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The Filter Guys


Due to the unprecedented pressures that courier firms are under at the moment we are currently seeing delays to many of our consignments to the UK from Europe.

This situation is kept under daily review and we intend to keep all delays to the bare minimum. We will of course keep you all updated where severe delays may occur but we are confident that these issues will improve over the coming weeks and months as the situation begins to improve.

As a valued customer of Sterling Filtration Ltd we understand that delays can cause problems for you, which we would prefer to avoid, but we hope you know that we are working as hard as we can to overcome these issues as best we can in the circumstances.

We appreciate your understanding at this time.


Find A Filter – HiFi Cross Referencing is Online.

The Filter Guys

Find A Filter – HiFi Cross Referencing is Online. If you are looking for a filter or want to check the filters fitted to your application you can find what you are looking for by clicking our logo below and using our cross referencing website. Let us know what you require. Call us today for a competitive quotation.


HIFI-Group Has Acquired Sterling Filtration Ltd.

The Filter Guys

Dear Valued Customers,

We are pleased to inform you that HIFI-Group has acquired Sterling Filtration Ltd located in Bilston, WV14 0ST. This is a great addition to our global distribution network and especially with the Brexit process ending on December 31, 2020.

HIFI Group is excited by this acquisition. It will offer better services to the existing HIFI clients as well as Sterling Filtration clients. It is also for HIFI Group a great opportunity to strengthen our presence in the UK.

All clients will be contacted shortly by our team. We also prepared a Frequently Asked Question below, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments.


Jerome Jeanneret

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you acquire Sterling Filtration?

It is clear that Brexit was a factor, but we believe the UK is a great market where HIFI could be more active and successful. However, to offer a professional service it was necessary to have an office in the UK with an experienced team and strong processes to serve clients. Sterling Filtration was then the right candidate.

What should I do now as a client of HIFI?

At this stage, it is business as usual. Our team will contact you to discuss and plan the transfer of your purchase orders to Sterling Filtration. Of course, if you have any question you can contact André (HIFI) or Jay (Sterling).

What will be the benefits for the existing HIFI Filter clients?

Our existing HIFI clients will benefit from streamlined logistics, better lead times, and an improved level of service provided by a local team.

What will be the benefits for the existing Sterling Filtration clients?

Sterling filtration clients will get an extended catalogue of about 80’000 filters and around 300 technical experts to help them identify the right products and grow their business. Is Sterling Filtration going to change its name to HIFI-UK? This is probably something we will do in the future, but today, the project is not on our immediate agenda. We believe the name of a company is not important to its success, only the service level provided to the clients. We are fully concentrated in continuing to serve our UK clients with efficiency at a high standard.

Will Sterling Filtration acts as a distribution centre for the UK HIFI clients?

Yes, it is our objective to serve our HIFI UK clients from Sterling Filtration. This will provide great benefits linked to language, currency, logistics and the benefit of a UK contact Hub.

Will invoices be generated from Sterling Filtration?

Yes, this is our objective to invoice UK clients from UK and in British pounds. However, the transition will take some time.

Are you not afraid about the potential competition between Sterling and your current HIFI distributors?

No, we are not. This was a very important subject during the due diligence. Our objective was clearly to avoid any impact on our current partners. After the analysis, we concluded that this will not be an issue.

Will you pass the Sterling Filtration clients to the current distributors of HIFI products?

No, we are not going to transfer Sterling Filtration clients to HIFI distributors. Sterling Filtration will continue to serve its loyal clients.

Is Sterling Filtration able to assume the business volume?

Yes, Sterling Filtration is a solid company able to serve our existing HIFI clients.

Are prices to existing HIFI clients going to change?

As it is difficult to predict the future of Brexit, we believe that prices will be adapted to take into account the logistics and potential extra customs costs. However, existing UK HIFI clients will benefit from preferential prices calculated as accurately as possible to further grow their business. HIFI will not change is strategy to prices and will continue to support our existing clients the best we can.

What will be the level of inventory you will keep in the UK?

Inventory policies will be set to reach a 97% availability in 24h. Of course, analysis of the clients demand may take some time but the HIFI Group has the expertise and experience in such projects.

Will Sterling Filtration have a bigger warehouse?

Yes, indeed, Sterling will have a bigger warehouse.


In-line Fuel Filters – October Special Offer

The Filter Guys

For October we are practically giving away In-line Fuel Filters. Our general purpose paper in line filter, GF2018D, that comes with 6mm/8mm ports are just 85p each.

Why not take advantage of this offer and drop in to see us and grab them. This offer will end on Halloween. Avoid any horror and fill your in line fuel filter stocks up today!!

Covid-19 precautions are in place at our trade counter but we are allowing customers in, one at a time, to see us as long as you are wearing a face covering and you observe social distancing rules. Hand sanitiser is freely available.

In-line Fuel Filters – October Special Offer

The Filter Guys

For October we are practically giving away In-line Fuel Filters. Our general purpose paper in line filter, GF12, that comes with 6mm/8mm ports are just 75p each.

