Living in Lubbock, TX, one is bound to see the sweet haboobs that happen when it doesn’t rain. With that said, a person should NOT live here without a cabin air filter and the truck my mom has owned for 12 years did just that. I never thought about proper maintenance of a vehicle until I had my own. This truck I found out after looking in the location where the filter suppose to be, did not have one. It’s funny because I took the truck to get an oil change (don’t change the oil if you don’t have a safe way to lift) and I had a coupon to get a free cabin air filter inspection. I was told by a mechanic that the truck didn’t have one. Well, the trained, paid professional didn’t even bother to check if there was one where the air filter is housed as I thought he would and I showed him where it should be since I did prior research but couldn’t get any progress. The guy didn’t believe me. I don’t believe any modern vehicle doesn’t have a cabin air filter and that’s the purpose of this post: to show the very few who are either interested in this sort of stuff or the people who browse my site that still drive this generation F-150.
As I found out, the idea of a cabin air filter in the early 2000s wasn’t an ubiquitous (especially in trucks) as they are now (I could understand that with trucks in West Texas, you are more than likely using them to work in the agriculture fields, so why need an air filter?). With Ford and the tenth generation of the F-150, it is stupid difficult (like finding good live music in Austin) to install an cabin air filter because you have to cut open a rectangular in an awkward position that would require more strength than the average San Franciscan. Ford did have a special air cabin kit that would properly seal the opening once the air filter was inserted (you will see how I went about fixing it) but they are very hard to find. So let’s get started.
The filter, coil cleaner spray and HVAC tape. The coil foam spray is necessary in my case because it’s for the heater for the AC unit and it hasn’t never been serviced in the truck’s lifetime. The tape will be for sealing up the opening that the filter will go through.
The location of the air cabin filter is on the passenger side, underneath the glove compartment. You’ll see this obtrusion. I don’t know what it’s for but it will have to be removed to install the air filter. In my case, there were 3 hex screws to be taken off.
I didn’t plan on doing a blog on this subject, so I didn’t take a photo of how the location where the cabin air filter will go but it looks exactly like above. So, after taking the guard thing off, you look behind and up and you would see above. This is the difficult part. Cutting though this while in a difficult and your head in a somewhat claustrophobic area doesn’t help. I had to watch the clearance between the carpet and the part where I had to cut. I have a switchblade that I used to cut through the material but what really help with the cutting along was…wait for it…a damn Cutco steak knife. Yes, I really did use that, mainly because I found the knife and didn’t pay for it. Normally, I wouldn’t use a knife that’s part of an expensive set, but hey, it was free.
Looking into the rabbit hole. Imagine that, a little more than a decade’s worth of use. It doesn’t look that bad.
Ha, so in the video, you can see my half-assed cutting but I manage to cut through. You can see how dusty it is and the heater coiler that needs a good cleaning. I have another video to show the opening.
The next video is after I had sprayed the coil foam cleaner to increase the efficiency of the AC unit and allow better air flow.
After getting the coil nice and clean, next was to get the air filter in. The trouble I had was getting the opening to fit the filter through without ruining the filter itself by cleaning up the imperfect cuts I originally did.
Like a glove.
And finally, to seal the thing off. When I tested the air flow, there was a lot of flow coming out. So HVAC tape to the rescue.
And that’s it. As of now, there’s no problems that I have heard of with the installation.