by Alain Hoffmann
Maintenance - Fuel Filter on diesel
The diesel filter is necessary to remove dirt, moisture and condensation
from the fuel. Water accumulates at the bottom of the housing from which
it must be purged from time to time (at least monthly). How often depends
on the quality of the diesel. .
Doing this is quite easy. Wear plastic gloves. Place a small container
under the filter. An old marmelade glass fits well. Unscrew the plastic
drain plug by hand. A mixture of water and diesel flows out. Wait until
only clean diesel flows, then retighten the screw by hand. That's all.
If water was present you must repeat the purging on a daily base until
no more water is present. Then you can return to a monthly purge.
This filter needs replacement once a year. I normally have it changed
every second engine oil change. This is an easy job. Open the purge screw
and let the filter drain. Remove the disassembling screw on top. The main
part of the assembly is the disposable filter. The bottom with the drain
screw and the housing are reused. Just slip in the new filter inset and
remount the setup. The manual states a complex purging sequence but as
all 200 and 300 TDi's are self-purging this is not necessary. Just let
the starter turn for some seconds and it will be ok.
Discoveries as well as some Range
and Defender models have an water and dirt separator mounted on the chassis
rail on the rear in one of the dirtiest positions on the car. It augments
your main fuel filter's life considerably. It must be purged once a month.
Wear plastic gloves for this. Simply unscrew the wing nut at the base
and let the mixture flow out into a small jar. If water is present you
must repeat the purging daily until no more water is present. Then you
can return to a monthly purge.