How To Change A Cabin Air Filter A Step By Step DIY Guide

How To Change A Cabin Air Filter A Step By Step DIY Guide
April 19, 2024
How To Change A Cabin Air Filter A Step By Step DIY Guide

Keeping your car's interior air clean and fresh is important for a comfortable driving experience. A clogged cabin air filter can restrict airflow and trap dust, pollen, and other allergens inside your vehicle. The good news is that replacing a cabin air filter is a relatively simple and inexpensive DIY project that you can tackle at home. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about cabin air filter replacement, including: 

  • The different types of cabin air filters 
  • How to locate your cabin air filter 
  • How to replace your cabin air filter step-by-step 
  • How often you should change your cabin air filter 
  • Where to get a new cabin air filter for your vehicle 

How to Locate Your Cabin Air Filter 

The location of your cabin air filter will vary depending on your car make and model. In most vehicles, the cabin air filter is located behind the glove box. However, some vehicles may have the filter located under the hood near the firewall or beneath the dashboard. 

Here's how to find your cabin air filter: 

  1. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual. The manual will have specific instructions on how to locate and replace your cabin air filter. 
  2. Search online for your vehicle's specific cabin air filter replacement guide. Many car manufacturers and parts suppliers have DIY tutorials available online. 
  3. If you're still having trouble finding your cabin air filter, you can always take your car to a mechanic and have them locate it for you. 

How to Replace a Cabin Air Filter: The Complete Steps 

  1. Gather your tools. You'll likely only need a flathead screwdriver to remove the glove box (if that's where your filter is located). 
  2. Open the glove box and remove its contents. 
  3. Locate the latch or hinge that secures the glove box in place. Consult your owner's manual for specific instructions on how to detach the glove box. In some vehicles, you may need to unscrew a hinge or squeeze tabs on the sides of the glove box to release it. 
  4. Once the glove box is loose, gently lower it down. Be careful not to disconnect any wires or damage the glove box hinge. 
  5. Locate the cabin air filter cover. The cover will likely be made of plastic and will be held in place by clips or tabs. 
  6. Remove the cabin air filter cover by gently squeezing the tabs or pushing down on the clips. 
  7. Remove the old cabin air filter. Note the direction of the airflow arrows on the filter. The new filter will need to be installed in the same direction. 
  8. Clean out the cabin air filter housing with a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to remove any dust, debris, or leaves. 
  9. Take your new cabin air filter and compare it to the old one. Make sure they are the same size and shape. 
  10. Install the new cabin air filter into the housing, making sure the airflow arrows are pointing in the correct direction. 
  11. Reinstall the cabin air filter cover and snap it into place. 
  12. Reattach the glove box and secure it in place. 
  13. Close the glove box and you're done! 

Pro Tip: While you have the glove box open, take a moment to clean it out and wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. 

How Often Should You Change Your Cabin Air Filter? 

The recommended replacement interval for your cabin air filter will vary depending on your driving conditions. Generally, most manufacturers recommend replacing the cabin air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or once a year. However, if you live in a dusty or polluted area, you may need to 

Frequently Asked Questions


Can cabin air filters cause check engine light?
Cabin air filters generally do not directly cause the check engine light to come on. They are primarily responsible for filtering the air that enters the cabin of your vehicle and does not directly impact the engine's performance or emissions.
Will cabin air filters affect the AC?
Yes, a clogged cabin air filter can affect the performance of the air conditioning system.
Do cabin air filters affect gas mileage?
Yes, a clogged cabin air filter can potentially affect gas mileage.
How do cabin air filters work?
A cabin air filter works by trapping and filtering airborne particles and contaminants before they enter a vehicle's interior through the ventilation system.
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