How to Change your Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter, a feature found on most late-model vehicles, cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant.

Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer — and how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust.

Follow these steps bellow to change your air filter:

1. Obtain the replacement filter. You can buy one at your nearest dealership or you can shop around at an auto parts store or online.
2. Open the glove compartment all the way and remove the screw on the lower right side. Pull the loop from the arm over and off the cylinder where the screw was. Don’t lose the screw.
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3. Squeeze the sides of the glove compartment together and pull to move the tabs past the edges, to the front of the dash. Then lift the entire glove compartment off its hinges.

  • Note that when it is too hard to push, instead of pushing both sides, you might want to try to push against the back of the glove box, while pulling on the front. This works, when squeezing the sides does not.

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4. Remove the plastic cover by squeezing the tabs together. There are tabs on both sides, but the photo just shows one.
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5. Slide out the old filter by pulling it towards you. Keep it facing up so that you don’t spill the debris.
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6. Insert the new filter. The arrow that says UP should be pointing up, facing you, as shown in the photo.
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7. Snap the cover back into place.
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8. Place the glove compartment container back on its hinges and push it in so the tabs snap back behind the dash. You may have to squeeze the sides again, as you did when you took the glove compartment out.
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9. Replace the loop and the screw on the lower right.
Sources: WikiHow, Car & Driver