How to Replace the Fuel Filter on a Ford F150

how to replace the fuel filter on a ford f150

Are you getting lousy gas mileage? Are you worried that you filled up with some less than optimal fuel? Getting weak fuel economy and slow acceleration are some of the worst concerns for every Ford F150 owner. No one wants to be paying more for their fuel or feeling less power in their truck!

Luckily, there is an easy to do-it-yourself solution available for even the most novice truck owner which involves you having to replace the fuel filter on your Ford F150.

How can you replace the fuel filter of a Ford F150? You can get a new fuel filter for your Ford F150 for around $80 at your local mechanic or repair it yourself for approximately $20 and 30 minutes of your time. Don’t force anything! If you can’t do it with easy to moderate force, you could damage the system.

What you will need:

All you will need are towels, a flathead screwdriver, a rubber mallet, and a 5/16-line compression removal tool, a small pick, and a new filter. All of this stuff can be bought on Amazon.

Some safety materials that you may also need are a catch tray for any fuel that may come out when you remove the filter, eye protection, and towels.

Handy Hint: Never work on a hot engine when replacing a fuel filter! Never smoke while working around the fuel system and filter!

How to prep the engine before removing an F150 fuel filter

The first step to removing the fuel filter of a Ford F150 is to reduce the pressure from the fuel system. Reducing pressure from the fuel system lines will allow you to work with the system and remove the old filter efficiently.

  • Keep the engine running and all accessories off during this step.
  • Find and remove the fuse cover; it should be on the driver’s side with a red top.
  • To trip the inertia fuel reset switch, gently tap on the switch with the rubber mallet
  • Once the switch is off, the engine should die shortly after.
  • Crank the starter a few times to make sure the system has no pressure left.

How to get the F150 fuel filter off

The first thing you have to do is locate the filter can. The filter is under the driver’s side door by the step rail. Make sure to take note of which way the filter is facing. The flow arrow and flow of the fuel should be going towards the front of the truck.

Also, the fuel line connector has teeth that you will be releasing when you remove the old filter and tightening when you install the new filter.

  • Start with the front of the filter.
  • Unhook and swing away the metal retaining clip.
  • Put the line removal tool on the front of the fuel filter and use gentle pressure to squeeze the fitting into the fuel filter.
  • Slide the removal tool forward towards the front end of the truck into the line fitting until it fits solidly.
  • The line fitting can come off of the old filter now. Watch out for fuel spray. Minimize the mess by wrapping a rag around the line.
  • Finally, undo the line from the c-clamp holding it.
  • Now, repeat this step for the rear of the filter. It is more delicate, so you may want to use the pick to lift the middle of the fitting.
  • Once you finish with the rear one, use the flathead screwdriver to disconnect the old fuel filter.

How to put the new F150 fuel filter On

Before you start to install the new F150 fuel filter, remove any plastic pieces from the filter and throw them away. Locate the flow arrows on the filter, and we are ready to install your new filter!

  • Make sure that you install the filter into the clamps with the arrows pointing towards the front of the truck, just like it was before!
  • Rehook the front line made of steel onto the filter.
  • Compress the fitter on to the filter until it feels solid.
  • If you can replace the retaining hook without any trouble, you have correctly installed the front line.
  • Finally, install the rear line the same way that you installed the front. Once it has been tightened on as much as it will go, press the blue centerpiece that will lock the unit.
  • Double-check all of your lines and your work and rehook the clamps.

Restart your truck after installing the new F150 fuel filter

Restarting the engine will have some roughness. This will only happen at first and should not last for much longer than several seconds. The rough running should only be for a few moments as the fuel line clears the air out. The engine should start right up and run clean after that. Again, take another moment to get out of the truck and visually check the fuel line for leaks. Follow these steps slowly to make sure you restart your truck correctly!

  • The first thing you will want to do before checking the new fuel filter is to reset the fuel pump inertia by pressing that red switch until it clicks.
  • Turn on the ignition, but don’t start it. Count to 10, then turn it off. Try to do this about 3 to 4 times.
  • Check the fuel line by starting the ignition. Turn the ignition on, but leave the engine off! Get out and check to see if there are any leaks in the line or around the filter.
  • If there are no leaks, that is great! After you have turned the ignition on and off a few times, you can start the engine.
  • The engine should start right away. It may run rough until the air clears out of the system.
  • While the motor is one, you can check for leaks a final time.
  • Close the fuse panel, and congratulate yourself on saving money by replacing your F150 fuel filter yourself!

How to know when an F150 fuel filter needs replacing?

Reading blogs like these mean that you understand how important it can be to take care of your vehicle. It is difficult to find engine problems before they cost you lots of money. But researching is handy so that you can see the signs of coming failure in your F150 and catch them before they cost you 1st born child to fix at the mechanic.

The most common failure in fuel filters is clogging. It happens to all fuel filters at some point during their lifespan and can lead to poor vehicle performance. The average driver should be able to get the lifetime warranty out of a fuel filter.

But, in the next section, we will detail some actions that truck drivers may be doing that cause these types of problems earlier than they should be. The following are some warning signs to look out for before the performance of your truck gets genuinely horrid.

Your F150 is getting poor fuel mileage

According to, the average fuel economy of a Ford F150 is between 15 and 17 miles per gallon (mpg). That means, if you are seeing a lower mpg number on your truck or are noticing that you have to fill up more times a month, it may be time to change the fuel filter on your F150. Low MPG in a truck can eat into your wallet and smart truck owners should do everything they can to make sure they are getting the best MPG that their truck can offer them.

Your F150 has trouble starting

If your truck is having trouble starting, or even having difficulty accelerating from a stop, these are significant issues. Issues such as these could mean that you should replace your fuel filter, ASAP!

In the beginning of a clogged filter, this may just look like a loss of power when going up steep inclines or hauling. But, if the clogging gets worse and is left alone this problem can lead to uneven idling, sputtering out, or even stalling the engine.

Your F150 is losing power

Your F150 should be a powerful beast of a truck that is capable of hauling and working hard. So, if you are feeling a lack of power behind the accelerator, this is a problem that you will want to take care of right away!

Handy Hint: Here are some common reasons and fixes why your Ford F150 starts to shudder and shake when accelerating.

Lack of power in your F150 truck can be especially noticeable at times. If you are going uphill or heading up onto a freeway and it is taking longer to get to full speed is a bad sign. Also, a lack of power is more noticeable when you are hauling something or pulling weight as the fuel pump will be working overtime.

Finally, if you feel like your truck can’t maximize its power for simple driving, these are bad signs that your fuel filter may be getting clogged. Your truck may be on its way to sputtering and possibly stalling.

Replace that fuel filter before it ruins your fuel pump and maybe even your spark plugs. Your wallet will thank you for it!

Your Ford F150 check engine light is on

Everyone hates it. That little light that means your truck has a trip to the mechanic planned shortly. If your truck fuel filter is clogged, there may be misfires in the cylinders of the engine.

The managing computer of the engine will read inconsistent fuel pressure and these misfires in the cylinders.

Misfires are usually the cause of the check engine light coming on. Although you can replace the F150 fuel filters yourself, you will need to take your truck into a mechanic to have the computer reset to turn the light off.

* Your sparkplugs can also become ruined if you have a clogged fuel filter for long enough.

When Ford say you should replace the fuel filter on an F150?

Most F150s in recent years have manuals that say to replace the fuel filter every 30k miles. However, changing your fuel filter a preventative replacement.

In other words, if you are experiencing any of these problems, either go to a mechanic or try to replace your fuel filter yourself.

You might have a clogged fuel filter

Just because you may not have the apparent signs listed above doesn’t mean that your filter is not on its way to getting clogged. There are specific tips and tricks to remember that can help you to give you fuel filter and even the fuel pump on your truck more life and to save you some money.

Whether it is the way that you drive, how often you fill your tank, how long you have had your car or other factors, there are tips to help you to keep your fuel filter and fuel pump going strong.

Should you replace a fuel filter if you run out of gas?

Absolutely! Running your fuel tank down to empty is never a good idea.

First of all, you will be hiking to a gas station with a gas tank.

Secondly, your fuel lines and the filter can fill with the silt that may have been sitting at the bottom of your fuel tank. It’s never a good idea to run out of gas, but if you do change your fuel filter can help with problems in the future.

Do you need to replace the fuel filter if you buy a used F150?

It is probably a good idea.

You never know if the driver was the type to only put $10 worth of gas in the tank at a time, and this sort of driving harms fuel filters and even fuel pumps.

Replace the Ford F150’s fuel filter and have the peace of mind that you are getting the best gas mileage that you can from your vehicle.

What fuel filter do you have on your Ford F150?

The fuel filter is an essential part of keeping the fuel system clean and functioning correctly. A steel line runs from the fuel tank under the truck up to the engine where fuel injects into the cylinders.

The fuel pump is what brings the fuel past the filter at pressure and into the engine. If the filter is getting sediment in it or other dirt from the fuel it may become clogged.

A dirty or clogged filter means that the pump will have to work harder to pull the fuel into the engine and may function an already old pump until it dies.

How do mechanics check if a fuel filter is faulty?

Mechanics will routinely run several tests on your F150 while it is in the shop getting other work done. A fuel filter test that checks for clogging can help to find out the life expectancy of your filter.

The best way to figure out is a fuel filter is terrible on your Ford F150 is to perform a pressure test near the fuel injectors that are right by the fuel rail.

The reading of the pounds per square inch(psi) is how mechanics can find out if the filter is clogged or not.

The psi reading picks up after fuel has gone through the filter, and if it is much lower than the standard psi of an F150, then this can mean that there is lousy clogging.

How to choose the right fuel filter for a F150

Most Online retailers have search tools for finding the correct parts for your truck.

Right now, Autozone has the best selection, but other smaller retailers have the best prices. If you use a store like Autozone you can search for your year F150 part and then find it cheaper on another site.

Duralast, Fram, And Valucraft are all fuel filter brands for under $20 that fit most 2000s Ford F150s.

The filter size will obviously give you longer use time on your truck. But there are usually only a few options with the most expensive usually from brand name filters like Fram.

In the end, choose the filter that will fit on your truck and take the time to install it carefully for the best results.


The F150 is one of the most powerful trucks on the road. You shouldn’t let a clogged fuel filter get in the way of using your truck the way it was meant to be. If you can follow the instructions and gently remove the old fuel filter to install a new one, it will be worth it.

In order to fully get the best out of your powerful F150, replacing a fuel filter that may be clogged is one of the easier options for car care that can make a big impact on performance. After replacing the clogged filter, you may immediately experience acceleration getting better with MPG edging up, as well.

Take care of fuel lines and they can last the lifetime of the truck. But, let them get all gunky with continual bad driving habits (like driving to the bottom of the gas tank all the time), you may find that they too need to be replaced.

Josh Henderson

Hi I'm Josh and I'm a huge pickup enthusiast. I started this website in 2018 in order to share all my projects and custom mod tips that I've done with my own Ford F-150.

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