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Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, Mazda Mechanic
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 5470
Experience:  17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.
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Mazda 3: I was trying to remove the cabin air filter in a 2004

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I was trying to remove the cabin air filter in a 2004 mazda 3 hatchback. It was very full of debris and quite stuck. I pried up on a slightly to dislodge it and got a facefull of refrigerant followed by a cloud. Haven't gotten the filter out yet. Waiting for the car to air out. I don't know how I could have broken anything, I was using a tiny eyeglass screwdriver and barely moved the filter. It seemed like there was pressure built up behind it because the filter was completely clogged. What do you think happened?

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From what you are describing the evaporator coil which is located behind the cabin filter was punctured and allowed the freon to escape from the coil.The filter itself when pried up likely punctured it as it is not hard to damage it.As far as why the filter was so hard to come out this would most likely be the dirt and debris that was holding it.Unfortunately if the evaporator coil is damaged there is no choice but to replace it,this can not be repaired.
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