Why not take advantage of this offer and drop in to see us and grab them. This offer will end on Halloween. Avoid any horror and fill your in line fuel filter stocks up today!!

Covid-19 precautions are in place at our trade counter but we are allowing customers in, one at a time, to see us as long as you are wearing a face covering and you observe social distancing rules. Hand sanitiser is freely available.


Our Company Has Returned To Work – 11th May 2020.

The Filter Guys

As of Monday the 11th of May 2020 we are back open to our customers, trade and the general public. We ask all visitors not to come inside our premises but to call our office from their car or van on arrival and a member of staff will come out to you. You can still bring used filter samples for us to identify. We do ask that customers who do not have trade accounts with us, pay for items using their debit or credit cards rather than cash, unless it’s unavoidable.

Thank you for your patience with us at this very difficult time.


Covid 19 Closure.

The Filter Guys

Due to the unprecedented threat to health that Covid 19 poses, we have decided to follow government advice and close the company in the short term. This is to avoid any contact between our staff, our staff and customers and our staff and suppliers to try and control the spread of this virus and protect those people key to our operations.

We send best wishes to our customers – and please know that we will back as soon as is safe to be to continue supplying you the filters you need to keep your machinery and businesses operating.

We send our best wishes to our suppliers – we will be back with our usual orders, again, as soon as is safe to do so.

Enquiries and orders will be dealt with as soon as possible upon our return to the office.

If we all continue to work together, support each other and follow the advice of government and health professionals; and with the financial support offered by the government this week, we are confident that we can all come back healthy and ready to continue to operate as we always have.

Please take care of yourselves, your families, friends and neighbours at this most distressing and unprecedented moment in time.

– The Filter Guys & Gals.


Water and Draining Fuel Filters

The Filter Guys

Most primary fuel filters have drains that allow the operator to drain the water that has been separated by the filter. The frequency with which the primary fuel filter needs to be drained is ultimately dependent on the quality of fuel that is being used. Most OEMs recommend draining your water separator daily. It is also recommended to pay attention to how much water is removed at each drain and adjust the frequency of servicing accordingly.

Why Remove Water in Fuel?

Water in fuel can prematurely wear and oxidize the steel components within the fuel injectors, leading to:

  • Rusting and corrosion of components
  • Governor/metering component failure
  • Sticky metering components (both pump and nozzle)
  • Injection component wear and seizure

Free or emulsified water must be removed from the fuel to prevent corrosion and damage to the fuel system. Fuel additives may claim they remove water, when really they dissolve the water. Which in turn, will pass through the filter and enter fuel injectors.

Types of water contamination in diesel fuel:

1) Emulsified water: water suspended in the fuel

2) Free water: water separated from the fuel and generally collected at the bottom of the fuel or the fuel storage tank

3) Dissolved water: water chemically dissolved in the fuel

Maintenance Recommendations & Guidelines

  • Drain water from your primary filter daily when refueling
  • Carry a spare set of fuel filters in case you receive a “bad” load of fuel
  • Never switch to more open filter to get longer filter life, you are trading away fuel pump and injector life
  • Never use fuel to lube the gasket. Fuel isn’t as slick as oil and if you use fuel it could cause gaskets to bunch or pinch when it is tightened, causing the filter to leak.

If using biodiesel:

  • make sure your fuel supplier meets current fuel standards
  • make sure your engine is compatible with the concentration (or percent) biodiesel you wish to use
  • When using your own fuel storage tank, remember that removing contaminants before they reach the vehicle is the best practice. Ensure you have effective bulk storage tank filtration.


What’s the Difference Between a Single-Stage and a Two-Stage Air Cleaner?

The Filter Guys

Air cleaners are defined into two types based on the stages the air and contaminant flow through the assembly. These types of air cleaners are considered single-stage and two-stage.


Single-Stage Air Cleaners

A single-stage air cleaner filters contaminant from the air through a primary filter without the use of a pre-cleaner. The contaminated air enters the air cleaner through the inlet side and flows directly to the primary filter. At this point, the contaminant is filtered out by the media and the filtration is completed. Single-stage air cleaners are typically used in light dust environments such as on-highway applications.

Two-Stage Air Cleaners

A two-stage air cleaner uses both a pre-cleaner and a primary filter to remove dust from intake air. The contaminated air is first sent through a pre-cleaner, which is considered the first stage. The pre-cleaner will remove 75-98% of the contaminant from the air. Pre-cleaners can be a separate add-on accessory or built into the air cleaner. Once the air is pre-cleaned, it is sent to the primary filter where the contaminant is filtered out by the media, completing the second stage. Two-stage air cleaners are typically used in medium- to heavy-dust environments such as construction and mining.


Fuel Filtration F.A.Q’S

The Filter Guys

Q1: Please explain the differences between the primary and secondary fuel filters in terms of the type of medium used, micron rating, and so forth.

