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Where's the Cabin Air Filter?


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65 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:23 PM

definitely have some mold brewing in my evaporator/core because it smells when the A/C is on and I reduce the fan speed after running for awhile.  Usually goes away if I run on vent for s short period and then go back on cabin recirculate.  Tried using some of that spray freshener in the vents but it didn't take it away.  Got to take Maxus in for the chime recall, I'll have them look into the foul air smell.


Edited by mtb9153, 20 March 2014 - 11:30 PM.








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#22 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 10:16 AM

mtb9153, people claim they have had success getting rid of the musty smell using Lysol sprayed in the vents and down the cabin air intake in the cowl area. The problem though is one needs to get the evaporator car and box saturated with the disinfectant which is hard to do by spraying in the vents.  Hopefully, the dealer will do yours under warranty.   In other forums, typically the dealer will do under warranty within first year or so and not much later as the cause is not usually a defect unless perhaps the evaporator core drain line line was somehow restricted.  Mine had a faint musty smell like yours from day one (December 2012) when first turning on the blower.  The smell would then diminish (or maybe we got use to it) as the blower ran. It wasn't until a few months later when we started using the AC more frequently, that the smell seemed to get worse (likely more moisture supporting the mold growth than in the winter).  I believe it was in May 2013  when we took it in for other work and had the dealer do the "musty smell treatment" that I described in another thread.  I also asked them to make sure the drain was not clogged.   

 

Big Rocco, as far as whether the cabin filter is before or after the blower / evaporator core, it's before as one doesn't want debris collecting on the core for obvious reasons as you describe.  When you change the filter, it's obvious that the air intake (on the dirty side of the filter) runs to the cowl area. Also,  I've had several cars with the cabin air filter under the cowl and one issue that is common is water leaks via poor seals especially if cowl drains become somewhat restricted from debris allowing water to collect up to the level of the seals during heavy downpours.  For that reason, I like the cabin filter under the dash although it does require a degree of flexibility to contort ones old body to change it. 



#23 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 06:34 AM

definitely have some mold brewing in my evaporator/core because it smells when the A/C is on and I reduce the fan speed after running for awhile.  Usually goes away if I run on vent for s short period and then go back on cabin recirculate.  Tried using some of that spray freshener in the vents but it didn't take it away.  Got to take Maxus in for the chime recall, I'll have them look into the foul air smell.

There are a ton of FFH owners with this issue. Check out this 14 page thread. Unfortunately Ford doesn't have any other solution except the temporary one of spraying a chemical down the vents. The FFH & C-Max have the same AC parts so I was surprised to not have seen C-Max owners with the smelly AC issue. Although, some of the comments in the FFH thread indicate that the issue has to do more with the orientation of parts within the system rather than the actual parts used. This seems to be a problem that afflicts many manufacturers and many vehicle lines.



#24 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:14 AM

There are a ton of FFH owners with this issue. Check out this 14 page thread. Unfortunately Ford doesn't have any other solution except the temporary one of spraying a chemical down the vents. The FFH & C-Max have the same AC parts so I was surprised to not have seen C-Max owners with the smelly AC issue. Although, some of the comments in the FFH thread indicate that the issue has to do more with the orientation of parts within the system rather than the actual parts used. This seems to be a problem that afflicts many manufacturers and many vehicle lines.

 

Our last 2 Ford's (MKX) stink, getting ready to spray the cmax for the 2nd time.
 



#25 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:47 AM

The problem with the Ford solution to the musty odor in using YN-29 (combination of  an acrylic resin and powerful antimicrobial formula eliminates) maybe the method used in applying it (or the tech applying it) and hence why it works for some (like me) and not for others (Riggo on FFH forum).  

 

Also wab, it's not a lifetime cure.  It will "wear off" (protects for 2-3 years is what Ford says).  Mold growing in the HVAC box and on the evaporator core is a common problem across manufacturers.  The problem is moisture remaining in the box.  Get rid of the moisture and no problem.  So, running the blower or heater (as drdiesel suggests) after A/C use for a few minutes should "dry out" the box.

 

Here's an old VW TSB (around 2006) on the issue:

 Technical Background

Condensation is a normal characteristic in all A/C systems. If odor is noticeable without engine started, this may be due to mold and mildew in the passenger compartment, not from the A/C system.

Tip:
All other possible sources of unpleasant odor must be addressed before performing the following procedure.

Consider the following conditions before proceeding:

• Evaporator housing drain must be open and free of debris.
• Cabin must be sealed with no water ingress into passenger compartment.
• Plenum drains must be clear and free of debris.
• Pollen filter must be clean and free of moisture.

Production solution
Not applicable.

Service
Contaminants are effectively neutralized using the Aircomatic® II Ultrasonic Climate System Cleaner (VAS 6189A) and Airco-Clean® Ultrasonic Air Conditioning Treatment (VAS 6189/1). All other cleaning methods are no longer permitted.

• This procedure will be allowed only once per vehicle within the first 12 months of service.
• There must be an original customer complaint of specified odor symptom on repair order for this Technical Bulletin to apply. Adding on this procedure is not permitted.
• Subsequent applications, should they become necessary, will be customer's responsibility.
• Replacement of pollen filter under warranty is not allowed within the performance of this procedure. The pollen filter is covered only where specified at the appropriate maintenance interval.

 



#26 OFFLINE   C-Maxgo

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:12 AM

Found the cabin air filter while under there messing with the fuses. It's the same setup as the Focus. Here's a (ridiculously long winded) video:

 

And here's the filter on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This video was long but I installed mine without a hitch and within 5 minutes.  Thanks for this post!


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#27 OFFLINE   kc1174

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 04:07 PM

After only 9,543 miles...

http://fordcmaxhybri...106_3585379.jpg

http://fordcmaxhybri...106_2165836.jpg

To be fair, I am in FL. After swapping it out, it smells great.

