How to Replace the Fuel Filter of Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Ford car 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.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter of a Ford E350

Remove the gas cap n the E-350 to release fuel line pressure. This prevents the fuel lines from spraying fuel onto you when you remove the filter.

Locate the fuel filter. It is located inside the frame rail directly below the driver's side door. Use the replacement filter as a visual aid.

Place a drainage pan below the fuel filter to catch any excess fuel that leaks out of the fuel line while you replace the filter.

Place the tip of a small flathead screwdriver on the release tab located one of the retaining clamps that secures the fuel line to the fuel filter. Pry the clamp open with the flathead screwdriver. Complete this same step with the clamp on the other end of the fuel filter.

Remove the screw from the filter clap that secures the casing of the filter to the frame rail with a flat head screwdriver.

Slide the fuel filter out of the clamp and replace it with the new one. The filter has an arrow on one end of it. The arrow must face the front of the engine. Tighten the filter casing to the frame rail by tightening the flat head screw.

Slide the fuel lines onto each end of the filter and lock the lines in place by pushing down on the locking tab you previously pried open with the screwdriver.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Ford Expedition

Park the Ford Expedition in a well-ventilated location that has a level surface. Engage the parking brake to keep the vehicle from rolling.

Slowly remove the gas cap from the filler tube on the gas tank. This process will depressurize the fuel system and prevent fuel from spraying when the fuel lines are removed from the fuel filter.

Slide under the driver side of the Expedition and locate the fuel filter, which is mounted to the frame rail directly in front of the gas tank. The fuel filter is a cylinder-shaped component with a quick-connect fuel line coming out of each end. Slide the drip pan underneath the fuel filter.

Insert the end of the quick-disconnect tool into the end of one of the fuel lines. Then, press the tool inward into the fuel line. This will release the fuel line from the fuel filter port. Pull out on the fuel line at the same time that the tool is being pressed inward. Pull the fuel line straight off the fuel filter port. Move the tool to the other fuel line and repeat the process.

Loosen the clamp from around the fuel filter with a flat-head screwdriver. Note the direction of the arrow on the side of the fuel filter. The new fuel filter will need to be positioned with the arrow pointing in the same direction. Then, pull the fuel filter out of the bracket and place it into the drip pan.

Position the new fuel filter into the clamp with the arrow pointing in the proper direction. Tighten the clamp over the fuel filter with the screwdriver. Then, push both fuel lines straight onto the fuel filter ports until each line locks in place. Once the lines are pushed far enough onto the ports, the plastic clips will lock inside of the fuel lines. Then, slowly pull outward on the fuel lines to ensure that each fuel line is secured to the fuel filter ports.

Slide the drip pan out from under the Expedition and screw the gas cap back onto the filler tube until it clicks.

Turn the ignition to the accessory position for about five seconds and then turn it back to the off position. Repeat this a total of three times before cranking the engine.

Crank the engine and inspect the new fuel filter for signs of gas leaking around the fuel lines. Allow the engine to run for about 30 seconds. Then, turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Drip pan

  • Fuel line quick-disconnect tool- Part number-310-052

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • New fuel filter

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Ford Explorer

Begin by disconnecting the battery ground cable. Relieve the fuel system pressure by removing the fuel pump relay and then starting the engine. Let it idle until it stalls. Then, crank the engine for about 5 seconds to make sure the pressure has been released. Turn the ignition off.

Raise the vehicle and locate the fuel filter on the passenger side, under the door near the front wheel well. It is behind a curved shield called the fuel filter heat shield. Remove the bolts from that shield. Then, remove the nuts and the fuel filter shield.

Disconnect the quick release and spring lock couplings. Remove the fuel filter and any fuel line caps. Put the new filter in place and connect the quick-release and spring-lock couplings. Make sure you install the fuel pump relay. Reinstall the fuel filter heat shield and torque the bolts to 15 foot-pounds.

