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It’s common to come across a vehicle’s cabin air filter that has been neglected for a long period of time before getting replaced. For the three years that I’ve owned my Acura CL Type-S, I honestly haven’t changed it. Granted, I’ve only driven the vehicle for only a few thousand miles in that time, but I don’t believe it was changed for some time with the previous owner.
For the Acura CL including the Type-S (model years 2000-2003), it is recommended that the cabin air filter be changed out every 24 months, or every 30,000 miles—whichever comes first. This is the same replacement interval as the engine air filter, so it may make sense to do them both at the same time.
The cabin air filter is located behind the glove box. Typically, cabin air filters are very easy to replace, however on the 2nd gen Acura CL, it is a bit more cumbersome to replace. It’s still relatively easy to do, but just not as easy as other ones.
Tools & Materials
You will obviously need the cabin air filters (there are two of them and they will be sold in a set). You’ll also need a Phillips head screwdriver.
Cabin Air Filter Replacement: 2nd Gen Acura CL (Including Type-S)
First, clear out the glove compartment and open it.
On both sides on the inner part of the glove compartment, there are two of these clip. These clips connect to a rubber stop that goes to the outer part of the glove compartment. The rubber stop keeps the glove compartment from completely opening all the way out.
The way to remove these clips is to squeeze the clips on the outside of the glove compartment in order to release the clip and allow it to drop in towards the inside of the glove compartment. It also helps to close the glove compartment slightly so that the rubber stop is not resting on anything; this facilitates the removal of these clips.
On the right side of the glove compartment, there is a Phillips head screw that holds the damper to the door. Removing this screw lets you open the glove compartment even more. You will also need to remove the two Phillips head screws on both bottom corners to completely remove the glove compartment door.
There is a little plastic door that holds the cabin air filters’ door in place. Remove the two Phillips head screws here to remove the door. You can technically remove the door without removing the glove compartment door completely, but you won’t be able to remove the actual cabin air filter tray without removing the glove compartment door.
Next, remove the cabin air filter door by releasing the bottom tab and pulling off the door. You now can pull out both existing cabin air filters to discard. Make note of the way the air flow imprint is shown on the existing cabin air filters and the way these filters sit into the plastic tray that they are installed into. You will be removing the old filters from the trays and replacing it in the same way.
Clean out any debris if there is any. I used a vacuum with a skinny attachment to clean out the leaves and dirt left behind.
Here’s a look at the old cabin air filters and the new ones. I’m really glad that I changed these out as this is what’s filtering the air that you breath inside of the cabin.
Install the new cabin air filters into the tray the same way that the old ones came out in. Make sure this is correct as the air flow stamp is made on the tray, so it’s possible to install the cabin air filters the wrong way, yet have the stamp on the tray pointing the correct way. Install the whole thing back in (both cabin air filters in their trays) and ensure that the air flow designation is pointing to the left.
Reinstall everything back in reverse of removal and you have changed out your cabin air filters on the 2nd gen Acura CL. Now you know what I mean when I say it’s still easy to do, but just not easy as cabin air filter replacements on other cars.