As an aside, I have no idea how to embed images, so link them to my gallery. Only been on here for a year.

Edited by kc1174, 08 June 2014 - 04:13 PM.


#28 OFFLINE   zhackwyatt

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 09:26 PM

FWIW dealer charged me $45 labor and $25 parts to replace it.
 
Part #: CV6Z-19N619-A


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#29 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 05:24 PM

I changed the cabin filter today at 22 months and 11,000 miles and glad I did as you can see. I followed Plus 3 Golfer's advice above and it was a relatively easy 10 minute job with a minimum of contortion. My old filter included the effects of a 30 minute dust storm in NM - the kind where you have to pull off the road to survive. I think I will change these once a year.  I bought a Motorcraft FP-70 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here's the flexible fuse box cover after pulling the two caps off.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 1.JPG   93.43KB   13 downloads

The torx screw is here and secures the filter cover. Squeezing the two tabs about 2" up from the bottom and pulling removes it.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 2.JPG   91.59KB   12 downloads

Here's the two covers.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 3.JPG   97.2KB   7 downloads

Here's what the filter looks like. Note the foam toward the front and where the two tabs are located.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 5.JPG   118.84KB   8 downloads

Bending it on the top and bottom gets it started and it slides out.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 6.JPG   108.26KB   7 downloads

Here's a comparison and no, that's not a charcoal filter!
Attached File  Cabin Filter 8.JPG   87.18KB   8 downloads

Here it is with the sun behind it.
Attached File  Cabin Filter 9.JPG   132.22KB   8 downloads


Edited by ArizonaEnergi, 14 April 2015 - 07:47 AM.

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#30 OFFLINE   Bill-N

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:03 PM

ArizonaEnergi, thanks for the excellent pictures and description.

 

 

Cheers and Merry Christmas.



#31 OFFLINE   Russell Fried

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 11:15 PM

Thats one dirty filter



#32 OFFLINE   Bill-N

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 05:21 PM

Next time I'll gladly pay the dealer to change the filter.  What a PITA!!!

 

The video and pictures were a great help.  Note also, the screw is T15, not T20 as stated in an earlier post.


Edited by Bill-N, 14 April 2015 - 09:34 AM.


#33 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:24 PM

where was Ford's head when they decided to put the filter in it's location? :swear:



#34 OFFLINE   scottwood2

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 07:11 AM

Nice post.  Thx for doing that. 

 

Good place to buy the filters?  Does Fram or some other after market company make them? 



#35 OFFLINE   ArizonaEnergi

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 07:43 AM

I got mine at Amazon: $14.79 http://www.amazon.co...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1



#36 OFFLINE   scottwood2

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 11:09 AM

Thx

 

Quite a discount.  List $50, cost $15. 

 

I will add that to my list of amazon items to purchase.



#37 OFFLINE   Noah Harbinger

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:54 AM

I suspect Fords has worse problems with mildew just because of the HVAC operating modes they design. I am irritated that I cannot run in Defrost mode without AC - my habit on my previous car was always to, after the windows cleared, leave Defrost running with AC off, to help keep the vents dry. That is no longer an option with this vehicle. Also, Ford's "Max AC" option runs in recirculate, which I suspect most people don't realize increases moisture buildup. 



#38 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 11:40 AM

I suspect Fords has worse problems with mildew just because of the HVAC operating modes they design. I am irritated that I cannot run in Defrost mode without AC - my habit on my previous car was always to, after the windows cleared, leave Defrost running with AC off, to help keep the vents dry. That is no longer an option with this vehicle. Also, Ford's "Max AC" option runs in recirculate, which I suspect most people don't realize increases moisture buildup. 

Every vehicle I've had for the past 12 years has run the A/C compressor when the defrost is used. Some of them allowed you to turn off the A/C light, but the compressor still ran.

 

I believe you can achieve max A/C by simply putting the temperature to LO, fan to maximum, and turning off the recirculation. You don't have to use the actual MAX A/C button.


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#39 OFFLINE   Podivin

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 01:15 PM

Same here, the past several new cars I've had(I'm an every 2 or 3 years guy) regardless of make, has turned on the AC compressor when the defrosters were on. They may or may not turn on the AC light, but the compressor was running - I could feel the change in the engine, and would also notice that the air from the vents got cooler even though I hadn't changed the temperature setting.



#40 OFFLINE   BIG ROCCO

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 05:38 PM

We must drive in dust free air in AZ or something!  I just checked the cabin filter after 23K miles - PITA to get to and even more of a PITA to wriggle out of it's hiding place.  My filter was clean enough to merely blow off with an air gun and re-install.  I will plan to have a new filter on hand and replace it at ~ 50K miles.  We live in the suburbs of Phoenix, so maybe the air here is a little cleaner than in the city?  Also, we drive up and back to the AZ White Mountains on weekends for ~ 1/2 the year; the air up there has to be cleaner, plus we don't need to use AC up there, since it is 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix.  BTW, I checked the filter on my '12 Lacrosse - a little dirtier than the C-Max, but still more than clean enough to blow off and re-install at 44K miles.  The Lacrosse filter is a little easier to get at, and MUCH easier to remove - I had to drop the glove box a-la-C-max, but then I just moved the filter cover down and pulled the filter straight back towards the trunk...no double helix maneuvers on the Buick!  Also, I noticed the Lacrosse has a carbon filter - either carbon/particulate or particulate (only) filters are available for replacement.  The C-Max had a particulate filter, and that seems to be all that is available.  Maybe the required twisting to remove/install eliminates the possibility of a carbon filter.  That's too bad, because I have noticed that the Buick filters out even smelly diesel exhaust fumes from a car or truck ahead of me.








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