Differences between primary and secondary filters vary from system to system, but in general, primary filters are used to separate water and larger particles (7-25 μm efficiency). Secondary filters are for final filtration (3-5 μm efficiency). Primary filters usually will have treated media to provide water separation performance. This can be either cellulose or a multi-layered synthetic media called melt-blown coupled with cellulose like Donaldson’s SynteqTM media. Secondary filters have untreated, multi-layered cellulose or purely synthetic media. These differences mainly have to do with the water separation requirements placed on primary fuel filters.


Q2: Have micron (μm) ratings become smaller and smaller as injection technology has advanced? When replacing filters, how do you make sure you have the micron rating that’s appropriate for your generation of engine and its injection system?

As injection technology has advanced and injection system pressures have increased the filtration

requirements have become more demanding. These systems have required filtration technology to be more and more efficient. When replacing your filters be sure you use an OEM approved replacement or a direct cross from a reputable filter manufacture to ensure you are using a filter that is appropriate for your engine.


Q3: Some truckers used to use a fine primary filter to avoid changing the secondary, while the original equipment concept was to use a coarse primary (on the suction side) and a fine secondary (on the pressure side). This took extra changes, but they liked the idea of avoiding changing the secondary. Is doing this impractical on modern engines?

Primary and secondary filters are usually balanced to provide the required engine protection and the optimum filter life. Placing a fine filter in a primary (suction) filter location is impractical because they can not tolerate as much pressure drop and will need to be changed very often. Generally, fine filters do not contain the required water separation in a primary filter.


Q4: How have new engine designs affected fuel filtration?

In the past, diesel engines had either mechanical fuel injectors or unit injectors. The drive to develop engine that meet emissions regulations has led to the application of common rail fuel injection systems. The higher pressures of common rail systems enables more precise control of fuel delivery and control of the combustion process. The goal of the new technology is to reduce the particulate matter and NOx coming out of an engine system, thereby reducing the burden on after treatment systems. The very high pressures in the common rail systems require tighter tolerances, elevating the requirements for cleanliness and efficiency on new and future fuel systems. This has created the need for increasingly better fuel filtration technology. Donaldson offers a range of products for those demanding conditions and is developing solutions for tomorrow’s requirements.


Q5: Will common rail systems bring any changes in terms of fuel filter requirements? If so, can you say what will they be?

Most fuel injection systems today are already common rail or close derivatives. The technology itself does not drive specific changes, the injection pressures and desired filter service intervals are more influential.


Q6: How important is filtering fuel stored in bulk tanks?

It’s becoming very important and can reduce future vehicle maintenance downtime. If you’re using a bulk fuel tank, filtering the fuel BEFORE putting in your vehicle is another great practice that can reduce contaminant and water from the fuel before refilling your vehicle tank. Over time, tanks can corrode, water condensation can build up, contaminant could enter the tank opening during fills.


Q7: I’ve been handling my diesel the same way for years. Why should I change the way I store fuel?

With the exception of reducing sulfur content, fuel standards have not changed substantially in over a decade. Engines, however, have changed dramatically. In order for new equipment to run trouble-free, they require much cleaner fuel. This means an increased need for filtration. Manufacturers are insistent that damage caused by fuel contaminants is not a factory defect. Therefore, it is in your best interest to filter your fuel prior to use.


Q8: Shouldn’t it be my fuel supplier’s responsibility to deliver clean diesel?

More than likely, your supplier is delivering perfectly in-spec diesel. The problem is that diesel cleanliness specifications are woefully out of date when compared to the needs of the modern engine. Some distributors are starting to go the extra yard and filter diesel prior to delivery, but this is not an industry requirement. An additional note of caution: the term “clean diesel” can also be used when referring to ultra-low sulfur diesel. This is not the same as reduced contamination levels or fuel “cleanliness”.


Q9: My fuel filters are plugging up really quickly. Should I change brands?

It is important to use high quality fuel filters to protect your engine. In most cases changing filter brands will NOT solve your fuel problems. Remember, a plugged filter did its job. Rapid filter plugging is an indication that there is a problem with the fuel, not the filter. The key to resolving rapid plugging issues is to determine how filterable solids are getting into or forming inside your fuel tank, and then fixing the root cause. Switching to a lower efficiency filter, regardless of brand, will simply spread the problem throughout your fleet.


Q10: The injectors and fuel pumps on my new equipment keep failing; what can I do?

The first step is to speak with your Original Equipment supplier. If you suspect that dirty fuel is behind the problems, a simple test can verify your fuel cleanliness level. Make sure you put the cleanest fuel possible into your equipment and protect your engine with a high efficiency fuel filter. This should eliminate injector and fuel pump problems due to dirty fuel.


Q11: Diesel is diesel, right? Why not buy from the cheapest source?

As with anything, you typically get what you pay for. Diesel is expensive, so it is tempting to minimize operating expenses by purchasing the cheapest fuel possible. While this fuel may meet minimum industry standards, that may not be adequate. Small differences in handling practices can have a huge impact on overall fuel quality and cleanliness. Saving a few pennies on your fuel bill may end up costing you far more in downtime, lost production and equipment repairs. Partnering with a good supplier is one of your best defenses against unforeseen fuel quality issues.


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