Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Easy step by step instructions on how to replace a cabin air filter and pertains to most vehicles, configurations may vary but follow the same process, this particular service is performed on a Chevy Tahoe.

Difficulty Scale: 3 of 10

Begin with the vehicle on flat ground, in park with the emergency brake set.

Step 1 - Begin by remove the main access cover by undoing fasteners (bolts) and removing the cover, also in some cases side cover removal is necessary.

Removing Lower Access Cover

Step 2 - Locate the filter retainer bracket and remove mounting bolts.

Removing Air Cabin Filter Retainer

Step 3 - Once the retainer has been remove slide the old air cabin filter from its housing. Always match the old filter to the new filter to ensure proper operation. After the filter has been removed use a damp cloth to wipe clean the air cabin filter housing and cover. (Note: some vehicle utilize two filters.)

Removing Old Air Cabin Filter

Step 4 - After the old filter has been removed, install new filter.

Installing New air Cabin Filter

Step 5 - Once filters are installed correctly, reinstall the retainer bracket.

Installing Retainer Bracket

Step 6 - Install retainer bolt.

Reinstalling Retainer Bolt

Step 7 - After the installation of the filters are complete reinstall lower cover

Installing Lower Cover

Helpful Information

When you turn on the air conditioner or heater the cabin air filter is put into action, like any filter it becomes dirty inhibiting the air flow through the vents. Replacing a air cabin filter is relatively simple and can be performed in a few minutes with minor tools in most cases. Some vehicles are not designed with a cabin filter check the owner's manual for location. The service interval of these filter can vary due to road condition and environment.

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Air cabin filter
  • Small socket set
  • Small screw driver
  • Safety eyewear and gloves
Common Problems

  • Filter becomes plugged not allowing air flow into the vehicle cabin.
  • Filter retains moisture creating mildew odors.
Best Practices

  • Always inspect filter at regular intervals
  • Replace filter more frequently if driven in dusty areas


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


Please use our question form if you have a specific question about your car as we are not able to give you a full answer on this page.

Article first published