Lower the vehicle and reconnect the battery ground cable. Start your Ford Explorer, check for leaks, and fix any you find.

Items you will need

  • Hoist

  • Wrench

  • Quick-connect separator tool set

  • New fuel filter

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a Ford Ranger

Park your car in a safe place and level surface. Make sure you have enough room to work around the vehicle.

Relieve the fuel system pressure. Open the hood and disconnect the black, negative battery cable. Loosen the fuel filler cap and locate the Schrader valve along the inlet fuel line of the fuel rail inside the engine compartment (on some models, you might have to remove an accessory cover from the fuel supply manifold). The valve is located right before the first fuel injector and resembles an air valve used on bicycle tires. Depress the stem inside the valve using a small screwdriver. Cover the valve with a shop rag to catch the squirt of fuel.

Locate the fuel filter under the frame rail near the fuel tank on the right-hand side of the vehicle (passenger side). If necessary, raise the rear of the truck using a floor jack and safely support it on a jack stand.

Clean the lines and fittings of dirt on both ends of the fuel filter and remove the clips holding the fuel line fittings to the filter. Disengage the fuel lines from both ends of the filter.

Remove the fuel filter from the mounting bracket. If necessary, remove the bracket from the rail using a wrench or ratchet and socket and remove the filter from the bracket.

Install the new filter on the bracket, making sure the arrow on the side of the filter case points in the direction of the engine. Install the bracket on the frame rail.

Connect the fuel lines on both ends of the filter and install the clips on the line fittings.

Lower the vehicle, tighten the fuel filler cap and connect the black, negative battery cable.

Start the engine and check for fuel leaks.

Items you will need

  • Small screwdriver

  • Shop rag

  • Floor jack and jack stand

  • Wrench set

  • Ratchet and socket set

 Replacing a Fuel Filter on a Crown Victoria

To replace a fuel filter on a Crown Victoria, a fuel line spring expander tool will be needed. Any auto parts store has them and they are inexpensive. It also works to remove the fuel lines at the tank and at the engine. Before removing the fuel filter, disconnect the electrical connector at the coil and turn the engine over for three or four turns. Reconnect the coil. This dissipates the fuel pressure in the line so there is no big surprise when the fuel filter is disconnected.

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. The filter is on the driver's side of the car, about half way back on the bottom of the vehicle. It is attached to a bracket on the frame rail. Remove the 10mm screw that holds the fuel filter to the frame. Grab the fuel filter with one hand and with the other use the fuel line spring expander and put it around the fuel line with the long end toward the filter. Push the tool into the fuel filter and the tool will expand the spring, loosening the metal fuel line.

Pull the fuel line out of the filter. Do the same on the other end. Before replacing the fuel filter look at the side of it for an arrow. The arrow is the direction of fuel flow and it must be installed with the arrow pointing toward the engine. Put the filter into the bracket and insert the metal fuel line into the fuel filter and push the two of them together until a snap can be heard, indicating the spring is locked into place. Give the two a gentle pull to see if they come apart. Do the opposite side the same way and check for security. Tighten the bracket around the fuel filter. Let the car down and cycle the key on and off several times, pausing for five seconds between each sequence to give the computer time to reset. This will charge the lines with fuel pressure. Inspect the job for leaks.

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Ford Taurus

Disconnect the negative battery cable and locate the fuel filter. In a Taurus with a V-6 engine, the fuel filter is under the car in front of the rear wheel on the passenger side. In a Taurus with a 4-cylinder engine, the fuel filter is on the passenger side of the engine compartment.

Let the pressure out of the fuel system by gradually unscrewing the fuel tank fill cap. Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the white clip near where the fuel line and filter meet. Pull the fuel lines off of both ends of the filter.

Loosen the filter-retaining clamp, then take the fuel filter out of it. Replace it with the new filter. Check to make sure the arrow on the fuel filter points toward the engine. Tighten the filter-retaining clamp.

