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changing cabin air filter
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Posted by Dean (more from Dean) on Sat, 27 Oct 2001 18:37:24 Share Post by Email
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This topic has been addressed many times in the past.

The filters now come, like everthing else these day, shrink wrapped. The shrink wrap distorts the filter and the ends have integral clip details that are part of the frame's one piece molding. As this protrudes, the shrink wrap pulls these features inward and the frame is distorted. This makes the filter almost impossible to install as the clip detail hits the fan frame and prevents the filter from fitting into it.

You have to distort the frame to restore some straightness to the filter ends. You can do this with your fingers. Note that there is a round bit and a matching shape in the frame. the round bit goes on the bottom of the frame.

To gain access to the filter, pry off the platic caps on the wiper arms and remove the 13mm nuts on the spline shafts. The arms come away with a bit of working back and forth while eliminating the force of the spring in the arm. Best not to mix up the arms, or cover caps!

Remove the rubber weather strip channel at the forward edge of the cowel. Lift up the forward corners of the cowel to get the two spring clips to come up with the cowel. The cowel upper edge inserts into a ridgid extrusion along the bottom of the windshield. Work the cowel forward and out of the top channel, from the air intake side. The other end with the windshileld washer hose will be loosened as well but will not be move much as the hose will be left intact.

With the air box end of the cowel moved forward a couple of feet, the filter is exposed under the wiper mechanism. There is a clip detail at each end that needs to be squeezed to release the filter. Remove the old and insert the new if using a new one.

Clean any foriegn material out of the cowel cavity that you can see. There is a large rubber drain piece that fits from the engine side, more on the battery side of the vehicle. It can be full of junk. It has a slit on one side near the bottom. You can remove the whole thing, from the engine side, clean it and replace.

Note the rubber trim bits on the end of the cowel. Resore the fit if needed. Work the cowel in from the battery side, fitting into the top channel as well. The other end may need to be fitted with some bucking of the cowel to get is in safely. After getting it in place, you may need to slide the cowel towards one end or the other to get the rubber details of the wiper shafts to fit through the holes in the cowel. Refit the weather strip, fit the wiper arms in the original postions and force the fit onto the splines and run on the 13mm nuts. Refit the plastic covers. Do not switch the covers from side to side. Some oil on the threads would be a good preventive if the covers fall off.

The covers after one summer in the sun loose their tightness. Most often after do this operation they will be lost with the next car wash if they get that far. I gave up and just cover the bolt area with black out tape. Others have used some glue on the caps. Whatever works... If you mix them up then things are worse!

I washer and reused my orginal filter until 108000 miles. Then I tried a mail order replacement. It was much thinner and a tight paper type of material. It will not wash and have restored flow, or will not survive a washing at all. So one year later I got an OEM filter, distorted in shrink wrap. That filter costs a bit under $20, plus shipping.

The OEM filters are easy to wash. Do not expect white, that is not an issue. Use spray cleaner and rise and flush gently. There is a polypropelene blanke element that can get teased and destroyed by water blasting. After the worst is out use some landry detergent in warm or hot water and soak. Do not worry about large bits embedded in the filter. They will not effect performance. They are not going anywhere. Do not pick at it to get such things out to the extent that you are disturbing the blanket element. This will save you about $35 each time you clean it.

posted by 209.172.2...

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