2002 Ford Windstar Change a Fuel Filter

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The in-line fuel filter is standard equipment on a 2002 Ford Windstar. This filter needs to be changed regularly, just like the oil and air filters. Ford Motor Company's maintenance schedule calls for a new fuel filter every 15,000 miles. If you change your oil every 3,000 miles, replace the fuel filter with it every fifth service. While changing the fuel filter isn't much harder than changing the oil, it does require a special tool and a bit more expertise.

Tools Used[edit]

Drop pan
Socket set
Fuel line removal tool or pocket screwdriver
Replacement fuel filter

Change a Fuel Filter[edit]

  • Drive the front wheels of the Windstar onto the ramps and pull the fuel system fuse out of the fuse panel. Wait for the engine to stall out, shut the ignition off and reinstall the fuse. The fuse panel is under the driver side dashboard. Consult your Windstar's specific owner's manual for fuel system fuse location.
  • Slide the drain pan under the Windstar. Follow the fuel lines forward, along the frame, until you reach the fuel filter, which is located beneath the forward seating area. Place the drain pan directly underneath the filter.
  • Remove the bolt from the fuel filter retaining band with the socket set.
  • Disconnect the fuel line from the front of the fuel filter with the fuel line tool or pocket screwdriver. If you opt for the pocket screwdriver, use extreme care when prying out the fuel line retaining clip; it breaks easily and can only be replaced by purchasing an entire fuel line assembly.
  • Disconnect the rear fuel line and pull the fuel filter out of the retaining band by hand. Set the old filter in the drain pan.
  • Position the replacement filter in the retaining band, with the arrow pointing toward the engine. Reconnect the rear fuel line and then the front fuel line in reverse of how they were removed. Climb out and move the drain pan out of the way.
  • Turn the ignition key to the run position for 10 seconds and then turn it back. Repeat this once more and then start the Windstar and drive it down off the ramps.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Never work on a fuel system around open flames or while smoking.