Because a diesel engine uses a sparkless ignition, it is highly sensitive to water in the fuel. Even a small amount of water entering the cylinder with the fuel mixture can make a diesel engine foul out. Diesel fuel is a very oily type of fuel, and as we've always been told, oil and water don't mix. Therefore, a water separator is built into the fuel filter housing to remove water from the fuel. In the first stage, dirt and other particles are removed by a disposable filter, much like an engine run on gasoline. In stage two, the water separator removes the water from the fuel. This dual filtering process ensures that only the purest fuel mixture reaches the cylinders for ignition. The water that collects in the bottom of the filter housing and can be drained periodically.
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