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9-5 Pollen (cabin) filter change

Often overlooked, the cabin filter has been identified as the culprit for heater blower motor failures by some specialists. Filtering contaminants from the air can make the filter quite dirty in a short space of time, so neglecting to change the filter can restrict air flow if it becomes blocked with dirt particles. Some of us, including the author, are affected by seasonal allergies, so not changing the filter isn't an option.

We say: this isn't a tough job and doesn't require special tools.
Our top tip: as you remove scews, don't just chuck them on the carpet or put them outside. Instead be prepared! Save a couple of plastic containers with lids or screw top jars and put the bits in there so you don't waste time looking for screws. Simple but effective!

Tools required:

  • Torx keys or sockets
  • Socket set (with 6mm socket)
  • Screwdriver: flat blade & Phillips type

Start by removing the under panel from the glovebox (x4 screws). You may need to the disconnect footwell light (if fitted). Remove the carpet cover and or side of the centre console (passenger side footwell). This will involve undoing the 3 stage rivets. METHOD: press in the centre pin gently so it is slightly depressed, then lift the outer rivet away.

Next, remove the glovebox, noting that you will need to open the glovebox to access some of the Torx type screws. In total, there are x6: 3 in the top and 3 underneath.

Depending on whether the glovebox has been removed before, you may also have to cut the odd plastic cable tie that holds the wiring harness in place and also the cooler hose for the glovebox. Detaching the wiring from the glovebox is easier than it looks, so do not rush the job. With the glovebox removed, you will now be able to see the service cover for the filter, which is attached by screws and (8?) bolts that require a 6mm (from memory!) socket to undo. NB it has not been able to show all screw locations in the photograph but all are readily accessible and removal is easy. Also note that on some carswith automatic transmissions, you may need to move other components aside that are in the way. Put down newspapers - the filters are often in poor condition and you don't want the muck of the ages in the carpet! Note the orientation of the filter and then remove it.

The new filter comes with a foam seal, which can be fastened by double sided tape to the top of the filter element but the author prefers to press the foam seal in place before sliding the filter back into its housing. IMPORTANT! The foam seal MUST be in position in the top part of the filter space. Observe that arrows are marked on the new filter to show the direction of airflow. Replace the filter housing before refitting the glovebox and bottom panel and footwell lamp (if removed previously). Job done!


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