Ford F150 Fuel Filter Symptoms – Signs To Know

Some of the common Ford F150 fuel filter symptoms you need to watch out for are engine starting problems whether the engine is hard to start or just not starting. You will also find problems related to the engine stalling and randomly misfiring. Expect the overall decline in engine performance in terms of reduced acceleration or loud noises from the fuel pump. It gets even worse when you realize that a bad fuel filter can even damage fuel system components. 

Of course these are the top Ford F150 fuel filter symptoms. However, the solution is quite easy and you do not need to break the bank to solve fuel filter issues. To know more about how to solve them and the overall problems let’s get started. 

Common Symptoms of Ford F150 Fuel Filter

You need to watch for some of the common symptoms of a damaged or clogged fuel filter on a Ford F150. Let’s go through each of these symptoms. 

Engine Starting Problem

This is by far one of the top problems you will encounter if the fuel filter is clogged. When it comes to starting related issues, you will either have it hard to start the engine or the engine will just not start at all. 

Engine Hard to Start

Let’s start with the main function of  the fuel filter. It comes right after the fuel tank whose task is to make sure that the fuel coming out of the tank remains free from impurities. If the fuel filter is clogged then the fuel will not pass properly resulting in the overall engine having a hard time to start.

Engine Not Starting

If the fuel filter is way too clogged or fully clogged then the engine will not start entirely. With a clogged fuel filter there will be insufficient flow of fuel. This means there will be a lack of proper combustion in the engine necessary to start the engine. 

Engine Stalling

Engine stalling is another common problem from a clogged fuel filter. The three main reasons for your engine coming to a stop abruptly are lack of fuel, lack of airflow and lack of proper ignition. 

Among the reasons here, the lack of fuel can be attributed to the clogged fuel filter. Of course if your engine is stalling then check the fuel filter but if it is not clogged then you should check if the problem is with dirty fuel injectors. 

Engine Misfiring

Engine misfiring happens when one or multiple cylinders fail to produce any power. One of the reasons for engine misfiring is not having sufficient power. Clogged fuel filter results in low pressure which leads to lean fuel condition. Of course, the result is the lack of power resulting in engine misfiring on your Ford F150. 

Reduced Acceleration

This should be self explanatory by this point. Your engine’s performance and the overall acceleration you get depends on how efficient the air-fuel ratio and the overall combustion process is. Less fuel flow to the combustion chamber means that the air-fuel ratio is not to the range enough. So, overall a clogged fuel filter leads to reduced acceleration. 

Loud Noise From Fuel Pump

Loud sudden noises from the fuel pump is an indication that the fuel filter is damaged and needs to be replaced. Fuel filter is between the fuel tank and pump. If the fuel filter is damaged then it will not filter the pollutants properly from the fuel. The overall result is the flow of fuel with contaminants in the fuel pump. If the fuel pump senses contaminants inside it, then it starts making loud whining noises. 

Fuel System Component Failure

This is in relation to the previously mentioned point. If the fuel filter is clogged or not working properly then the fuel pump will have contaminated fuel inside. If the filter is not replaced or cleaned then the fuel pump will keep having the pollutants and overall lose its quality and eventually fail. So, a clogged fuel filter can cause component failure in the fuel system. 

How To Fix Fuel Filter Problems on Ford F150?

Thankfully it is easy to fix the fuel filter related problems on Ford F150. All you need to do is unclog or replace the fuel filter. The best part is you do not even need to consult a professional for this. Let’s get into the details of each of the processes. 

Replace Fuel Filter

Following is the process of replacing the fuel filter on a Ford F150. But before you go any further make sure to have eye protection and wear gloves before you replace the fuel filter. The fuel is contaminated and can cause injuries if you are not careful. 


  1. Flat Blade Screwdriver
  2. Wrench

Step 1: First, locate the fuel filter beneath the truck

Step 2: Grab the flat blade screwdriver and wiggle it around the connector locking tab that looks like a button.

Step 3: Now pull out the button from the locking tab and push in the tab. 

Step 4: After you push the tab, you will find the line being released. Put a rag over the line and then just finish pulling that line off. 

Step 5: Make sure to get rid of any fuel from the locking tab once you get it off.

Step 6: You will find a line behind the fuel filter and pop this line out using the retainer.

Step 7: Now the fuel filter is only connected to a clamp. Rotate and remove the clamp.

Step 8: Your fuel filter is entirely free now. Before you remove the filter, grab a bucket and empty the fuel filter.

Step 9: Grab out the fuel filter and then bring the new one. Connect this new filter to the clamp.  

Step 10: Finally, connect back everything from the lines to the locking tab. 

Now, if you are looking for a visual demonstration then check this Ford F-150 Fuel Filter Replacement w/ Tips!.

However, if you want to go for professional help, then it will cost you around $75 – $125 with the labor cost being $55 to $70 and the part itself being $20 to $55. 

To prevent F150 fuel filter problems, you need to replace the fuel filter on a regular basis. Make sure to change it every 40,000 to 80,000 miles. 

Unclog Fuel Filter

Following are the steps of cleaning the fuel filter on a Ford F150.. 


  1. Wrench
  2. Flat Blade Screwdriver
  3. Pressurized Carburetor Cleaner

Step 1: Go beneath the truck and locate the fuel filter. Next you need to remove the fuel filter. The process has been discussed above.

Step 2: Make sure to pour out the residual fuel to the bucket you placed around.

Step 3: Grab a pressurized carburetor cleaner. Always choose the one with an application straw.

Step 4: Spray inside the nozzle of the fuel filter.

Step 5: Remove the debris. Spray throughout the filter, tap off the debris and let the fuel filter dry for about an hour.

Step 6: Reinstall the fuel filter back to the truck.

Step 7: Connect all the clips and fuel line back to the fuel filter. 

Step 8: Finally, start the engine and check for any fuel leak. 


Is It Difficult To Replace the Fuel Filter on Ford F150?

No, it is not difficult to replace the fuel filter on a Ford F150. In fact, it is an extremely easy process. All you need to do is locate the fuel filter, grab it and remove it. Just make sure not to spill any residual fluid over you. 

Can a Dirty Fuel Filter Cause Poor Gas Mileage With Ford F150?

Yes, a dirty fuel filter can cause poor gas mileage on a Ford F150. With a clogged fuel filter, the fuel flow gets restricted resulting in the disruption of the air-fuel ratio for combustion. Low fuel means that the gas mileage will also drop. However, beyond the fuel filter you need to check the fuel pump, mass airflow sensor and fuel injectors as well. 

Can a Clogged Fuel Filter Cause My Ford F150 To Run Rich?

No, a clogged fuel filter does not cause the Ford F150 engine to run rich rather it leads to less fuel to the engine. This makes the mixture lean. If the fuel filter is clogged then you will face problems like engine misfiring, stalling or starting problems. However, if the engine is running rich then you need to focus on the O2 sensor because chances are it is not functioning properly. 


At this point you should know all the Ford F150 Fuel Filter symptoms. Keep an eye out for all the symptoms and when you have any doubt then diagnose it, verify and solve the problems. Finally, always keep in mind that most of the solutions related to fuel filters are quite simple and you can solve them yourself.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.