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I have an '04 Focus. It was running fine until just a few days ago it wouldn't start. I got out of the car and noticed a puddle of gas on the fuel tank side of the car. The next day I walked to the gas station with a portable tank and filled it up. I walked back and poured the gas into the car. As I was pouring I checked below to see if any gas was leaking and no gas was leaking. When I finished pouring the gas I tried starting it and still it wouldn't start. I stepped out and noticed a puddle of gas again on the tank side. Any suggestions or comments?

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There's a problem with your fuel filter. It's located on the passenger side of the vehicle just in front of the fuel tank, and in front of the passenger rear wheel about 18" towards the center of the vehicle. Check our How-To article on changing the fuel filter for more information.

A rock probably damaged it, but you'll see more when you're under there. A new fuel filter costs about $10. If you have a parts store that sells Wix filters- those come with the fuel line clips in case you break one. These clips are different from the older Ford fuel clips and do no need to be removed to separate the fuel lines. You'll notice one side of the line has a flat white spot, and the other side is the 2 pins that hold it in place. Pinch the end of the line by pressing on the flat white side, and pull. There is also a short section of line on the tank side of the fuel filter that you can remove with the filter- and it makes it much easier since the fuel line clip on that side is upside down so that it's nearly impossible to press on the flat white side of the clip.
 
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