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Mahle creates innovative filtration in commercial vehicles

Filtration is a key factor in maintaining engine performance and economy, which is why so many truck and bus manufacturers turn to Mahle when innovative solutions are required to keep customer fleets in peak condition, no matter what the operating conditions.

The Mahle Original KC 102 spin-on fuel filter is a classic example. No less than 736 applications for this versatile product are listed in the filter manufacturer’s Heavy Duty replacement parts catalogue, ranging from MAN 20.225 series trucks and Mercedes-Benz 0550 Integro coaches, to the A/R series Liebherr excavator.

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The KC 102 fuel filter is often used in combination with the KC 102/1 in MAN commercial vehicles, the two filters sharing the task of fuel filtration through innovative design. The latter filter is equipped with a heating element that prevents the dreaded paraffin separation of the diesel fuel. The heating element, however, requires space, so the designers at Mahle have delegated the task of water separation and drainage to the KC 102, which comes without heating as standard.

Both spin-on fuel filters therefore work in parallel, side-by-side in a screw-on housing. Compared with an assembly in series, this offers two distinct advantages – first, a slightly reduced flow resistance and second, and more important, even if one filter fails completely, the engine is still supplied via the second filter.

The problem of paraffin separation is well known. At temperatures below zero centigrade, paraffin crystals are formed in the diesel, causing the fuel to convert into gel and flocculate. The flocculate is carried to the fuel filter, where it clogs its surface and blocks the filter. The fuel can no longer flow to the injection pump, the engine is no longer supplied, and stops running.

There are modern diesel fuels for winter use that are cold resistant. However, to ensure vehicle operation at extremely low temperatures, fuel filters with heating elements are increasingly being used. PTC heating elements are the safe and modern solution for fuel heating.

The abbreviation PTC stands for “Positive Temperature Coefficient”. These have the characteristic that the electric resistance of the heating element increases with rising temperature. As the current decreases disproportionally when a set temperature limit is reached, there is no danger of overheating. This makes heating units with PTC elements especially safe.

Both Mahle Original KC filters are resistant to biodiesel or to be more precise FAME (RME) according to EN14214. FAME stands for fatty acid methyl esters, which are compounds of a fatty acid and methyl alcohol. To improve sealing between the dirty and clean side, the KC 102 has an outer sealing ring and an additional inner sealing ring, which sits directly at the thread between the screw-on housing and filter end-plate.

In order to protect the injector nozzles from water damage such as cavitation, the filters are not only equipped with water separation at the dirty side, but also have an additional water uptake volume of 80 cmᵌ, providing sufficient reserves to last until the next water drainage.

In addition to many MAN vehicles, the filter duo KC 102/1 and KC 102 are used in other CV’s such as ERF HGV’s, tractors from Fendt, excavators and wheel loaders from Liebherr, as well as coaches and trucks from Mercedes-Benz.

To ensure perfect working of these important filters, regular replacement at the specified intervals is recommended by the vehicle and engine manufacturers.

The full range of Mahle Original Heavy Duty filtration products covers all popular truck and bus applications for oil, air, fuel and cabin filters, plus air dryer cartridges. These replacement parts are made to exactly the same quality and specification, on the same production lines, as Mahle’s original equipment parts supplied to many of the world’s vehicle and engine manufacturers.

Key fuel filter applications launched by Mahle Aftermarket so far in 2015 cover engines fitted to MAN and Renault buses and trucks with the SEPAR fuel system. Mahle Original part KX336 covers MAN buses and M2000 series trucks from 1998 onwards, while part KX394 covers MAN F2000, TGA, TGS and TGX models from 2004, plus SEPAR-equipped engines fitted to Renault Kerax and Premium trucks from 2000.