How To Replace a Cabin Air Filter That’s Behind the Glove Box

Cabin air filters are a new feature found on many late model vehicles. These filters are responsible for filtering the air that enters the vehicle when the heating and air conditioning (AC) systems are in use. They prevent any debris, such as dust and leaves, from entering the vehicle’s ventilation system, and also help keep the cabin odor free and comfortable for the passengers.

Over time, in much the same way as an engine air filter, cabin filters accumulate dirt and debris, hindering their ability to filter airflow, and need to be replaced. Common indicators that you need to replace your cabin air filter include:

  • An increase in noise, along with a decrease in airflow when using the heating or air conditioning systems

  • A faint odor present coming from the vents (due to a dirty, overly saturated filter)

This article covers how to replace the cabin air filter in cars that require the glove box to be removed in order for the filter to be changed - these cars include some Toyotas, Audis, and Volkswagens. It is a relatively simple procedure, and very similar across a wide range of models.

Materials Needed

person removing items from glove box

Step 1: Clean out the glove box. The cabin air filter is located within the dashboard, behind the vehicle’s glove box.

  • The glove box will need to be removed in order to access the cabin air filter so take everything out of it first.

  • Open the vehicle’s glove box, and remove any paperwork or items that may be there to prevent from falling out when the glove box is removed.

person removing glove box screws

Step 2: Remove the glove box screws. Once all items have been removed, unfasten the glove box from the vehicle.

  • This step may require the use of hand tools, and may also vary slightly from model to model. However, it is usually a very simple task.

  • Note: In many vehicles the glove box is held on by one screw, or is simply held on by plastic tabs that can be pushed free. Use the flashlight to thoroughly examine the bottom and sides of the glove box, or refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to determine the proper method for removing the glove box.

hands tkaing out cabin air filter

Step 3: Remove the cabin air filter. Once the glove box is removed, the cabin air filter cover should be exposed. it is a thin, black plastic cover, that has tabs on both sides.

  • Remove it by pressing the plastic tabs to release it, and expose the cabin air filter.

  • Note: Certain models use screws to retain the plastic cover. In these models one need only remove the screws, using a screwdriver, to be able to access the cabin filter.

person installing new air filter

Step 4: Replace the cabin air filter. Remove the cabin air filter, by pulling it straight out, and replace it with your brand new filter.

  • Tip: When removing the old cabin filter, take care to be gentle and not to shake off any debris, such as leaves or dirt, that may be loose on the filter.

  • When removing the cabin filter, take note that some models will also house the cabin filter in a black plastic square housing. In these cases you only have pull out the entire plastic sleeve, and then remove the cabin filter from that. It pulls straight out, in the same exact manner as models that do not use the plastic sleeve.

person screwing in last part of glove box

Step 5: Put the plastic cover and glove box. Once the new cabin filter has been installed, reinstall the plastic cover and glove box in reverse of the order in which you removed them, as shown in Steps 1-3, and enjoy the fresh air and flow of your new cabin filter.

Replacing a cabin air filter in most vehicles is usually a simple task. However, if you don’t not feel comfortable taking on such a task, your filter can be replaced by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic.


Next Step

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Recent Cabin Air Filter Replacement reviews

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Matthew

33 years of experience
1017 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Cabin Air Filter - Norfolk, Virginia
Finding a good mechanic can be very stressful. Matthew has service my vehicle for the second time and I am very happy. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and he explains issues concerning my car so I can understand. I highly recommend him.
Hyundai Elantra - Cabin Air Filter - Hampton, Virginia
This is the 3rd time that Matt has had my service calls. He’s the consummate professional. He always shows up on time or earlier than the appointment time and he gets right to work. He’s also quite personable. I’d recommend his services and I wouldn’t hesitate to refer him to anyone that I know!

Kevin

24 years of experience
418 reviews
Kevin
24 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Cabin Air Filter - Atlanta, Georgia
I highly recommend Kevin. Very communicative and easy to work with. Will definitely use him again in the future!
Ford Thunderbird - Cabin Air Filter - Lawrenceville, Georgia
Kevin was very professional and knew exactly what my car needed. It didn't run this good when it was new. Thank you Kevin, it is nice to find a professional who cares about his work and his work proves that he cares.

Robert

16 years of experience
57 reviews
Robert
16 years of experience
Chrysler Town & Country - Cabin Air Filter - Maricopa, Arizona
Robert just finished a simple oil change. He was on time and professional, as he always is. If you are in Maricopa, Az, I highly recommend you choose Robert as your mobile mechanic.
Ford Escape - Cabin Air Filter - Maricopa, Arizona
Robert is amazing knows what he's doing for sure. He was on time explained everything that needed to be completed on our SUV. Robert went beyond and above. Very professional and most IMPORTANTLY he was honest. Theses days it's very hard to find a company yet alone and honest hard working person to be real with you and not overcharge. Thank you so very much Robert, you will have us as clients from here on out.

Michael

4 years of experience
120 reviews
Michael
4 years of experience
Volkswagen Jetta - Cabin Air Filter - Fishers, Indiana
Michael was on time, efficient and did a great job on my car. We really appreciate everything he did.

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