine. A clean fuel filter will not only help your car’s functioning and assist in better gas mileage, it will prevent premature wear and tear on your fuel injectors, which will save you lots of money in the long term. Be sure to have your fuel filters changed according to the car manufacturer’s recommendation. You can also ask an auto parts supplier or car dealership for this information.