Diesel trucks need three different types of filters for three different purposes. On top of oil filters and air filters, your diesel engine needs a diesel fuel filter in order to continue functioning properly. (Your mechanic can check all of the filters during regularly scheduled maintenance checks, or you can perform the maintenance yourself.) The following three types of diesel filters, and why your truck needs them, should help you keep your truck going for a long time.
Diesel Oil Filters
Oil filters are standard for any auto that runs on gasoline and requires oil to lubricate the pistons in its engine. The oil filter will also help remove the heavier, used oil from the engine, keeping it cleaner and more efficient. In a diesel engine, even more oil is necessary to keep the pistons from overheating when the diesel fuel is ignited and the truck is pushed to its limits to pull or haul heavy loads. That means that, as a truck owner, you may have to replace your truck's oil filter a little more frequently than someone who owns a standard gas-fueled vehicle.
Diesel Particulate Air Filters
Diesel particulate air filters help remove up to 85% (or more) of the soot particulates, hydrocarbon emissions and the higher levels of carbon monoxide that circulates through a diesel engine. There are extra particulates that form in a diesel engine when the diesel fuel is burned. The special air filter used in a diesel truck helps remove some of these particulates along with the extra dirt and smog-like air from the engine. These particular air filters also help reduce your emissions, which in some states is a necessary and required part of diesel truck ownership. Be sure to check your air filter in your truck about twice a year, or more often if you use your truck for a lot of heavy hauling jobs.
Diesel Fuel Filters
Diesel fuel filters are specialized filters developed for use in diesel engines. The diesel fuel filter keeps larger particulates of paraffin from developing and entering the engine while it extracts water and allows the water to drain out. A heater inside the filter continuously melts the paraffin (at type of wax that can clog your engine's valves) to prevent fuel clogs and filters it through the special fuel filter. If your engine intake valves get clogged up, your engine could get stuck and stop working or start grinding when you try to shift into different gears. Like the other two types of filters, you should check the diesel fuel filter often during your regular maintenance checks and change it when it gets dark brown, greasy and/or black and sticky.
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