Cabin Air Filter Location-Where is the cabin air filter?

The car cabin air filter is generally installed in the lower glass warehouse in front of the co-pilot compartment of the car. The owner can also replace it according to his own conditions, because its disassembly and operation process is very simple; it can also be repaired in the sales of the car. The 4S shop is replaced by the staff in the shop.

If you want to repair the vehicle at a repair shop or dealership, the technician may recommend that you replace the cabin air filter. Before you agree, please review your current filters. You will be surprised to find that the filter is covered with soot, dust, leaves, branches and other dirt, which proves that the replacement service is very important. However, if your cabin air filter is clean and free of debris, you can wait.

Cabin air filters were introduced in Audi and other European luxury cars as early as the mid-1980s. The first domestic application dates back to 1994 (Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique). Nowadays, almost 80% of all new cars are equipped with cabin air filters.

The cabin air filter is hidden behind the glove box or under the bottom of the windshield. They are not visible-usually difficult to find unless you know exactly where to look. Some hybrid vehicles even have a separate cabin air filter at the rear of the cabin for the hybrid battery cooling system.

The best way to determine whether your vehicle has a cabin air filter is to check the user manual. Check the index of the cabin air filter or check the section listing planned maintenance items. The location of the filter, replacement procedures and recommended maintenance intervals can usually be found in most car owners’ manuals. However, many drivers have never opened the pages of their user manuals, so they still do not know these filters.

But the location will vary depending on the make and model of the car. In fact, some luxury cars are equipped with up to three different types of filters: one for fresh air, another for circulating air, and the third is made of activated carbon to remove odors. It is best to replace all three filters at the same time.

cabin air filter location

Different locations of the cabin air filter

If the filter is above the blower, it is likely to be behind the glove box. It may be easy to remove the glove box, but you may not have to remove it at all.

Many filters (such as most Honda and Toyota filters) are located above the blower behind the glove box and you must put them down to use them. In the best case, you can bend the sides of the box so that the pins clear the dashes, and then rotate the box down to leave a gap. In other cases, the entire glove box assembly must be removed, which means removing many fixing screws, but not all of them are visible.

Medium-sized filters may not always be easy, but remember that this setting is designed to allow the filter to be replaced, so don’t assume it is the worst.

The pull ring in the GM sedan is stuck in place, and there are two or three filters above the throttle in the same HVAC box. Pull the tape to release the tab, and then pull the tab to remove the filter. The same goes for others.

All filters require a peripheral seal, so air only flows through the filter element. For side-by-side filters, the seal can be a simple foam rubber strip. Otherwise there may be interlocking rails. On many cars, the filter will go straight down and hit the floor without having to clean the HVAC box. That’s right. Most of these filters are flexible, and you have to bend them to remove them and install them in a new filter.

cabin air filter location
cabin air filter location

How to change the cabin air filter by yourself?

Many cabin air filters are located in the HVAC air pack behind the glove box. This may require removing the glove box cover to replace the filter. In some applications, it may not be necessary if there is enough space to pull the filter out from under or behind the glove box.

Remove the glove box

On many vehicles, the cabin air filter is located outside the passenger compartment at the bottom of the front windshield in the front wall area, and the air duct guides the air to the HVAC system. To use the filter, open the hood and look for a removable panel or cover. May have said CABIN AIR FILTER above. On some cars, it may be necessary to remove the large plastic trim panel in the front wall area to reach the filter.

 Replacing the cabin air filter 

In simpler applications, it usually takes 10 minutes or less to replace the filter. In other cases, however, it will take longer, depending on how much it needs to be disassembled (it may be necessary to remove the glove box or console to reach the filter). Normally, no special tools are required, but care must be taken to ensure that the filter is positioned correctly and tightly seals its housing.

Tools needed

Four in one screwdriver

materials needed

Cabin filter or air purifier

Project step-by-step

Step 1

Unscrew the hinge of the glove box. Then press the sides of the glove box inward to tilt it down, and then pull it out freely to enter the filter tray.

Step 2

Slide out the filter tray and the old air filter. Pay attention to the direction of the folds, and install the new filter in the same direction.

Step 3

Slide the filter tray back into place and reassemble the glove box.

cabin filter clean dirty

Common questions you may want to know about cabin air filter

  • The benifits of changing the cabin air filter by yourself

Replacing the cabin air filter is a do-it-yourself project. A local service center quoted $95 for filters and labor for a 2003 Toyota Camry. By doing this work ourselves, we saved $70. The cost of the filter at the distributor was only $25, and the work took less than 30 minutes. In most cases, you only need to use a Phillips screwdriver. Generally, you can find replacement instructions in the user manual.

  • The labor cost of replacing cabin air filter

If you do plan to replace it yourself, please consider purchasing a replacement filter at an auto parts store or website to save costs. Car dealers can charge a maximum of $50 or more for one unit. The average cost of a cabin air filter is between 15 and 25 dollars. CARFAX and Angie’s List report that the labor cost of replacing the filter element is $36-$46, although if it is difficult to achieve, you may end up paying more. Parts of high-end cars are more expensive and may only be purchased through dealerships.

  • The time take to replace the vehicle’s cabin air filter

The average time to replace the cabin air filter is about 20 minutes, but some vehicles are much more difficult than others.

  • The points when buying cabin air filters

Buy factory filters at the dealership at full price. In this way, you will determine their appearance and understand how to install them. You will also discover how many vehicles you have. The parts department should have a chart showing you where the filter is in the car.

Purchase a filter from an auto parts store, which contains step-by-step instructions from an auto parts store. The possibility of accompanying original equipment parts is very small. Do all aftermarket filters have them? No, but if you shop in a parts store, you should be able to check the boxes on the shelves. Moreover, the cost of these parts may be lower.

  • How to buy the cabin air filter?

Even if the filter can be used, the most difficult job is to find a suitable replacement filter. One of the most common complaints among professionals is that the after-sales catalog has not kept up with the changes in the previous year, especially the filter below the dash may change the space provided.

If the vehicle has multiple filters, the two filters may not be found in the same box, especially when they are in different locations. And their part numbers may be completely different. This is especially true if one filter is located at the air intake and the other filters are located in the HVAC case. One of the air intakes is more likely to be a simple particulate filter that only captures small particles. The one under the dash is more likely to have a charcoal layer for odor control.

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