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How to change your cabin air filter in 10 minutes

Most people don’t even know that cabin air filters exist but most vehicles made after 2000 contain a cabin air filter. Like any other filter on your vehicle, the cabin air filter has a job to do and when it does that job, it gets dirty. Manufacturers generally recommend replacing the filter every 20,000 to 30,000 kilometres depending on routine driving conditions, or roughly once a year. Knowing when to clean or replace your filter will help maintain air quality inside your cabin. Not only does your air filter need to be changed at regular intervals, but it’s a simple job that you can do yourself in mere minutes.

What your cabin air filter does

The cabin air filter helps keep the air inside your vehicle free of dust, mould, pollen, and other fine particles that can be unpleasant or dangerous if inhaled. When a filter is dirty, environmental contaminants sneak through and can cause discomfort. A dirty or clogged filter can also prevent your car’s cooling and heating systems from working at their best.

How to replace your cabin air filter

Cabin air filters are often located on the passenger side under the glove box or under the hood, right behind the firewall. If you’re unsure where to look, the best way to locate it is to consult the owner’s manual. The filter in our Honda Civic is accessible from the glove box and took us about 10 minutes to change.

Get the right filter by looking online for the exact fit for your vehicle’s year, make, and model.

Step 1: Empty your glove box

Start by clearing out anything that could fall when you open or remove your glove box. This is probably the step that takes the longest.

Step 2: Disconnect your glove box

Release the two pins holding the glove box in place to access the filter housing. Simply remove the cover (which opens like a door) and you will see the filter.

Step 3: Slide out the old filters

In this model, there are two filters side by side. Slide the filter housing out of the filter compartment.

Step 4: Replace the filters

Remove the filters from the case and put in the new ones. Remember that filters are made to filter air coming from one direction. To ensure the filters are installed correctly, pay attention to the airflow (indicated on the filters and filter housing or by the small arrow). Or simply install the new ones with the arrows pointing in the same direction as the old ones.

Step 5: Reinstall in reverse order

Now you can drive knowing that the air you are breathing is clean and dust free!

Check out the ignition parts and filters available on or trust one of our 600 NAPA Auto Parts stores for routine maintenance and repairs. To learn more about the difference between engine air filters and cabin filters, chat with an expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.