2005 Fuel Leak from top of tank area/clogged filter - Focus Fanatics
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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2005 Fuel Leak from top of tank area/clogged filter

Well after a few years without a focus I found a good deal on a 05 zxw and went for it. Filled it up and brought it home only to find I'm getting approx 210mi per tank and fuel stains/ smell in the driveway. So I crawled under and see the passanger side of the tank is wet. So I pull the tank thinking a bad seam. I have the tank out half full rolling it around and no leaks... No cracks in the plastic line from the pump to the filter... I look where the tank mounts and the underside of the car is wet with fuel!?! I checked the fuel filter and can't blow through it. Could the filter cause the fuel line to leak at the seal and spary out? If so should I replace the lines or just try the new filter? I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions..


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Old 02-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Id just try the fuel filter- its a lot cheaper and faster to do than replacing lines
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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The tank is already out though as I was looking for a leak on top. Any other common causes of fuel leaks on the tank? I just wasn't sure if a plugged fuel filter could cause a line to leak, if so would the line be ok after a new filter were installed?
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:13 PM   #4
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What did the fuel line clips that hold the fuel lines in the fuel filter look like? There is a ton of confusion about how to properly disconnect these clips. The proper method is to press down on the white rectangle pushing it into the line- you will end up crushing the line, but thanks to the wonders of plastic, it will pop back into shape.

Older Ford fuel line clips were the type that were removed intentionally. These have a triangular thumbnail on top, and replacement clips came with every filter. Some new filters come with the old clips, but not the new clips. The only brand I've found so far with the new clips is MicroGuard from O'Reilleys. Other people have reported the Wix filters will come with the new clips. A Ford dealer won't sell you just the clips, but Doorman does make the new clips if you can find an online seller.

I think someone screwed up removing a fuel line- for example, the line that goes to the front of the car is the only one you can reach the fuel clip correctly from under the car. The line that goes back to the tank is upside down. To remedy that situation, follow the line back about 6", and you'll see a fuel line clip that is easy to reach on a small section of line.

If the previous owner, or the previous owner's mechanic didn't know this, they might've screwed up one of the clips, possibly modified an old style clip to fit, or taken one out of the small section of line and replaced it with a modified old style clip. Perhaps that's where you're leaking.

If you want to easily see what I'm trying to describe here, look under the hood at the fuel line clips there. You'll see a plastic fuel line running from the firewall around the back of the cylinder head to the fuel rail.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #5
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The clips were the right ones for the car. And it wasn't leaking from the fuel filter but up higher on the tank and running down the passenger side. I've got a new filter and hopefully the right clips. I guess I'll try putting it back in with the new fuel filter and see if that doesn't fix the leak. Will these pumps over pressurize the lines from the tank to the filter if the filter clogs? My only explanation is the fuel filter clogged causing a drop in pressure, to compensate for the low pressure the fuel pump demand module ups the fuel pump volts giving too high of pressure for the line seals and causing it to spray the bottom of my car with fuel. ( hence the bottom of the car was wet with fuel under the tank). I'm going to hook up the lines and wires with the tank dropped down and run it to see if I can see it spraying or if this fixes it!?!
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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Well I think I figured it out. After draining off some gas last night as I was going to put the tank back in it turns out I had a pin hole leak below the smaller tube that hooks to the back. I'm not sure if you call that the vent tube or an evap line or what. Anyways the tank is covered in a gray rubber like coating that allowed it to rust nicely underneath and while pouring into a bucket from the the hose barbs me and a friend spotted the tiny stream below the pouring gas. I'm thinking this will take care of it ( fingers crossed). I've only owned the car 4 days . Do these tanks rust out often? I've never heard of it with only 100kmi on a car, even here in MI. Also. Advance Auto Parts does sell the right fuel line clips for our cars at $2.99 for a mixed 6 pack of 5/16 and 3/8 (should be all the clips you need for all the lines or almost). The Wix filter does NOT come with the right clips. Getting a junkyard tank today and should be on the road tonight!

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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I wouldn't think so, but I still have no idea why Ford still uses metal fuel tanks. Plastic seems so much more logical to me, although it might be worse in accidents- especially in cold weather.

Do you think you might need a sealer like this? POR-15 is a good one too, and then I'd recommend rubberized undercoating or some epoxy paint on the tank to prevent outside rust.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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Actually , I thought they had gone to pretty much all plastic tanks anyway across the board. Steel tanks rust like the dickens with ethanol in the fuel............
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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From what I've learned here, the steel tanks are generally used for the PZEV models because of the slight amount of vapor that can get through plastic ones. "Zero" emissions being the rating for the car when not running....

(grin)

(Rather have a plastic one myself, HATE the rust monster...)

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Old 02-22-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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I read you loud and clear...............double grin.
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