Are you referring to the OP’s present dilemma (fixing/replacing part of the fuel line), or do you mean the op should have hired a shop to replace the fuel filter in the first place? It seems like replacing a fuel filter is a routine maintenance item, and should be within the realm of an experienced diy’er. I’ve diy’er’ed replaced fuel filters successfully on my Corolla and prior VW Rabbit. Neither job I’d call a simple one, but definitely diy’er doable. My carb’d truck’s fuel filter is so simple to replace I’d guess an 8 year old kid could easily do it.
As far as I can tell the only practical thing the diy’er OP might have done differently is to apply a dose of penetrating oil to both of the fittings and letting it soak overnight, before attempting to remove the filter. OP, do you concur, or in retrospect is there something else you’d have done differently? I concur with the posts here that hiring a shop to resolve the problem is the best method at this point. I wouldn’t use copper tubing or flare fittings. If I was in a situation where I couldn’t use a shop, I’d probably try a brake-line fitting technique to re-join the two sections. Double flare with nickle-copper brake line tubing in other words.
The quick connects are very tricky to disconnect, and should be left to someone who has done it previously.
Most of my coworkers are under the age of 40 and have never had to replace a fuel filter, that type of maintenance went away years ago.
It might be difficult to find someone willing to repair a plastic fuel line, the easy answer is that a replacement fuel line is unavailable/discontinued.
So what is the solution, then? As a DIYer, if the fuel line broke on one of my personal vehicles, and was unrepairable, and a new one could not be obtained, I would run fuel injection hose all the way from the fuel pump to the end of whatever broke off.
Fortunately, the car that I will be working on this winter doesn’t have a plastic fuel line. It has steel supply and return lines, with a short section of fuel injection hose crimped on at the engine end, at the fuel filter, and at the fuel pump end. It is acceptable to cut off the crimp and install new fuel injection hose with an approved fuel line hose clamp.
It is repairable, I don’t think I would splice into a 23-year-old plastic line. Replacement quick connect ends are available, the length of the fuel line can be created with steel line and high-pressure fuel hose.