How to Replace the Fuel Filter in a Ford Aerostar

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Installing a fuel filter yourself on your Ford Aerostar instead of having a professional do it can save you hundreds of dollars. But take precautions to do the job right because of the risks associated with gasoline. It's not an overly difficult task as long as you pay attention and emphasize safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp
  • Car jack
  • Jack stands
  • Pliers
  • Shop rags
  • Chocks
  • Access the fuel filter site by jacking your car up and placing it on the jack stands. Use chocks to keep the car in place and set the emergency brake.

  • Attach the fuel lines to your new fuel filter now that you can see the installation site. Use your pliers to open the "tangs" (small metal fasteners that loosen when you squeeze together the protruding arms and provide a very good seal on rubber hoses when closed). Slide them down the hose to where the hose is covering the metal fuel line and let go of the tang to seal the tube. Make sure your tube is on the fuel line at least 1 inch.

  • Reattach the housing (with the filter inside) by replacing and tightening the fuel filter bolts to the body of your Aerostar. Different makes of the Aerostar have different housing attachment configurations, but check the owner's manual if you need a look at a properly attached fuel filter (see Resource 2). It should be fairly simple, as it is simply the reverse of when you took the bolts out.

  • Start the car with a fire extinguisher nearby. Once it is started, stand there (make sure the garage is well-ventilated if that's where you are) and look closely for leaks from the filter and hoses. If there is a large leak, turn the car off and figure out the reason, most likely an improperly clamped hose.

  • Watch for 10 minutes to be sure no gas is leaking from the hoses or filter. After that, lower your car and remove the jacks.

  • Drive the car. Go a few miles and then return home and check for leaks again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful with gasoline. Those rags or newspapers you soaked the gas up with are downright deadly. Do not store them anywhere. Wash the rags and throw the newspaper out in an outside trash can. The old fuel filter has enough gas in it to make it a bomb. Get it to a parts recycling center. Most likely, the gararge where you bought your new filter will take it.
  • Never forget that your garage may have an open flame, the pilot light on your water heater. If gas fumes get to the open flame, you can guess what the results will be. Work in a well-ventilated area.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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