Fuel is the most important thing you could ever put in your car. Whether you’re driving a manual or automatic car, you will always need some kind of fuel even if, in the future, that particular fuel goes from being petrol or diesel to electricity.
When you visit a petrol station to fill up your tank you do just that. The petrol or diesel comes out of the nozzle and goes into your fuel tank, ready to be sent to the engine when you want to start the car again. This fuel then ignites with the spark from the battery – and spark plugs – when you turn the ignition key, and your car fires into life.
While some vehicles will transport the fuel into the engine through nothing more than gravity, due to the way the car has been made, others will need specialist fuel pumps to send the petrol or diesel from the fuel tank into the engine.
When this fuel is moved, you want it to be as pure as it possibly can be. Any debris or materials picked up along the way can affect the performance of the fuel and the way it reacts with the spark needed to keep the engine running, and this is where fuel filters come into their own.
They may not be a major component like an engine, exhaust or gearbox but they play just as important a role in the overall performance of your car. They prevent these materials from getting into the system which, overtime, would cause a great deal of damage to many of the crucial internal parts of your car.
Where is the fuel pump and how does it work?
A fuel pump is found in a vehicle that cannot rely on gravity alone to move fuel from the tank to the engine. Instead, it does as the name suggests and pumps the petrol or diesel under low pressure to the carburettor, or under a higher pressure using a fuel injector in a lot of high performance vehicles.
The fuel pump is usually, but not always, located in the fuel tank itself. This allows it to push fuel through as simply as possible while also remaining cool, thereby preventing any fires from starting in the fuel tank.
There are a lot of cars that have an electronic control unit (ECU), and this system is programmed to inform the fuel pump and injectors just how much fuel is required.
Where is the fuel filter and how does it work?
You need to have a fine balance of fresh air and fuel running through your car. The fuel filter is there to ensure that only air and your chosen fuel (petrol or diesel), gets through the system and collects loose materials and debris that may be picked up off the road, in the air or from corrosion or broken car parts.
It does this by working a bit like a sieve, only allowing the fluid and air through and keeping the larger potentially harmful materials out.
The fuel filter is usually located in the engine or next to the fuel tank so it is easy to locate underneath the bonnet. Dirty or clogged filters, which are inevitable over time, can stop air from getting through to the engine and this can seriously compromise the overall performance of your car.
Therefore, it is vital that you regularly check and clean your fuel filter, or simply replace them, which is an inexpensive and fast piece of car servicing that you can do at home.
For more information on how the various systems work in your car, and for details about specific car parts, keep checking back to the Euro Car Parts blog. Feel free to browse through our range of car parts and accessories – including fuel pumps and filters.
If you’re unsure of what you’re looking for, get in touch with one of our experts who will be happy to assist you.