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Fuel filter location is from the bottom of the vehicle, approximately where the passengers feet would be is a shroud held on with 10m bolts. Very hard to see but that is where the filter is located.

How to Change a 2002 – 2005 Ford Explorer Fuel Filter

No this is not a lifted F150, but it is a 4×4 ford! Since all Ford fans are welcome at Lifted F150 I thought this might be helpful.  If you have additional thoughts please become a member and comment below!

While changing the fuel filter on my wife’s 2003 Ford Explorer I realized it was not quite as straight forward as some I had changed in the past.  Because of the location with limited viability and the type of clamps it caused me to scratch my head a couple times.  Since I didn’t find this to be as easy as I expected, I have decided to share some steps for ford explorer fuel filter change.

1. Ford Explorer fuel filter Location

The fuel filter at least on our 2002 4.0L Ford Explorer was located on the passenger side just in front of the gas tank.  If you are laying on your back on the passenger side you should see a black plastic cover with a couple 10mm nuts.

-Remove these 10mm nuts and you should see the fuel filter.

Note: Before disconnecting your fuel lines make sure the fuel system is not under pressure!  This can be done by using the schrader  valve on the fuel rail under the hood.  Using something like a small screw driver and pressing it in should spit out some fuel.  Make sure you have a rag handy, and there is nothing around that could ignite the fuel.


2. Disconnect you Ford Explorer outlet fuel line

I found disconnecting the lines to be the most difficult part.  Our Ford Explorer fuel filter had three lines, one with a compression fitting, and two with plastic clamps.

-The outlet side that only has one line requires the common fuel injection disconnect tools.  I found that the scissor type tool was difficult to use in this location so I used the small plastic tool.

Ford Explorer Fuel Line Tool

Ford Explorer Fuel Filter Removal tool

I have a similar kit to remove fuel and AC lines that is listed below.  If you have not started this job yet and don’t have the tools, you should consider taking a look.

-To remove the line simply snap the plastic fuel line removal tool over the output line on the filter.  Press the tool evenly into the fuel line.  You may need to twist the a little and continue pressing to get it seating into the line.  Once it is seated all the way you should be able to remove the fuel line.

Remove the two inlet fuel lines to the fuel filter

The two inlet fuel lines are difficult to see and have a unique plastic clamp.  Often there are cheap throw away plastic tabs that come with a fuel filter.  This is not the case for the Ford Explorer fuel filter.  Below is a picture of what the lines look like, and also the clamp once removed.

Ford explorer fuel filter clampsFord Explorer Inlet Fuel Lines
Explorer Fuel Filter Clamp

Explorer Fuel Filter Clamp

-Once you can see these lines it makes sense.  You must unlatch the clamp, then press the side in and up. (side not connected to anything.  This will allow you to gently pull the lines out.

3. Remove the Ford Explorer fuel filter

-Once the lines are unhooked you should be able to remove the filter.  There may be a nut holding the fuel filter bracket.  Remove the nut.

– With a little persuasion line the filter out of the brack.

4. Install the new fuel filter

I will not provide as much detail on installing the new filter.  Since you have already removed the old filter it is much easier putting it back together

You can purchase a new filter from the Amazon link below if you want to save a trip to the store.

FRAM G9343 In-Line Fuel Filter

-Insert the new filter into the mounting bracket / cage

-Bolt the bracket back in place

-Snap the outlet line in place

-Hook up the two inlet lines. You will need to make sure the clamps seat properly and then snap them back in the locked position.

-Put the cover back on.

-Turn your key in the ACC position a few times to get fuel back to the rails.


Fire it up and drive away!


Disclaimer:  This is my experience and does not imply you should attempt this yourself.  You will be working with fuel, so be careful! When the lines are unhooked fuel will spill out.  If you have anything hot, lights, smoking, etc this could cause serious injury!

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