Vehicle: Car: Fuel: Gasoline
By Passing Fuel Filter Filter   (+5, -1)  [vote for, against]
Fuel filter that has a small valve that by passes the clogged filter though another small filter

We never know when our fuel filter is going to go "stoppered" on us, leaving us stranded at always the least convenient time in tthe most uncomfortable of places.

I suggest that all fuel filters have a small easily found and turned little by-pass valve that re-routes fuel through a previously unused portion of the filter. This would allow fuel to immediately flow un-obstructed for a while..say about two thousand miles. Of course, such filters would come with the appropriate warning and direction labels to affix to the fender well under the hood (bonnet) giving directions how to locate and switch the fuel filter to bypass mode and this dire warning..."If you have switched to the fuel filter bypass, you are warned, you only have a short while to get the filter properly changed."
-- Blisterbob, Feb 15 2008

Similar to a fuel resovoir only less often used. consider that many modern engines would "notice " the leanout caused by loss of fuel pressure and alert you, months before it is crucial, that somthing is wrong. Your oil filter is the first place for such a system as neglect often causes oil filters to passively bypass witout warning the driver to the damaging condition.
-- WcW, Feb 16 2008

Did you have a fuel filter problem of some sort?
-- WcW, Feb 16 2008

I've never been stranded because of a clogged fuel filter. If you replace the fuel filter regularly, per manufacturer's recommendations, you won't need this.
-- whlanteigne, Mar 11 2008

....Unless the motherless, uncaring fuel station provides you with a tank of dirty fuel.

Worse, for diesel owners is when they give you a tank of diesel/water mixture. New fuel pumps cost $5k for my car, and a shotglass of water will destroy my pump. That's why I have two filters and a large water trap.

So yeah, nothing wrong with the bypass filter concept.
-- Custardguts, Mar 11 2008

like whlanteigne said if you use preventive maintenance than you will not run into this problem. another filter means extra lines meaning higher costs.

also have you heard of the ford inertia switch? ford has a switch the turns the fuel off when you get into an accident to prevent fuel from getting all over the place if a line breaks. all you have to do is press a reset button to turn the fuel back on, but so few people know about it that people get stranded after they get into a fender bender. so now they have to pay a tow truck to haul them to a repair shop making this "convenience" a huge headache. this makes me think that people wouldn't know about the your switch, to change filters, because they didn't do what there suppose to. that is read the damn manual.

custardguts if the gas station give you a bad tank of gas than after you switch you will have 2 filters to replace instead of one.
-- F_R_O_G, Mar 13 2008

[frog], I have two filters in series, changed often. To polish the fuel. It's so bad sometimes it's cloudy.

Bear in mind I live in the sticks where bad fuel is rather common. Even though there is only one service station in town (only one within about 250kms of dirt roads currently flooded), if your fuel pump dies from water or contaminant ingress, they won't pay for it. bastards.
-- Custardguts, Mar 13 2008

An easier solution would be to design the vehicle such that the filter is easily serviceable, and keep an extra filter in the boot if you wish.

But, this would be better than nothing. Having been stranded by a clogged filter with only ~135kms on the clock, I pastry this idea anyway. [+]
-- ed, Mar 13 2008

[-] Bone for some of the reasons mentioned above plus I think that most people would turn the bypass valve and just keep on driving as far as they can only to be confused later as to why the bypass valve isn't working anymore.
-- Jscotty, Mar 14 2008

I could see how, if you had a double inline filter, puroloator or similar unit having a bypass on the first filter would be usefull. Further most modern filters are pathetic when compaired to the filters used in old BOSCH CIS cars. A better filter +. A redundant filter -.
-- WcW, Mar 14 2008

Bun for not being stranded in the middle of nowhere. F_R_O_G, I'm not sure that the inertia switch is intended as a nice convenience. Rather, I would guess that the whole risk/benefit judgement was based on the number of people not getting burnt alive? I don't know, though...
-- david_scothern, Mar 15 2008

random, halfbakery