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Water separator filter bowl never fills up?

I have a C-15 cat with a H2O/fuel separator filter that never fills the dome to the change filter mark. I can change this filter, fill it back up with #2 ULSD, and drive a complete service mileage interval and the fuel level will never change.

My service intervals are 12,000 miles in which I change all filters, oil, grease, and well a complete bumper to bumper check.

I'm also thinking this may be having a huge impact on my fuel mileage. I have changed stock mufflers to Pittsburgh power mufflers, low rolling resistant tires, K&N air filter, charge air cooler, overhead twice, ecm codes. I know that there is still work to be done, but I have to fix this first.

This has gone on for over a year now, and the level will never rise. Right now it's only purpose I guess is to look good setting there, and waste filters.

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If you assume your filter is working properly then the longer your filter last is just a sign your buying good quality fuel, and your just changing your filter before necessary. I've seen a filter clog in 1 tank of bad fuel, and had a filter last 60,000 miles.

On the other hand your filter may not be filtering down far enough, Make sure you have the proper filter size recommended for your engine. Proper Micron rating and flow rate.

I don't change my filter at any specific interval I keep an extra filter in the truck and change it when it needs to be changed.

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Should the Davco be drained regularly for water?

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I never have. It would take quite a bit of water to fill the lower reservoir before even getting to the lower part of the filter itself.

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Cliff, Thanks for the reply, this is the first Davco that I have used!

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Well, you have your answer. You are changing ALL the filters at 12,000 miles. I consistently go up to or above 40,000 miles before my fuel filter in my Davco needs changed out. Occasionally I will get a substandard load of fuel that will cause that routine to change.

Not sure why you are changing oil so soon either. Cat, in their maintenance manual, recommends 25,000 mile OCI's on a C-15 if mpg is above 6.0 mpg average and 15,000 mile OCI if below that. 12,000 is a bit short, unless you have documented oil samples showing that oil is not holding up beyond that. Greasing is a different story. I grease and inspect the entire underside at least once every two weeks or 5000 miles, whichever comes first. You could save a little cash if you would let your engine tell you when thing need done by using oil sample data combined with OEM recommended intervals, and letting the fuel filter get used up before changing it out.

Ronald does make a good point though... check to make sure the micron rating of the fuel filter is the right one for your engine application. Shops are notorious for putting on wrong micron rated fuel filters. The Cat requires a 2 micron fuel filter per the OEM. 5 micron max. many shops are notorious for putting on as high as 50 micron fuel filter elements. My Detroit 60 has a OEM micron rating of 7. Each engine and application is different.

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The DAVCO bowl will never fill up unless the fuel filter is plugged. You can easily go 36,000 to 40,000 before the fuel filter needs changed, even if the oil filters are changed more often. Also, if you use synthetic oil and/or a bypass filter, you can go longer on your oil changes as well.

On my CAT 3406E, I go 100,000 between oil changes (using AMSOIL synthetic and filters by Baldwin or CAT). I typically change fuel filters 1-2x per year (usually because the filter plugs with ice in the winter, not because of a dirty filter). On the DAVCO, watch the level in the bowl, and change it when the bowl's full. On CAT and Baldwin disposable filters and separators, drain them regularly, and replace them according to the procedures and intervals in the CAT service manual for your specific engine.

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The only time my fuel filter will fill up on my spin on filter is when it's clogged. Any other time it will be down about two inches from the top of the filter. I would guess that your filter works the same way. Don't care for the ones with the sight bowls anyway. I've know several to start sucking air and get replaced with a spin on style filter and head. The davco may be better but I know back in the day Raycor had that style filter housing and we changed alot of them.

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