How to Replace the Fuel Pump Relay on a 1997 Ford F-150
Replacing the fuel pump relay on a 1997 Ford F-150 is an important maintenance task that will keep your truck's fuel system operating properly. A bad fuel pump relay can cause issues like an engine that cranks but won't start, sputtering and stalling while driving, and poor fuel economy. Fortunately, the fuel pump relay is easy to access and replace on the F-150. In this guide, I'll walk through the complete process step-by-step.
Locating the Fuel Pump Relay
The first step is locating the fuel pump relay in your 1997 F-150. Here's how to find it:
- Open the fuse panel cover under the steering column next to the parking brake.
- Inside the fuse panel, you'll see a diagram on the underside of the cover showing the locations of all the relays and fuses.
- The fuel pump relay is labeled as relay #306 in the diagram. It will be a rectangular relay with 5 pins/terminals on one side.
- Verify you have located the correct relay before proceeding.
Removing the Old Relay
With the fuel pump relay located, you can go ahead and remove the old relay:
- Remove any items blocking access to the relay, like the hood release lever.
- Grasp the relay and pull it straight up and out of the socket. No tools are required to remove it.
- Inspect the relay pins and socket for any dirt, debris, or damage. Clean if needed.
- Set the old relay aside. You'll need to transfer a piece from it over to the new relay.
Installing the New Relay
Here are the steps to install your new fuel pump relay:
- Take the new relay out of its packaging.
- On the side with the terminals, you'll see a black cover/retainer over one of the terminals. This needs to be transferred from the old relay to the new one.
- Use a small flat head screwdriver to pry the retainer off the old relay.
- Snap the retainer onto the corresponding terminal on the new relay. It's essential for the relay to function properly.
- With the retainer in place, insert the new relay into the empty socket.
- Push it straight down until it clicks and locks into place. Verify it is seated securely.
- Close the fuse panel cover. The new fuel pump relay is now installed!
Before wrapping up, it's a good idea to test that the new relay is working:
- Turn the ignition key to the "ON" position but do not start the engine.
- You should hear the fuel pump activate for a few seconds as it pressurizes the system.
- If you don't hear the pump, check that the relay is fully seated in the socket and the retainer is attached.
- If the pump runs, turn the key back to "OFF" and then go ahead and start the engine. It should start and run normally.
- Let the engine run for a few minutes and verify it is idling smoothly without any issues.
- Take it for a quick test drive to confirm normal driving operation.
The new fuel pump relay should have your 1997 F-150's fuel system working properly again! Be sure to keep a spare relay on hand for future maintenance down the road. Let me know if you have any other questions!