Put the fuel lines back on the filter, pushing them on to the fittings until you hear a click on both ends. Put the white clip back on the fuel line and snap it into place. Tighten the fuel tank cap. Connect the negative battery cable. Check for fuel leaks when you start your Ford Taurus.

Items you will need

  • New fuel filter

  • Standard screwdriver

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 2001 Ford Explorer

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.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Fuel line disconnect tool kit

  • Screwdriver set

 How to Change a Fuel Filter for an E-150

Ensure the van is parked on a flat, level surface. Set the parking brake to ensure the van does not roll.

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Locate the fuse panel near the battery. Open the panel and pull the fuel pump relay. It will be labeled for easy access.

Start the van to allow it to depressurize the fuel system. Once the van stalls, the pressure is released in the fuel lines. Remove the keys from the ignition. Re-install the relay once the van stalls out.

Find the fuel filter underneath the van. Trace out the fuel lines to the driver's door. The filter is located along the frame rail.

Place the quick-disconnect tool over the inlet fitting and pull toward the filter. This will release the line from the filter. Mark the inlet line with a piece of masking tape. Pull the outlet line off the filter with the quick-disconnect tool.

Slide the filter off the mounting bracket by loosening the retaining bolt with a socket wrench. Slide the filter away from the bracket.

Mount the new filter to the bracket. Tighten the bracket with a socket wrench. The arrow on the filter needs to be pointing toward the front of the van, as it designates the direction of fuel flow.

Remove the masking tape from the inlet line and push it onto the fuel filter. The line will lock in place once it is pushed far enough onto the filter. Repeat to install the outlet line.

Start the van and allow it to idle for five minutes. Observe for leaks around the fuel filter.

Items you will need

  • Quick-disconnect tool

  • Socket set

  • Socket wrench

  • Masking tape (optional)

  • New fuel filter

 How to Change a Fuel Filter on a 2002 Ford Explorer

Ensure your vehicle has had time to cool down since the last time it was driven. The engine block should be cool to the touch.

Remove the gas cap from your Ford Explorer and locate the Schrader valve attached to the vehicle's fuel line.

Don eye protection and depress the Schrader valve until no more gas and air comes out.

Locate the fuel filter. Your fuel filter will be located underneath the edge of the vehicle on the driver's side. There may be a plastic cover covering the filter. If so, unbolt it and remove it.

Take the safety clips off of the ends of the filter. Then, use a "quick release" tool to remove the fuel lines that are attached to the filter.

Connect your new filter to the fuel lines using the quick release tool to clamp the lines to each end of the filter.

Reinstall the safety clips on the new fuel filter by clamping them on each end of the filter.

Start your Ford Explorer and run at idle for five minutes. Visually verify underneath the body of the vehicle that there are no leaks from the fuel filter area before using the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Quick release tool

  • Eye protection

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a 1999 Ford Escort

Park the 1999 Ford Escort in a ventilated area and open the hood. Turn off the engine. Remove the gas cap from the gas tank to relieve the gas pressure from the fuel filter and the fuel lines. This process will prevent gas from spraying everywhere once the fuel lines are removed from the filter.

Locate the round cylinder-shaped fuel filter mounted inside of the engine compartment on the passenger side firewall. The fuel filter has a fuel line coming out of the top of the filter and a fuel line coming out of the bottom of the filter.

Position the drip pan underneath the Ford Escort in the general area of the fuel filter. Locate the plastic clip that secures the bottom fuel line to the bottom of the fuel filter. Slide the end of the screwdriver underneath the clip and pry outward until the clip is completely out of the fuel line. Pull the bottom fuel line straight off of the bottom of the fuel filter.

Remove the top fuel line from the top of the fuel filter by sliding the end of the screwdriver underneath the clip and prying outward until the clip is completely out of the fuel line. Pull the top fuel line straight off of the fuel filter.

