How To Replace a Car Cabin Air Filter

Does the air in your car seem stuffy or smell bad? If so, an old air filter may be to blame. When working properly, car cabin air filters help prevent pollutants such as smog, dust, mold spores and pollen from entering your vehicle through the HVAC system. When they are too overloaded with debris, air filters no longer function properly. Many people don’t realize it, but manufacturer instructions often recommend that cabin air filters be replaced about every 15,000 miles. If you haven’t replaced yours in a long time, you can search for “air filter auto parts near me,” and find what you need to restore your cabin air. Once you get the parts you need, here’s how to replace your cabin air filter.

Step 1: Clean the Glove Box

While this may seem completely unrelated to how to replace a cabin air filter, you will need to have a clean glove box to get to the filter. Consider putting everything in the glove box on a back seat or in a plastic back so you can easily put it back when you’re done with your task.

Step 2: Release the Glove Box

To release the glove box, begin by sliding the limiting stop arm (located on the right side of the box) off the pin. Once you have done this, firmly hold the glove box with one hand on the front and one on the back. Squeeze the front and back sides together until you hear the side clamps release. At this point, the entire box will drop down and you’ll have access to the cabin air filter’s faceplate.

Step 3: Remove the Old Filter

Slide the faceplate out of the way by lifting the latches on both sides. Now, you can see the filter compartment. Carefully pull the old filter out. Pay attention to the way the arrows are pointing so you know how to install the new filter. Place the old filter in a trash bag right away so the debris on it doesn’t escape into the air.

Step 4: Clean Filter Chamber

Your filter chamber is probably filthy, so it’s a good idea to vacuum it out and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth after you take the old filter out. After you do that, use a flashlight to look into the compartment and examine the seals and gaskets. If they need to be changed, now is the time to do it. If you need special tools or tool rental to complete this process, head to AutoZone to find what you need.

Step 4: Insert the New Filter

Make sure your new filter is the same type and size as the old one. You can do this by searching for “auto parts near me,” online and typing in the details of the air filter you want. Slide the new filter in, making sure the arrows are pointed in the correct direction. Once you’ve done this, replace the faceplate and the glove box.

Changing a cabin air filter can be challenging the first time, but it becomes easier the more you do it. Breathing clean, filtered air that isn’t full of pollutants is worth the effort it takes to replace your filter every 15,000 miles or so.

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