How To Replace The Fuel Filter In Your Ford F150

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With proper maintenance, good driving habits, and a little luck, your Ford F150 should last for years (if not decades). Still, it may be a bit daunting to work on. Ask anyone who’s had to climb inside the hood of one of them. But that shouldn’t deter you! Just working on your truck and getting the most out of it is half the fun.

Today’s post is about how to replace the fuel filter in your fuel-injected Ford F150. The F150 first used fuel injection with the 1985 8-302 (5.0L) engine.

You should replace the fuel filter at the intervals designated by Ford, which can be found in Chilton’s online database. The intervals vary by year, from 1985 to 2008, from every 15,000 miles to every 30,000 miles. In 2009, Ford started using a filter which is part of the fuel pump module and does not require changing. Changing the filter is a fairly easy, inexpensive way to keep your whole fuel system in good shape.

You’ll just need a replacement fuel filter and a fuel line removal tool. The type of tool will vary by the year of your truck. These tools can be purchased at your local auto parts store.

You’ll also need some disposable rubber or latex gloves since gasoline is tough on skin, safety goggles to avoid getting gasoline in your eyes, and a some sort of catch can, since there will be some gasoline in the old filter.

Before starting any work on or near the fuel system, remember, never smoke anywhere near the fuel system or have any type of flame or spark near it!

You’ll probably have to lift the truck to get to the filter unless it’s a 4×4, in which case you may have enough room to crawl underneath. If you have to lift it, use a good floor jack, not the bumper jack and a good set of jackstands to support it. You can also use a good quality set of drive-on ramps. First things first, make sure your truck’s engine is off and the automatic transmission in Park. Firmly set the parking brake. It’s also a good idea to disconnect the battery ground cable; there may be some old wires which could cause a spark.

The fuel system is pressurized, so you’ll have to relieve that pressure before you open any part of the fuel system. Once again, the way to do this will vary by year. You can find the correct procedure by checking Chilton’s online data base.

Now you’re ready to get started.

The following procedure is general and should apply to most years:

The fuel filter is located mid-way along the inside of the left (driver’s side) frame rail.

Fuel filter line

Most years have safety clamps at each end of the filter over the fittings. Gently pry these off. You may need a small pry tool to get them to move.

Fuel line removed

Spread the special release tool open and …

Garter spring on the spring lock coupling

… place the tool on the filter inlet/outlet tube and carefully press the tool inward to release the garter spring on the spring lock coupling and …

removed fuel lines

… remove the fuel lines from the filter.

Remove the filter from the clamp by pulling it straight out, but be careful, as you can see fuel will most likely spill out of the filter

removing the fuel filter

Push the new filter into the clip. Make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Most new filters have an arrow to help you.

Push the fuel lines onto the filter until you can hear a click. To be sure they’re secure, try pulling on them, gently. If they’re on correctly, put the safety clips back on.

Lower your truck if you had it up on stands or ramps, connect the battery and start the engine. Check the filter and lines for leaks.

If this post wasn’t helpful for replacing your Ford F150’s fuel filter, or you just need more help with another repair project, take a look at ChiltonDIY. You can enter your vehicle’s year and model, and get step-by-step repair instructions, diagrams, and expert advice from our automotive technicians.  Ready to tackle your next Ford project? Check out our Ford Online Repair Manual.


9 responses to “How To Replace The Fuel Filter In Your Ford F150”

  1. Rob says:


    Thank you for the information on how to replace the fuel filter in my 2008 Ford F150. The instructions and pictures were very easy to follow and saved me about $30.00 for ten minutes of my time. I am sure that I will use your web in the future.

    Thanks Again,
    Covina Ca.

  2. ChiltonDIY says:

    Thank you for letting us know Rob. Glad Chilton could assist. :)

  3. Dave says:

    I have an 88 302efi and i can’t find the filter anywhere on the frame rail. Am i crazy or does this truck not have a filter?

  4. ChiltonDIY says:

    Or, Dave, your 1988 F150 may have the reservoir-type shown below. It doesn’t look like a filter so if you are looking for something like the picture above you’d miss it.
    This canister-type is difficult to fool with because when you take them apart because the O-ring is easily damaged when screwing it back on. They do offer just the canister filter — an easier replacement.

  5. ChiltonDIY says:

    Dave, your F150 may have one or both of the filter types above or it may have this inline version (shown below).
    I have had parts stores deliver the wrong type of filter for an F150 in your year span, because there are the different types.

  6. Doug Altom says:

    Call me blind, but I see not canister the entire length
    of the beam, following the fuel line from the 2-tank switch to the fuel pump. This is a 1986 f150 V8 351 with carburetor. Thanks.

    • ChiltonDIY says:

      Haha! You’re not blind!
      According to both the Fram and Purolator filter catalogs, that engine uses a filter that screws into the float bowl. Follow this path in your ChiltonDIY subscription for the 1986 F150 the step-by-step removal and installation procedure and illustration: Fuel Systems > Fuel Filter > Removal & Installation > Carbureted Engines > Carburetor Mounted Filters

  7. Mike says:

    Excellent! Clear, concise and professional. Thank you!

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