Loosen the clamp from the fuel filter by unscrewing the clamp screw with the flat-head screwdriver. Make note of the direction of the arrow that is stamped on the side of the fuel filter. The arrow represents the proper flow of the gas through the fuel filter.

Pull the fuel filter out of the bracket and put it in the drip pan. Position the new fuel filter into the clamp with the flow arrow pointing in the same direction as the old fuel filter.

Push the fuel lines straight onto the fuel filter ports. Push the new clips inward until the clips are completely inside of the fuel lines. Gently pull out on the fuel lines to ensure that they are secured to the fuel filter.

Turn the ignition to the accessory position for about five seconds and back off. Repeat this process a total of three times before cranking the engine. This will prime the fuel filter with gas and remove any air from the fuel lines and the fuel filter.

Crank the 1999 Ford Escort and inspect the new fuel filter for leaks. Turn off the engine and close the hood. Slide the drip pan out from under the car.

Items you will need

  • Drip pan

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • New fuel filter

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a Ford 5.4

Park the truck on a level surface and shut the engine off. Unscrew the cap from the gas tank to relieve the fuel pressure.

Crawl under the driver's side of the truck. Look for the fuel filter inside the driver's side frame rail underneath the cab. It is a canister filter inside a bracket that is mounted to the frame rail. There are two safety clips on both sides of the filter that hold the fuel lines to the filter. Pry the safety clips off both ends of the fuel lines with a flat-head screwdriver.

Place a fluid catch pan on the ground underneath the fuel filter. Slide the end of the quick disconnect tool into the end of the fuel line. Press the end of the tool inward, and the fuel line will unlock from the fuel filter port. Gently pull the fuel line straight off the port. Do the same thing to the second fuel line on the other side of the filter. Let the lines hang down and drain into the catch pan. There is only a small amount of excess fuel in the lines.

Slide the fuel filter out of the round bracket. Discard the old filter into the catch pan. Slide the new fuel filter into the bracket, with the "flow arrow" indicator on the new filter facing the engine. The arrow represents the flow of the fuel through the filter. The arrow must face the engine and away from the gas tank.

Slide the fuel lines straight onto both fuel filter ports until you feel them lock in place. Gently pull back on the line to ensure that the line is locked securely. Remove the catch pan from underneath the truck.

Screw the gas cap back on. Turn the ignition key on and off three times to prime the fuel filter full of gas. Crank the engine.

Inspect the fuel filter and the fuel lines for leaks while the engine is running. Then shut the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Fluid catch pan

  • Quick disconnect tool

  • Fuel filter

 How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a 1998 Ford Escort

Start the engine. Locate and remove the fuel system fuse from the fuel panel. Wait for the engine to stall out, take the key out of the ignition and then reinsert the fuse.

Open the hood and look toward the back of the engine well, near the fire wall to locate the fuel filter, which rises up into the engine well in the fuel lines from the undercarriage.

Slide the drop pan under the Escort so it’s directly below the fuel filter.

Pull the fuel line retaining clips upward and out of the fuel line ends where the fuel line connects to the fuel filter using the fuel line disconnect tool.

Pull the fuel lines off both ends of the filter by hand, take the filter out and set it in the drop pan. Connect the fuel lines to the new fuel filter, push the retaining clips back into position and close the hood.

Turn the ignition key to the run position and wait until the fuel pump finishes cycling, which should take about ten seconds. Turn the key off, then back to the run position again. Once the pump cycles a second time, you can start the engine.

Items you will need

  • Drop pan

  • Fuel line disconnect tool

 How to Change the Fuel Filter on a 1990 Ford Ranger

Park the 1990 Ford Ranger and turn the engine off. Unscrew the gas cap.

Locate the fuel filter. It's on the driver side of the 1990 Ford Ranger. The fuel filter is inside a round bracket that is mounted inside the driver-side frame rail directly under the driver door. The fuel filter has two fuel lines. There is one fuel line coming out of each end of the fuel filter. This type of fuel filter will require a fuel line quick-disconnect tool that can be bought a most auto parts stores.

