Ford F150: Fuel System Specifications

Here is general information about the fuel system in your Ford F-150 truck.

By Pizzaman711 - September 17, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014).

Without the fuel system, a F-150 truck is going nowhere; it can't even be started. It's important to know the fuel system components and how to diagnose a related problem. The fuel system is made up of 4 major components: the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel lines, and of course, the gas tank. A bad component in the fuel system can cause a variety of problems with symptoms such as hesitation, trouble starting, and the feeling like it's dying on and off.

Fuel Pump

Figure 1. Check the fuel pump.

Fuel Pump Location

Fuel pumps are generally found in two major areas: on the frame rail or inside the gas tank. Newer vehicles usually have them inside the tank for a couple of different reasons. The major reason is that it allows the gas tank to run closer to empty without damaging the fuel pump; in case of a pump failure, the gas leak is contained in the tank. If the pump is on the frame rail and not in the tank, it will be on the driver side on the inside of the rail, within a few feet of the tank heading towards the front of the truck.

Maintenance/Replacement

There is no regular maintenance that needs to be done on the pump, only to replace it when it's faulty. Average cost of a fuel pump for the F-150 is between $200-$450, and it is recommend to spend extra and go with a Motorcraft brand OEM replacement.

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Failure Symptoms

  • Engine will crank but not start
  • Engine stumbles or dies out
  • Hesitation under hard acceleration

Test

  • Spray start fluid into the throttle body
  • Use a fuel pressure gauge
  • Check the pump switch

The steps above are ways to diagnose whether or not the issue is related to the fuel pump. See the articles below for a more in-depth diagnosis.

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Fuel Filter

Figure 2. Check the fuel filter.

Fuel Filter Location

Unlike fuel pumps, the location of the filter varies. Usually it's found on the driver side frame rail, but because it has no effect on performance no matter how far it is from the tank, it can be found anywhere between the tank and the engine bay.

Figure 3. Fuel filter location.

Maintenance/Replacement

Some owners replace their fuel filter every oil change and some wait longer, while others replace the filter every year or 10k miles, whatever comes first. A Motorcraft brand OEM replacement filter only costs about $10 and replacing only takes about 15 minutes. Having a fuel line removal tool to replace it is required; make sure to get the correct size for your fuel lines.

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Failure Symptoms

  • Hesitation while accelerating
  • Misfiring
  • Stumbling

Diagnosis

There is no real way to diagnose the fuel filter besides replacing it and seeing if the problem is fixed. It's a cheap and easy replacement, so it doesn't hurt the wallet or take too much time. The symptoms are common with both a failing fuel pump and spark plugs. If there is no check engine light for the plugs, it's best to replace the filter. Otherwise, diagnosing the fuel pump may be misleading.

Fuel Lines

Figure 4. Check the fuel lines.

Fuel Line Location

The fuel lines run from the gas tank up to the engine and back to the gas tank again to complete a full loop.

Maintenance/Replacement

Fuel lines should only be replaced when needed, e.g., when you have a line that is leaking. When it is needed, it should be done immediately to prevent any injury or damage, as leaking fuel is never a good thing.

Why is the vehicle hesitating?

The vehicle could be hesitating for two main reasons: lack of fuel or lack of spark. Lack of spark points to an ignition related problem, while lack of fuel points to a fuel system related problem. It can be hard to diagnose between the two because this problem can be intermittent and occur at inconvenient times. To help narrow it down, perform the tests in the fuel pump section above to help determine if the pump is causing the issue. To help rule out plugs, check them for spark and make sure they're in good shape.

Why is the vehicle dying?

A dying vehicle, when it feels like it's run out of gas, is usually a fuel related issue. The easiest way to test is to spray starting fluid into the throttle body while it's dying out; if it picks back up, the problem is fuel system related. However, other common causes could be a dirty throttle body or a bad alternator.

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