Mine was never changed before I bought the car as far as I could tell...Ford filter, no recalls done on the rain hat or anything. It was pretty nasty, but that's typical for what it's exposed to...just imagine all that stuff going straight into the blower.
Jim S. - Pittsburgh, PA
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2011 Ford Fusion SEL - Duratec25/6F35, 31k and counting
2001 Ford Taurus SES - Vulcan/AX4S, 190k and counting
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - 2.8 V6/Getrag 282
Past: 1993 Taurus GL | 2002 Escort ZX2
Also in the Family: 2010 Fusion Sport | 2001 Toyota Camry LE V6
The procedure to change it is probably in your owners manual under "Maintainence and care."
It's in my 1998 manual, and I change mine every 15K miles, which Ford recommends and from all the dirt in it, I wouldn't go past this mark.
'98 Taurus SE w/24V Duratec. w/100,000 miles
'87 Mustang LX 5.0 Hatchback w/227,000 miles
'05 Mazda Tribute s AWD w/85,000 miles
Original owner of these vehicles
They're not hard to change. Just watch the metal tabs and the rain hat when putting it back together. I can't post a picture of my old one since I was afraid the camera lens would crack from sheer horror having to look at the filter. And the cedar pollen stuck to it was making me sneeze.
2001 Taurus SES - 150,100 miles - The new child
1999 Mazda 626 - 156,100 Miles - Slow and steady