QUESTION: How do I protect my Ford Ranger from contaminated fuel?
I drive a ’14 Ford Ranger 3.2-litre. Our favourite holiday destination is northern Namibia, but I sometimes get worried about the quality of the fuel that’s available there.
I still need to fit an auxiliary fuel tank, but in the meantime, what can I do to ensure that only good quality diesel is put in my vehicle?
I’ve heard reports about a fuel filter funnel, but surely that can’t filter out all the impurities? And what about diesel that has trace amounts of water in it, can that also be filtered out?
As you mentioned, you can never be sure of the fuel quality when travelling to remote regions in Africa; which is why it’s best to ensure that your vehicle’s first line of defence (the fuel filtering system) is in top working order.
To a large extent you can’t control (or monitor) what fuel goes into your vehicle, but you can take steps to effectively filter the fuel and make sure that impurities are not entering your vehicle’s injection system.
There are essentially two stages of filtration:
- Cleaning the fuel that’s entering your fuel tank, and…
- Cleaning the fuel that’s being pumped from your fuel tank.
FUEL ENTERING YOUR TANK
Contaminated fuel can come from a number of sources; sometimes directly from a poorly maintained underground tank, or simply from an old jerry can. In these cases the contaminated fuel will often contain dirt, rust and/or water, which is why it’s advisable to “capture” as much of the contamination before it enters your fuel tank. The best way to do this is with a Racor Water & Dirt Separator.
The Racor funnel will remove dirt particles (and water) above 50 microns in size. This is especially important when pouring fuel from a jerry can or fuel drum. The funnel will remove approximately 95% of all impurities, which is a great first defence system.
FUEL ENTERING YOUR INJECTION SYSTEM
However, in order to achieve an even higher level of filtration, it’s advised that a pre-filter be installed in the fuel line. This filtering system will remove all particles (and water) down to a size of 10 microns. It will also protect your vehicle’s high-pressure injection system, which, these days, is very sensitive to fuel contamination and particle damage.
Many in-line filters feature a transparent bowl design that allows your to see how much water and dirt the filter is capturing. You can also drain the water and dirt from the filter if needs be. The kit can be DIY installed and takes about 40 minutes to do.
This setup is quite popular amongst common-rail diesel owners, in fact, you’ll find a number of Land Cruiser V8 owners are using the Racor system. Check out the forum for more details: www.landcruiserclub.co.za
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