Changing Fuel Filter | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Changing Fuel Filter


August 16, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Pittsburgh, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 XLT
Thanks for all of the help and reply's for tuning up my explorer. It is running great. I tried changing the fuel filter and got a quick release tool but don't know what to do with it. Also, how do you relieve the pressure off of the fuel system so I don't take an 87 octane bath.

Thanks for the help.

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With the right quick release tool this is easy and only takes about 30 min to change.

First, with the hood raised and access to the fuses(not sure of location on 97), start the car.

Pull the fuse for the fuel pump and let the car die. This will depressurize the system. Open the gas cap just to make sure.

With the quick release tool, slide it on the hose and towards the filter. Once the tool is under the inlet/outlet for the filter, you should be able to pull the hose out. Be careful, mine spilled gas out the hose and the filter so I was covered anyway.

Now just pop the new filter on return the fuse and gas cap to their rightful location. Before starting the car, turn the key to on several times to pump fuel into the filter. You will be able to tell by the sound when the filter is full again.

Now go have fun!

Let us know if you have any questions.

When I changed the filter on my 98, I used the inertia switch method described by the Haynes manual. It is located on the front of the front passenger floor board, below the heater unit. All you have to do is disconnect the electrical connector form it, and run the engine for a few seconds until it dies.

As for the quick release tool, take the safety clamp off of the fitting. Then clamp the tool over the fuel line, on the large side of the fitting, with the two "blades" facing the connector. Then its just a matter of pushing the tool into the connector as far as you can. The connector should seperate with a slight tug, if it doesn't, try pushing the tool in a little more. Hope this helps.

Thanks, I got it!!!!

gonna try this myself

Gonna pick me up a Haynes manual and fuel filter and try this project myself. From the previous posts this sounds like a relatively simple task. I wonder how refreshing a 92 octane shower wil be?

Anyone recommend a certain brand of fuel filter? How much do these things cost anyway? Are there any "high performance" filters(if there is such a thing) out there worth trying out?

Thanks for your help.


I saw a Fram Fuel filter at the parts store for around $15. I think that i am going to try this also

What size fuel filter does a 4L OHV use?

Fuel Filter Tool

I've seen it called a fuel line disconnect tool or even an AC and Fuel line disconnect tool. You can buy cheap ones at NAPA and Schuck's, but I'd stay away from those because I had really bad luck with them (they're plastic). Spend the extra $$ and go buy a metal one from a Parts Plus auto parts dealer. Also, check out Autozone they may have a good quality one. The tool at Parts Plus was $16 the other day and will allow you to use it on a variety of hose sizes. Good luck.