How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a 1998 Ford Escort

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Drop pan

  • Fuel line disconnect tool

The 1998 Ford Escort relies on a canister shaped fuel filter in the fuel line between the gas tank and fuel rail to filter sediment and debris out of the gasoline before it contaminates the fuel rail and fuel injectors. Ford Motor Company recommends replacing this filter every 15,000 miles as part of your regular maintenance schedule. If you have some basic auto maintenance skill and about 30 minutes of free time on your hands, you can replace the filter yourself and save the labor charge.

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.


Dispose of the old fuel filter in accordance with your local hazardous waste disposal laws. You can find out how to dispose of it at your local auto parts store or local fire station.


Never work on a fuel system while smoking or near open flames.

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