What is this I found in my air filter box? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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What is this I found in my air filter box?


June 27, 2015
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City, State
Loomis, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Explorer Sport +402A
My dealer normally changes the air filter in my 2013 explorer sport when needed however there was a mix up last week so I decided to do it myself. I opened the air box, removed the old filter only to find some large piece of foam/rubber floating around and partially blocking the intake opening. Its approx. 6"x2"x1/8". I can't figure where it came from or where it belongs. Right now its in my kitchen and while it could be my imagination, things seem to run much better.

Any ideas what this is? Curiosity is getting the better of me ;-) Cheers!




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Some filters (mostly equipment) have a foam "pre-filter" on top of the actual filter element to stop the bulk large objects like leaves/moss from getting stuck in the filter.

This thing is not porous nor anything close to the size of the actual filter or the air box opening (which is oval).


This thing is not porous nor anything close to the size of the actual filter or the air box opening (which is oval).

It's likely something that fell in during the last change. It's no wonder the vehicle seems to be running better now that it is getting the amount of air it was designed for.
Keep it and show it to the dealer next time.


SO. this thing was found AFTER the dealer had installed the last filter?:crazy:

Well yes and no. While I've changed brakes, batteries and some other things, I've always had the dealer change the air filter until this last time. What happened is that my car was in for the "Works" oil change. They pulled the old filter and told me it needed changing in a phone call - I said change it but there was a miss communication along the lines and they didn't. So I did a week later after I ordered the FORD OEM filter from amazon and that's when I found this thing floating around. It sort of feels like sound insulation but I can't find any place it would have come from so maybe its just extraneous crap. Just looks like some sort of car part if that makes sense.


At times you will never know what you might find in a air box.

I found a half bag of miniature marshmallows in the air box of my diesel truck one time. All I could figure was that somewhere along the road I had ran over the bag or it had blown out of a vehicle and I caught it just right where the air intake was located at.

The only other explanation would be that someone was playing a joke on me.

It came from the back side of the grill. I noticed it when I had the grill/bumper partially removed while doing a HID projector retrofit. In my case the material, both pieces were partially attached to the grill just inside of the air intake opening. I'm sure if I did not notice it eventually they would have either blocked or got sucked in the the intake as they continued to come unglued from the grill. I removed them as I did not see an obvious purpose the them in the first place.

I just changed the air filter on my MKC and found like 10 acorns an some shells at the bottom of the air filter housing...caught me by surprise :eek: