2001 Taurus, water logged cowl for the blower motor

09-29-2004, 07:44 PM
Thanks so much for all your input.
1st. Is there a fix for keeping the water out of the cowling for the blower motor?
2nd. What's the secret for opening the cover to replace the cabin air filter?

10-12-2004, 03:21 PM

There is a 'Customer Satisfaction' campaign in force for the cowl leakage issue; if your car is in warranty, you can get it fixed free. The TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) number for the cowl leakage concern is TSB 03-15-6. THIS IS A 'SILENT' RECALL- NO ONE AT FORD WILL BE CONTACTING YOU. You must take the car in to a dealer and complain of the concern to get the free fix under warranty. Here's a link that tells more:


If your car is out of warranty, the dealer can still perform the work, but it will be at your expense.

Your cabin air filter is located underneath the cowl moulding at the base of your windshield, on the passenger side; the cowl moulding is the black plastic piece that has slots in it, and that your windshield wiper arms are located in. To replace the cabin air filter, you will need the filter itself, and some cowl moulding retainers, which I'll explain in a moment. Motormite's HELP! parts selection (available in most auto parts stores) has the cowl retainers available; the part number is 41099.

The moulding is made in two separate pieces; you are ONLY concerned with the passenger-side half. To remove the moulding, raise the hood. At the forward edge of the moulding, you will see some small metal pinch clips. These slide off, by grasping them and pulling them toward the front of the car. Be sure to put each one back where it came from; some are different sizes. Now, look at the moulding itself.

You will see black plastic fasteners on it that look like large screw heads; each one has a Phillips-head style slot in the head. These are the cowl retainers. In spite of the Phillips slot, the retainers do NOT screw out; they're removed by pulling them straight out (they're supposed to screw out, but they don't, trust me). Slipping a piece of strong string under the head, wrapping it around the shaft of the retainer, and pulling towards you, helps in removal. Some of the retainers may break, which is why I recommended starting the job with retainers on hand.

Now, lift the moulding off the car- grasp the end on the passenger side and lift upwards, gently. Now pull the moulding towards the passenger side of the car; this frees the other end, which tucks under the driver's side of the moulding.

Now, you will see your cabin air filter; it's in a slot at the base of the windshield. Pull upwards and towards you to remove it. It will be VERY nasty. It is a good idea to vacuum out the slot where the filter came from, before putting the new filter in; use the crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Be certain to install all the pinch clips back where they belong. Be sure to reinstall or replace all the cowl retainers, so that the moulding is securely held in place. If anything does not line up, do not force it- this means that you have something out of place.

P.S.- Under the cowl moulding, there are little white rectangular plastic pieces that are the anchor points that the cowl retainers fit into; they're snapped into little rectangular holes in the sheet metal. Sometimes they break, or they are deformed by the cowl retainers, so that they won't hold a new retainer. Fortunately, Motormite includes these pieces with their package of cowl retainers, so they're easy to replace. Just pry the old ones out, and snap new ones into the holes in the sheet metal. Use something plastic to pry with, so that you don't scratch the paint in this area and give rust a place to start.

BIG SECRET: The old filter can be carefully vacuumed (use your crevice tool to get between the pleats in the filter), and then washed in soap and water. Once it's dry, put it in the box the new one came in, and save it till next year. I've been rotating two cabin air filters for several years now, with no problems.

Hope this helps you stay clean and dry!

Add your comment to this topic!