In fuel systems, secondary filters capture particles as small as 2 microns. But how small is a micron? An average human hair is 80 microns in diameter. The smallest dust particle the human eye sees is typically 40 microns across. That’s the equivalent of 1/500 of an inch. Cat system clearances are from 2 to 30 microns. So it truly is the dirt you can’t see that you must guard against. Read on to learn how Cat fuel filters can help.

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Contaminants can be as abrasive as the materials used to machine parts in the manufacturing process, so it’s important to remove as many contaminants as possible before the fuel reaches critical components. Fuel system contaminants are known to cause premature injector wear, reduce component life, reduce performance, and cause sudden injector seizure.

Abrasive contaminants of only 5-10 microns and larger can damage injectors by breaking down the fluid film between moving parts and eventually scratching injector plungers and barrels, causing metal-to-metal contact and injector seizure. As little as one spoonful of dirt in a tank of unfiltered fuel can ruin a fuel injector in less than eight hours.


Fuel filter performance has traditionally been quantified through an industry multipass test that measures the number of particles upstream and downstream of the filter. However, this procedure uses test fluid instead of low sulfur fuel and doesn’t simulate real-world conditions such as operating temperature, vibration, and pump pulsations.

A new test, Wear Indexing, uses low sulfur fuel to measure filter performance more accurately. This test better reflects how fuel filters protect fuel injectors.

The Wear Index test shows the Cat High-Efficiency Fuel Filter (1R-0749) significantly outperforms four competitive filters, providing the best injector protection.


Higher pressures and closer tolerances make today’s fuel injectors, pumps and components more susceptible than ever to wear and damage from contaminants. Cat High-Efficiency Fuel Filters fight fuel contamination more effectively than standard fuel filters. The critical component is a super-fine filtration media that removes more than 98 percent of particles 2 microns and larger. By comparison, standard filters only capture particles 15 microns and larger. Cat High-Efficiency Fuel Filters offer:

  • Maximum engine performance and fuel economy
  • Reduced exposure to abrasives
  • Reduced wear on injectors and pumps
  • Fewer fuel system adjustments
  • Easier starting
  • Longer filter life

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