How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 2001 Ford Explorer

by Lee SallingsUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Fuel line disconnect tool kit

  • Screwdriver set

The 2001 Ford Explorer comes equipped with sequential port fuel injection, and a high-pressure fuel delivery system protected by a high-pressure canister-style fuel filter. The on-board computer calculates fuel requirements based on various sensor inputs, and the assumption that the fuel delivery system is providing fuel at the required volume and pressure. Over time, the fuel filter captures sediment and this sediment will cause a restriction that lowers both the fuel pressure and volume supplied to the injectors. The result is stumbling and bogging during acceleration. Replacing the fuel filter at the recommended intervals will prevent this from occurring.

Place wheel chocks behind the front wheels. Lift and support the rear of your Ford Explorer with the floor jack and position jack stands under the frame. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands. This will prevent injury if the floor jack fails.

Locate the fuel filter. It is under the vehicle, attached inside the driver-side frame rail. Attached to each end of the filter is a fuel line. There two lines on the filter. The inlet line comes from the fuel tank, and the outlet line leads to the injector rail.

Select the "Ford" quick disconnect tool from the kit. Disconnect both the inlet and outlet fuel lines attached to the fuel filter by releasing the fuel line with the tool. Accomplish this by inserting the fuel line tool over the fuel line, and into the fitting. Push the tool into the fitting until it releases the line from the filter. Loosen the fuel filter clamp with the screwdriver. Slide the old filter out of the clamp.

Insert the new filter into the filter clamp; tighten the clamp. Push the fuel lines onto the new filter until they snap into place.

Raise the Explorer off the jack stands and remove the stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Cycle the ignition key from the off position to the on position three times to prime the fuel system. Start the engine and check for leaks.

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