Put the gas catch pan under the fuel filter. There should be only a small amount of excess gas in the gas lines.

Insert the tool inside the end of the fuel line that is attached to the fuel filter port. Push the tool in until the fuel line unlocks from the fuel filter port on the fuel filter. When the fuel line unlocks from the port, pull the fuel line straight off the port. Follow this method for both fuel lines.

Remove the fuel filter from the round bracket. Pull the fuel filter out with your hands and put the fuel filter into the catch pan.

Slide the new fuel filter into the round bracket. Make sure the arrow that is imprinted on the side of the fuel filter is pointing toward the front of the Ranger. The arrow represents the direction of the fuel flow.

Push both of the fuel lines straight onto the fuel filter ports until the ends of the fuel lines lock onto the fuel filter ports of the fuel filter. To ensure that the fuel lines are locked in place, pull back on the fuel lines.

Screw the gas cap back onto the gas tank. Prime the fuel filter by turning the key on and off three times.

Crank the 1990 Ford Ranger and look over the new fuel filter for any gas leaks while the engine is running.

Turn the engine off and slide the catch pan out from under the 1990 Ford Ranger.

Items you will need

  • Gas catch pan

  • Fuel line quick-disconnect tool

  • New fuel filter--Fram/FFG3802A

 How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Ford 5.4L

Climb under the vehicle below the driver’s seat area with the drain pan, tool and new filter.

Follow the fuel line forward from the fuel tank to locate the fuel filter, which is in the fuel line approximately half way between the tank and engine. If you’ve never seen a fuel filter before, familiarize yourself with the look of the new one prior to climbing under so you can easily spot the old one.

Pull the fuel-line retaining clips (located in the ends of the fuel lines where they connect to the filter) outward from the line using the fuel-line disconnect tool. Work these clips gently, as they break easily and you can only replace them by purchasing an entire fuel line.

Pull both fuel lines off the filter by hand. Pull the old filter out of the retaining strap and put it in the catch pan.

Insert the new filter with the flow arrow pointing forward, and reinstall the fuel lines by hand. Gently push the clips back into place in the fuel-line ends and climb out from under the truck.

Climb into the driver’s seat and insert the key into the ignition. Turn the key to the run position and count to ten and then shut the key off. Turn it back to the run position once more, count to ten a second time and then start the truck.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Fuel line disconnect tool

  • New filter

 Replacing a Fuel Filter on a 1999 Ford Contour

Twist the gas cap off the fuel door. This will relieve the pressure in the fuel tank.

Open the hood to relieve the pressure in the fuel line. Locate the Schrader valve along the fuel rail. The Schrader valve will have a red plastic cap covering it. Pull the cap off the valve and press a screwdriver onto the tip in the valve. This will release fuel. Take the screwdriver away once the valve stops squirting fuel. Clean up the excess fuel with a rag.

Locate the filter underneath the car. The filter is located in front of the passenger side rear wheel, tucked away in the frame rail.

Pull up on the locking tabs holding the fuel lines to the filter. Pull the fuel lines away from the filter.

Loosen the clamp with a flat tip screwdriver. Pull the filter away from the car.

Place the new fuel filter up into the clamp. Ensure the arrow on the filter is pointing toward the front of the car. The arrow indicates fuel flow through the filter. Tighten the clamp to secure the filter.

Push the fuel lines onto the fuel filter. Push the lines on until they lock in place.

Start the car to ensure the fuel lines are not leaking. The car may not start right away so turn the key to the "start" position. Allow the fuel pump to run for the 3 seconds the fuel pump is designed for at start-up. Do not start until the fuel pump is through with its cycle.

Allow the car to run long enough to inspect the fuel lines around the new filter. Turn the car off.

Items you will need

  • Flat tip screwdriver

  • Rag

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set