Are You Running the Right Filters in Your Machine?

We get a fair few pieces of equipment being brought to our ACES workshop that have broken down due to the incorrect filters being installed on their machines. This is because they have chosen an aftermarket replacement filter purely based on size.
Having the wrong filter fitted means a poorly running system, prone to leaks, contamination, pressure drops or engine failures. There are 3 important filters you must consider;
Oil Filter – helps remove contaminants from the machines engine oil in its lubrication system that can accumulate over time. There are two types of oil filters – Full flow & bypass.  Full flows’ are more common and is usually a pleated filtering paper in a metal housing. If the filter clogs – it can starve the engine. Full flow filters have a bypass valve as a safety measure, and  if this clogs,  the valve opens and delivers the dirty oil to the engine. Diesel engines produce more carbon particles than petrol engines, and large engines will have both types of filters installed. The system will have an oil filter with a full flow element to trap larger particles and a bypass element to collect sludge and carbon soot.  If the incorrect oil filter is fitted, this would mean wrong filter element AND wrong bypass settings – not a great picture! 
Fuel Filter – protects the fuel system components of the engine and is designed to capture extremely small particles. Fuel Filters are rated or measured in microns. In diesel engines – the primary fuel filter must remove particles in the range of 10 – 15 microns (one micron equals 40 millionths of an inch). All diesel fuel contains a substance called Asphaltene which is 1.5 to 2 microns. While it doesn’t do too much to the injection system – it will clog the fibre filters over time. Purchasing an incorrect fuel filter not rated to the correct micron screening and the wrong filter media will have a huge impact on the life of your machine.
Hydraulic Filter –Hydraulic Fluid is the medium in which energy transfers through transmission of power. The characteristics of good hydraulic fluid would be; thermal stability, hydrolytic stability, low chemical corrosives, high wear & long life capabilities as well as constant viscosity. Now if the hydraulic fluid itself needs to have all these powers combined - the hydraulic filter must be one and the same. If the wrong hydraulic filter is fitted, your machines hydraulic fluid will become contaminated and will just keep pushing dirty fluid around your machine until its energy transfer capabilities become inactive.
If you’re looking to change filters, the best thing you can do it contact a filter specialist as they use specific part numbers across the board. Keeping your machine serviced on a regular basis by a reputable construction equipment dealer means that the right filter is used every time.