Replacing the Fuel Filter

Part of regular maintenance, here's a step-by-step HOW-TO on replacing the fuel filter.

Tools.jpg Fuel_Pump_Fuse.jpg
The parts and tools required Fuel pump fuse location
Removed_Fasteners.jpg Fuel_Filter.jpg
Shield/mount and fasteners removed Fuel filter and hoses behind it
Fuel_Filter_Location.jpg
Fuel filter location under truck

Regular Maintenance Item and Schedule

Changing the fuel filter is part of the regular maintenance schedule for your truck, though the exact replacement interval isn't specified. Instead, it's listed as a "replace as necessary" part, typically meaning that you wouldn't replace it until symptoms requiring such appeared.

On average and depending on the quality of your gas station's own filters and storage - you might consider changing your filter at intervals of as little as 30,000 miles. Some folks have mentioned seeing some funk in their filters at this stage. You could probably change this filter every 50,000 miles with no problems. Again, your mileage may vary... It's a cheap part and easy enough to install, so a little extra care on the side of caution isn't a bad thing.

The entire procedure should only take 15-20 minutes or so, but your local dealership will happily charge you an hour's worth of labor to do this ($55 for me - yours may vary). Only some basic tools are required and of course, a replacement fuel filter.

The fuel filter is located above a frame crossmember, underneath the truck just past the passenger side door. If you crawl under there and look up in this location facing rearwards, you'll spot the hoses sticking out from the shield/mount but the filter itself is hidden behind same.

Caution and Tools Required

NOTE: You should clean up any spilled fuel during this procedure, as you will have some leakage during the stage at where the filter is swapped out. Do not perform this procedure near open flame and only in a well ventilated area.

For this procedure you'll need the following tools:

  • Ratchet, 1/4" or 3/8" drive
  • 10mm socket, 1/4" or 3/8" drive
  • Medium sized philips head screwdriver
  • Needle nosed pliers (optional, for fuse)
  • Small amount of grease (optional)
  • Small wire brush (optional)

Changing the Fuel Filter

Set aside your time and tools, grab a rag and let's do this thing.

  1. Open up the inside fuse box cover, below left of the steering wheel
  2. Remove the very top left fuse - it's blue and marked "15" amps (2001 model)
  3. Start the truck up and allow to run until it stalls - a few seconds
  4. Crank engine over a few additional times to remove remaining pressure
  5. Crawl underneath now and remove the top nut on the shield/mount
  6. Remove the two bolts from the bottom as well
  7. Loosen the bolt on the round mount surrounding fuel filter
  8. Slide the mount off fuel filter, down the hose and out of the way
  9. Loosen the hose clamps on either end of fuel filter, and slide up hose
  10. Using a tight grip and twisting motion back and forth, loosen hoses
  11. Gas may spill here! Cover the open ends with a finger where possible!
  12. Have new filter handy, and remove the first side hose
  13. Immediately insert hose onto new filter and cover open end with finger
  14. Free the other hose now and also insert onto new fuel filter
  15. Slide hose clamps back down hoses to former positions and tighten snugly
  16. Reposition the round mount down over fuel filter and tighten snugly
  17. Optionally, wire brush any rust or corrosion off bolt threads
  18. Apply light coat of grease to all bolt threads for future ease
  19. Install the shield/mount over fuel filter, noting the small tab and hole
  20. Hand tighten nut holding fuel filter to shield/mount and position in place
  21. Reinstall fully the bolts holding the shield/mount to the truck's frame
  22. Tighten nut holding fuel filter into position - watch the tab in the hole!
  23. Reinsert the 15A fuel pump fuse into position and close the cover
  24. Start the truck up and allow to run a minute - Check for leaks? Done!