Why Fuel Filters And Draining The Water Separator Are CRITICAL For Power Stroke Owners

Engineers know water and fuel don't mix and if you own a Ford Power Stroke diesel engine, you should too. What happens when water intrudes in your fuel system and is unattended? Rust, corrosion, and a LOT of money out of your pocket. 

black powerstroke 

Don't let water in your fuel system cost you, follow your truck's maintenance schedule. Water buildup and saturated fuel filters can cause a lot of damage to your internal engine components that is not covered by your warranty. The truth is if you follow your engine's maintenance schedule you can avoid a lot of these problems.

How Does Water Affect Your Engine?

Why Fuel Filters and Draining the Water Separator are CRITICAL For Powerstroke Owners

Pictured: Soggy Fuel Filter

Simply put, a dirty and waterlogged fuel filter will affect your engine's performance. The buildup of water stops the fuel filter from separating out the bad particles in your fuel. These particles will build up in your fuel system and engine causing damage to those components.

The best way to fix this issue is to make sure you replace this part as needed. Skipping the regular maintenance on this item can cause lots more damage to the entire fuel system.

Secondary Fuel Filter Housing Damage

Pictured: Secondary Fuel Filter Housing Damage

Water buildup in the water separator that isn't drained will cause corrosion to the housing. This corrosion will spread to different parts of your fuel system including the engine.

A simple fix is to drain this water when the "Water in Fuel" light illuminates and periodically install a new secondary fuel filter. By keeping this secondary fuel filter changed you can stop damage to the housing.

Internal Transfer Pump Corrosion

Pictured: Internal Transfer Pump Corrosion

A full water separator means that water is now flowing into your fuel system. This water causes corrosion throughout the system including the internal transfer pump. This pump will then rust and isn't covered under warranty.

A rusty transfer pump won't work as needed to keep your fuel system operating at peak performance. Long-term this will lead to major engine failure and lots of costly repairs. (Learn more about diesel failures in this blog post.)

Preventative Measures

Water in your fuel system, that is left unattended, will cause long-term damage. There are two things to do to prevent this from happening. First, respond quickly whenever the "Water in Fuel" warning light or message is illuminated. Second, make sure you follow the maintenance schedule for your engine. Make sure the replacement parts are of good quality though, a poorly built replacement filter can cause more harm than good. This is why it is recommended to use OEM parts whenever possible.

Normal Operating Conditions vs. Special Operating Conditions

Ford defines the two different operating as follows:

Normal Operating Conditions: “General” vehicle usage for most on-highway operation in moderate temperatures,
hauling moderate loads. If in doubt, choose the Special Operating Conditions schedule and you won’t go wrong.

Special Operating Conditions: Specified for drivers who regularly give their trucks a workout. Extended idling, towing, and dusty conditions on unpaved roads/off-road all qualify a vehicle for this schedule.

Don't get caught By following your engine's recommended maintenance schedule, you can avoid any long-term water damage and large repair bills. Don't get caught with standing water in your fuel system, replace your filters as recommended!