The history of the Ford economy car goes back many years. The four cylinder Pinto was first sold as a 1971 model. The Escort replaced the Pinto in 1981 and was the first Ford with front wheel drive. The Focus, sharing many of the Escort’s mechanical parts, came out as a 2000. The fuel filter is part of the Focus’ pressurized fuel system and needs regular replacement to keep dirt, rust particles, and sediment from contaminating the fuel system.
Things You'll Need
- 2 car ramps
- Adjustable wrench
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Replacement fuel filter
Drive the car onto a set of car ramps and set the emergency brake. Allow the engine to run. Pull the fuel pump fuse. Replace the fuse after the engine sputters and quits, which releases the pressure in the fuel system. Crank the engine by turning the ignition key to the start position for five seconds to remove any remaining pressure. Replace the fuel pump fuse.
Open the hood. Loosen the negative ground battery cable on the driver’s side of the engine bay with an adjustable wrench. Pull the cable from the battery and push it away from the battery.
Crawl under the car and locate the fuel filter which is mounted to the underside of the driver’s side floorboard. Disconnect the fuel lines from each end of the filter by prying up on the metal clip on the ends of each fuel line with a flat blade screwdriver while pulling the lines away from the filter.
Pull the filter straight down until the spring loaded holding bracket releases. Pry the filter out of the bracket with a flat blade screwdriver if necessary. Discard the old filter. Locate the flow arrow on the new fuel filter. Push the new filter into the bracket with the arrow pointing towards the front of the cat until it snaps into place.
Push the fuel lines back into the fittings on each end of the filter until they snap into place. Push the negative ground cable back onto the battery and tighten the clamp with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction. Close the hood.
Turn the ignition key to the ON position for a few seconds to pressurize the fuel system before starting the car.
Tips & Warnings
- The fuel pump fuse is located in the power distribution box under the hood. Lift the cover off of the box, which is located on the driver’s side of the engine bay near the firewall. Locate the fuel pump fuse, which is fuse #12, and remove it with the puller stowed on the underside of the power distribution box cover. When finished, push the fuse back into place and snap the cover back onto the box.
- My Ford Focus: 2000-2004 Fuel Filter Removal and Replacement
- "2003 Ford Focus Owner’s Guide "; Ford Motor Co.; 2003
How to Replace a Fuel Filter in a Ford Focus
The fuel filter in your Ford Focus screens dirt and rust particles out of the fuel. Some recommend replacing the fuel filter...
How to Change the Oil in a Ford Focus
From 2012 through 2014, Ford put a 2.0-liter engine -- either the Duratec or the Ecoboost -- in the Focus. After you...
How to Change a Ford Focus Cabin Filter
Whether it came equipped with one or not, the Ford Focus has the capacity to install a cabin air filter. A cabin...
How to Install a Fuel Filter in a 2003 Ford Mustang
The 2003 Ford Mustang is a fuel-injected pony car and one of the most recognizable Ford vehicles in the 2003 model year....
How to Change a Fuel Filter on a 2005 Focus
You need to change the fuel filter on the 2005 Ford Focus every 60,000 miles or four years, whichever occurs first. The...
How to Change the Transmission Filter on a 2003 Ford Focus
If your Ford Focus has an automatic transmission, you need to change the transmission fluid filter every two and a half years...
How to Replace a 2001 Ford Focus Fuel Filter
Although not a part of regular vehicle maintenance, there will come a time when you'll need to replace the fuel filter on...
The Location of the Oil Filter on the Ford Focus
When it's time for you to change the oil in your Ford Focus, you will also need to change the oil filter....
How to Replace a 2003 Ford Focus PZEV 2.3L Air Filter
The air filter in the 2003 Ford Focus PZEV 2.3L is different from a standard filter. A standard filter is a small...
How to Locate the Fuel Filter
The fuel filter is an important part of the overall fuel delivery system in any vehicle. When a driver presses on the...