The fuel filter on your Ford Escort keeps rust, water, dirt and other contaminants from reaching the engine to prevent serious damage to internal components. However, filters become clogged after a period of service, making difficult for the correct amount of fuel to reach the intake system. In severe cases, a blocked filter may even prevent fuel from reaching the engine altogether. To avoid these problems, replace the filter on your Escort model at least once a year, following these steps.
Remove the rear seat by pulling the retaining strap from the back of the seat and locate the electrical connectors under the seat. If your Escort model does not have these connectors, go to step 5.
Shift the transmission to neutral (manual transmission) or Park (automatic transmission) and apply the parking brakes.
Start the engine and unplug the electrical connectors located under the rear seat. Let the engine stall.
Turn the ignition switch to the Off position. Go to the next section.
Locate the Schrader valve at the end of the fuel rail on the engine compartment. Look for a valve similar to an air valve on a bicycle tire after the last fuel injector.
Wrap a shop rag around the valve and depress the inside stem with a small screwdriver. Catch the squirt of fuel with the rag.
Disconnect the black, ground battery cable with a wrench.
Locate the fuel filter by following the fuel in-line connected to the fuel rail on the engine compartment. You will find the filter located on the firewall, passenger side, of the engine compartment.
Pull the plastic lock clip at the fuel line fitting on top of the filter. Use a small screwdriver to dislodge the clip and work it out of the fitting. Then pull the hose from the filter.
Pull the other plastic lock clip from the line at the bottom of the fuel filter using the small screwdriver and disconnect the hose from the filter. On some Escort models, it might be necessary to raise the right, front side of the vehicle to reach underneath the filter. Use a floor jack and support it on a jack stand.
Loosen the clamp holding the fuel filter to the firewall using a standard screwdriver or a ratchet and socket.
Remove the filter from the engine compartment.
Set the new filter in place and tighten the clamp using the standard screwdriver or ratchet and socket.
Connect the upper fuel hose to the top of the filter and secure the line using a new plastic lock clip.
Connect the lower fuel hose to the bottom of the filter and secure it with a new plastic lock clip.
Lower the vehicle if you had to raise it.
Connect the black, ground battery cable using the wrench.
Start the engine and check for leaks.