Vehicle FAQs

Air circulates within a vehicle and dirt and other contaminants can get trapped within the air filter. After time, the filter needs to be replaced to help the vehicle run smoothly. The cabin air filter within vehicles traps dirt, contaminants and can contain mold and mildew resulting in odors circulating throughout the vehicle. Follow the steps below to find out how to change both the car air filter and the cabin air filter.

Replacing a Car Air Filter

The car air filter should be replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Before going to an auto parts store to purchase supplies you should make note of your vehicle’s year, make, model and mileage. This will help you select the correct filter. Always record when you change an air filter, so you know when the next change should occur.

LOCATE THE AIR FILTER: The air filter is typically located in a black casing or housing and it’s either a square or a rectangular shape. There will be a big intake hose connected to it. After locating the air filter wipe off any extra dirt around the air filter. Then use the appropriate tool to remove the top of the housing from the air filter.

REMOVE THE OLD AIR FILTER: The old air filter should lift right out of the housing unit. After removing the old air filter use a clean rag to clear any extra dust and dirt out of the air filter housing unit. Also, check for any cracks or damage to the housing unit or to the air intake house. If there is no damage you can move on to the next step.

INSTALL THE NEW AIR FILTER: Place the new filter where the old air filter was. Place the top of the housing unit back onto the air filter. Replace the screws or clamps that you originally removed.

Replacing a Cabin Air filter

The vehicle’s owner’s manual will verify if you have a cabin air filter and where it is located. The cabin air filter can be located behind the glove box, under the dashboard or under the hood. Always record when you change a cabin air filter so you know when your vehicle is ready for another replacement.

OPEN THE GLOVE BOX TO GET TO THE CABIN AIR FILTER: Open the glove box and remove the contents. Remove the limiting arm of the glove box by sliding off the pin. Then, grasp the front and back of the glove box and squeeze until you can drop down the entire glove box.

REMOVE THE OLD CABIN FILTER: Lift the latches on the sides of the faceplate and slide it out of the way so you can open the filter compartment. Pull out the cabin air filter and be careful not to scatter any dirt or dust. Vacuum the filter chamber and check for any damaged components.

INSTALL THE NEW CABING FILTER: Make sure the new cabin filter matches the old cabin filter and the arrows on the new filter are pointing in the same direction as the arrows on the old filter. Once the filter is in place, replace the faceplate of the filter and snap the glove box back in place.

If you continue to have issues with vehicle air conditioner odors review the How-To article “How-To Remove Car Air Conditioner Smells".

Got a tip to share?

Share your tip here